Catalogers advertising in magazines isn’t uncommon. But consumer goods advertising in catalogs—that’s a different story. Nonetheless, the May edition of Hanover Direct’s The Company Store catalog includes a full-page for Snuggles laundry detergent.
So far, says Company Store president John DiFrancesco, catalog recipients aren’t reacting adversely to the ad. What’s more, The Company Store’s profit from the ad is up to five times greater than the profit a page of merchandise offers would reap.
Some mailers dabbled with accepting ads in the 1980s, but with little success. For the most part, the catalogers didn’t take in enough to offset what they could have made selling product on those pages, or they were distracting customers from their offerings.
But Snuggles’ natural tie-in to the textiles sold in The Company Store, as well as the subtle blue background of the ad, which appears on page 77, helped make it find a comfortable home in the book, says Pete Bather, vice president of marketing for the Lacrosse, WI-based cataloger.
“It’s a great alternative revenue stream,” Bather says, “when you’re trying to offset cost increases,” such as the upcoming postal rate increase. “We’re running the ad to generate some money; Snuggles is looking for a new channel, a new media with which to run an image campaign. And from Snuggles’ perspective, it’s the only ad in the book, so it certainly catches people’s attention.”