What Pauly Shore May Have Learned from Direct Marketing

I may not be a big Pauly Shore fan, but he scores big points in my book for putting his money where is mouth is and guaranteeing his new TV show, Minding the Store, (which is premiering this Sunday, July 17, at 10 PM EST on TBS).

“I am so confident that my new series will make people laugh,” said Shore in a press release, “I’ve convinced the network heads at TBS to let me offer this special guarantee. It’s our way of saying we value people’s television-viewing time, and we know they’ll feel their time spent watching Minding the Store is well worth it.”

Viewers who fail to laugh after watching the first episode of Minding the Store are invited to mail a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Shore, care of TBS. Shore will then send them $1 each. Details and address on the money-back guarantee are available online at www.tbs.com.

Good for Pauly. After all, as any experienced direct marketer knows, a simple albeit strong guarantee almost always increases your response rate – in this case, your viewership – and is rarely taken advantage of by customers.

“A guarantee is one of your most important marketing tools. A guarantee articulates that you stand by your product or service, and that there is absolutely no risk in doing business with you,” says my friend, colleague and fellow past president of the New England Direct Marketing Association, Katharine Barr.

Of course, given the medium (television) and the nature of this show (entertainment, not business), the likelihood is that more than a few viewers will take Pauly up on his generous offer, whether or not they crack a smile, in which case his sense of humor will really be put to the test.

Chances are, though, that the number of people who tune in to Minding the Store because of this money-back guarantee will far outweigh the cost of sponsoring such a brilliant marketing scheme. And Pauly Shore just may have a hit on his hands as well as the last laugh.

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