Adam & Eve Scores with Cable Spots

When Adam & Eve launched a television ad campaign in early February, the adult-products cataloger hoped the commercial would garner 25-50 catalog requests a night. Instead, from Feb. 5 to Feb. 18, the mailer captured more than 3,000 requests — nearly 1,000 in one night alone. What’s more, Adam & Eve recorded some 5,000 hits on its Website, five times what it had anticipated.

The commercial, which aired on cable channels E!, USA, and Comedy Central between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., represents a departure from the years of sexy “skin ads” Adam & Eve ran after midnight on adult channels such as Spice, says director of new media Rosanne Licciardi. “People from all walks of life are interested in our products, but they want a ‘softer’ introduction,” Licciardi says. She notes that as part of the Hillsborough, NC-based company’s effort to appeal to a mainstream audience 25-49 years old, the ad avoids use of the word “toy” in reference to the sexual gadgets it sells; instead, the man featured in the commercial presents his wife with a “plaything.” “‘Toy’ belongs to children,” Licciardi says.

The spot is geared primarily to men, with the woman making a number of seductive moves toward her husband. Men represent 70% of Adam & Eve’s catalog buyer file. “I know we’re reaching couples, but we wanted to see results, and that meant getting the attention of the men,” Licciardi says.

In all, the airtime cost the company $100,000; the cost to produce the spot was $35,000-$40,000. In addition to its 800-number for catalog requests, the spot advertises the Adam & Eve Website, using the address “” so that the $90 million company can gauge response driven specifically from the commercial.

At press time, Adam & Eve was planning to run the television spot again in March on some of the same networks as well as, perhaps, on BET and ESPN. Since the company suspects the commercials will bring in a more upscale audience, it may soon be time to upgrade the print catalog, Licciardi says.

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