I wrote my first DR campaign when I was 5.

It was back to school season and my heart was set on a Cinderella kaleidoscope pencil holder at K-Mart.

A kaleidoscope that let you store pencils too – seriously, who could resist?

My parents, that’s who.

Lisa Denvir

But I was determined. And knew advertising was the key to persuading them.

So I worked out the strategy. Benefits of purchase: Happy kid, tidy room, entertainment. Barrier to purchase: pricey. Surely a penny a day was affordable. Features: entirely practical. Pencils and erasers were needed for schoolwork and must be kept safe, hence the need for a pencil case. If you were to buy a pencil case, one that multitasked must be that much better.

The ads were strategically placed where they couldn’t be missed: the refrigerator, bathroom mirror, my parents’ freshly painted bedroom door and the hallway banister (top and bottom to capture traffic going both ways).

And they were working… until the tape holding them pulled off a good portion of the underlying paint. Which gained a response I hadn’t planned for.

Since then, developing creative strategy has enabled me to write dozens of successful short & long form DRTV projects. Some have won awards. Others continue to run, years later, around the world. To view some of my latest & greatest, click here.

As for the much coveted Cinderella kaleidoscope pencil case?

In the end, my folks made it possible for me to earn enough to buy it myself.


Lisa Denvir