How To Formate Word Document For Legal Style At Top Making the DRTV Decision

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Making the DRTV Decision

Considering DR? Consider this first:

You have a great product. You know you’re going to sell a million units. But now you have to get the word out. Your best bet is direct response television. Read on to find out why.

Why DRTV?

From a marketer’s point of view, Direct Response allows you to reach the largest number of consumers in the shortest possible time and measure that response immediately.

From the consumers’ point of view, DRTV has become a widely accepted way to buy quality products in a convenient way. Now it’s easy to buy trusted and recognized brands from the comfort of your living room and have them delivered to you within days. All you need is a phone and a credit card.

Who buys on TV? Everyone! According to recent demographic studies, infomercials are most viewed by a middle-income audience: primarily the married white housewife with an income in the 56k range. All in all, not a bad market to have at your disposal.

history

Direct response television has been around since the 1950s in various forms. The real renaissance of the medium began in the early 1980s with the debut of the Home Shopping channel out of Florida and Pennsylvania-based QVC. There are three basic formats:

* Direct-to-camera presentation where a host or hostess explains the product and then implores you to buy, buy buy.

* Short ads from thirty seconds to two minutes long. From cellulite cream to car wax, this format has been used to sell everything. You tend to find them on late-night or early-morning TV, where airtime can be bought cheaply.

* The thirty-minute informative commercial. These programs are perfect if you are trying to sell a more complex product with multiple features and benefits. Remember the Blu Blocker ads? Originally broadcast in the mid-eighties, it has become the model for the infomercial over the past twenty years. Although there have been many variations on the theme, the main goal is to educate and entertain. An informed customer is a happy customer. Newsletters mostly have (3) segments or pods marked by a call to action at the end of each pod.

It’s traditionally better to go “long” rather than “short,” especially if you’re trying to educate the consumer about a more complex product. It gives you plenty of time to overcome objections while still selling.

The evolution of DRTV

While the main market for DR remains vanity products—diet plans, exercise machines, and cellulite-busting creams—DRTV has been used to sell all kinds of timeshare kitchen gadgets to dating services.

DRTV has evolved to an extremely legitimate phase. Brand advertising has been mixed with the direct response technique to create a more powerful sales tool. Today there are many advertisements for Fortune 500 companies that prominently display 1-800# or website addresses throughout the commercial. From All State to CIBC, financial companies and insurance companies have also adopted DRTV. One of the best examples of this is the TD Waterhouse campaign with Sam Waterson as spokesperson.

What products and services work well on DRTV?

DRTV has traditionally targeted the consumer with products that promise wellness (eg health, beauty, exercise and diet). Direct Response is now used for lead generation in the financial and insurance industry, promoting products from credit cards to estate planning.

In Canada, Sympatico ads appearing on TSTV performed extremely well in generating leads and sales for Bell Canada.

The production process of DRTV

This is a representative timeline for the DR process from idea to release.

* Creative brainstorming. Determine the best format (long or short) for your campaign. What will the commercial achieve? Is it for lead generation or product sales?

* Call center/fulfillment house contract. There are several in the Toronto area that handle both the calling and distribution of the product.

* The client approves the creation, the budget and the schedule are ready. At this point, your legal department would need to be involved to evaluate the content.

* Pre-production begins At this point we start writing the script, choosing the talent, organizing the locations or the sets.

* Production: between two weeks and a month, depending on the creativity involved.

* Offline editing, two to three weeks from rough cut to final approval

* Approval of the program by the broadcaster. In the states it is the FCC in Canada. This is a Canadian body formed by the cable companies that makes sure an ad is fit for air.

* Approval of the media test plan

* Media purchase

* Final master approval – version or completion of 1-800 masters for various television markets

* Your ad goes live, (this is the test phase) you wait for the phones to ring. The fulfillment agency gives you daily reports on how well the spot is doing

* Media test review: hard statistics that reveal who is responding and at what time. At this time (and if the budget allows) creative review to eliminate any obvious flaws in the program

budget

With a short-form production, the budget can be in the 100k* range. Thirty minute infomercial can cost upwards of 250k*. The variance is based on any number of factors, including:

* Media quality: For broadcast quality, your options are varied. From 35mm film to HD, Betacam, DV

* Talent – Will you seek the endorsement of a recognized personality? Their production will be unionized or not

* Location: I personally think we should shoot everything in California

* Animation, graphics, music

*This is your production budget only and does not include the purchase of airtime, versions or fulfillment.

Summary

Both retailers and consumers rely on DRTV as a highly effective means of selling their product. From beauty, fitness, to financial services, DRTV can be used to inform and educate your target audience and create a strong source of sales revenue for the marketer.

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