Timothy Kerr

Timothy Kerr

Producer at Prestone's JumpIt!

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Creative Director  - Harbor Associates


Founder  - KERRmercials Inc

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"If they have to open their hood, they're gone," says Timothy Kerr, president of KERRmercials Inc. in Greenwich, Conn.The producer of Prestone's "JumpIt!"and "InflateIt!"shows, Kerr says opening the hood implies work -- something no car owner really wants to get involved with, even if it means simply pouring a bottle of additive into the engine.To overcome that apprehension, Prestone packages a coupon for free installation from the retailer with the additive.Consumers buy the product, then schlep down to their local gas station to have someone else do the dirty work.They may not like popping hoods, but they do like being safe -- a realization that surprised Kerr."Based on our last two shows," Kerr contends, "this may be the only DRTV category in which safety sells."But where Howard sees a decrease in hit shows, Kerr sees opportunity.Old-guard DR marketers, says Kerr, are shying away from testing the automotive aftermarket category and new corporate clients are holding back on spending the dollars they had budgeted for alternative media.That, says Kerr, results in fewer shows and fewer buys and leaves the window of opportunity open for the marketer with a good product and show."There's tremendous opportunity here because a hot automotive item will sell in any market," says Kerr."The competition for consumer dollars is less, leaving some good opportunities out there for savvy marketers."When it comes to upsells and cross-sells in the automotive category, Kerr says adding a second item to the offer always works best.Once the money and time have been spent closing a sale, he adds, offering a second unit at a discount tends to elicit the best response rate -- as long as the two are "tied" in the right way."You can offer a wheel cleaner with a car wash, but not a can opener," explains Kerr."Like any other category, it's about the psychology of the sale."Auto club upsells also work well with some products.For the Prestone shows, a $70- to $80-value auto club membership was offered for $19.95.It was an easy sell, says Kerr, but it didn't pull the same numbers as a second unit did, even though the latter was three times the price of the auto club.The problem, he says, is that upselling an item that's not part of the original product line means having to start from scratch with the sale."If a caller has already decided to buy the product, it's easy to buy two," says Kerr.The category as a whole, Kerr says, is challenged by its own products, which, he believes, have become archaic and uninspired."We've all been selling that same bottle of car wax for 20 years," he says, adding that KERRmercials is currently working on a few new spots, including one for wiper blades, an additive and a car wash product."That's actually a little less than what we normally do," he contends.

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Fred Paddock & Tim Kerr

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KERRmercials was founded by Tim Kerr in 1994 after serving as Creative Director of Harbor Associates, a pioneer in the DRTV industry.
At Harbor, Tim worked on campaigns such as 3D puzzle, Wacky Vac, Miracle Mop, Handy Hanger, Whisper 2000, and DuraShears. Since its start, KERRmercials has regularly appeared on the Jordan Whitney's top ten list having at least two of its commercials on the list every month in 1997 and in June, 1997 gaining five of the top ten spots, an unprecedented achievement. Although awards are helpful in reputation-building - and Tim has won his share including MATRIX awards and ones from the National Federation of Press, sales are the only real measure of accomplishment.

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