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An infusion of direct response marketing helped overcome a small ad budget to boost business for small hotels and inns in Jamaica.

A direct response TV spot created by FCB Direct, New York, resulted in 1,400 confirmed bookings over a four-month period. The commercial ran in the U.S. on national cable and spot TV from March through June. It touted "The Insider's Jamaica," selling travel packages with bookings in smaller hotels designed for consumers interested in vacationing "off the beaten path." A toll-free number was included.

The low-budget 30-second spot also embraced the Jamaica Tourist Board's 10-year old branding message created by Foote, Cone & Belding, including its version of the Bob Marley song "One Love," and added a direct response component by prominently featuring the 1-800-JAMAICA number.

"We didn't have any budget to shoot anything, so we went back and recut existing footage [from five years ago] to make this thing work," said Jonathan Spitz, senior VP-management director at FCB Direct.

It was important to the tourist board to preserve the appeal and heritage of its longstanding branding effort, he said. "We had to retain the emotional appeal of the brand advertising and still be able to sell."

Call volume rose threefold to 120,000 in the four-month period from March through June, over the 1998 period's 39,000 calls, and the 1,400 consumers with confirmed bookings automatically became members of "The Insider's Jamaica Club." Club members go into a database for future marketing efforts.

"It's about building a better relationship with customers we [already] have," Mr. Spitz said. "Without any relationship marketing, we already have a 40% repeat factor. If we were communicating with those customers on a regular basis,

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