Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Direct Response TV Inventory Tight

A tightening remnant Direct Response TV market is leaving many infomercial marketers desperate for media, as traditional advertisers snap up the preemptible air time that supplies DR. "This is probably the tightest time I can remember in my history with direct response," said Scott Boilen, to reporters at AdAge. Boilen's company, All Star Marketing is the company behind the Snuggie. "We were the industry that took what's left," he added. "And there's not a lot left right now."

The lack of remnant airtime is a result of large corporate marketers adding to their quarterly buys, along with networks having to offer remnant ad space as "make-goods" to make up for ratings shortfalls over the past years.

The networks are not at all displeased to see DRTV advertisers getting knocked out of some of the media they've enjoyed during this recession, because they typically pay lower prices than the high flyers. "In the malaise that was out there in the first six months of the year ... you saw a lot of direct response popping up in network prime time," said one media-buying executive. "Well, not right now."

We have been recommending shorter DRTV commercials and infomercials for months, and apparently that trend is catching on. With fewer avails at two minute commercials, Snuggie, which had launched last year behind mostly 120-second spots, has down-shifted to 10-, 15- and 30-second commercials, Mr. Boilen said, noting that other DRTV advertisers are also moving to shorter forms.

"All the consumer-products companies and other big advertisers have renegotiated their rates, so they're able to buy more time, and things are back to where they were [before the recession] or even worse for us, because people are advertising more at the lower rates to try to make up for lost sales," said A.J. Khubani, CEO of TeleBrands, marketer of such products as PedEgg and JupiterJack to AdAge.

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