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Ediets.com Beefs Up TV Budget

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NEW YORK EDiets.com this quarter doubled its television ad budget after the investment exceeded the performance of some of its Web ad buys, executives from the online diet guide said today.

EDiets.com, which had been testing TV ads in late 2003 and early 2004, this spring launched a flight of four TV spots via The Ad Store in New York. Though the marketer had set aside $1.5 million for the ads in the second quarter, the spots drove a significant number of visitors directly to the site, prompting the company to double its TV spending, said Harriet Gallu, vice president of brand marketing. Gallu said eDiets.com would maintain that level of spending throughout the third quarter.

The number of visitors driven to ediets.com by TV advertising doubled, Gallu said, though she did not have numbers for overall site traffic. Among the ads credited are two in which women talked about how eDiets made getting started on the Atkins program easier and more effective. The other two ads present a call to action: lose 10 pounds by a certain date.

The spots, which tout eDiets meal plans, shopping lists and experts, aimed to drive traffic to the Web site, but also featured a telephone number for viewers not online.

Historically, eDiets.com had relied entirely on online advertising. The client targeted 25- to 54-year-old women wanting to lose an average of 50 pounds through Web sites including iVillage, MSN and WebMD. The company also struck a two-year, multimillion-dollar marketing and content deal with America Online in April.