Saturday, May 29, 2010

Infomercial Cost-Cost of Infomercial Media

Infomercial costs can be confusing. First of all, nowadays, the word infomercial refers to all direct response television and radio advertising. The cost of infomercial production can vary widely, and you must make a distinction between short form TV infomercials and long form TV infomercials. For pricing click here.

Infomercial media costs can also be complicated. Short form infomercial airtime is sold on a remnant or pre-emtible basis and the rates change week to week and quarter to quarter. Even with the recession short form rates have gone up because large corporate advertisers are demanding more airtime for their dollars.

Long form infomercial media costs are highly negotiable. The cable networks by and large release long form TV avails month to month. Most local broadcast stations work through rep firms and there is a lot of airtime presently available.

Remember, you need a smart media buyer who knows the ropes and how to squeeze the most out of a budget.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Cost of Infomercials

Each day the telephone rings in our offices with questions about budget. This blog exists to answer the most common questions about what I call the wacky, wonderful world of infomercials -- my world! So let's get right to it.....

TV Production: In order to air a long form infomercial, you must produce a half hour TV show. Like anything, production budgets vary greatly from low-budget talk shows with the author of a book pitching to the camera to higher budget shows with multiple cameras, varied locations, celebrity talent, etc. A low-budget talk show style infomercial can cost as little as $20,000.00 and a beautiful high-end show with about a week of shooting and a 12 person cast would cost around $75,000.00. Remember, the investment you make in production is a one time cost. You can create short form spots and utilize the video assets on the internet and more - so we always recommend putting a few extra dollars into the TV production.

Media and Airtime: Ok, so now you have a show. where do you air it, and how much does it cost? Again, of course, you get what you pay for. If you air on a local cable system's classified or infomercial channel - what are the chances that anyone will see it? These types of "stations" provide the cheapest airtime and to have any chance of success you must air your show frequently or on a pay for performance basis. These type of infomercial airings should run under $50 and as low as $10. Now what if your show airs on a network (think ABC, CBC, NBC) and has a clean lead in? What is a lead in? -- the previous program -- think Jay Leno's prime time show killing the ratings on the local newscasts. That's the importance of the lead in. I know in my house we watch the local news, network news and therefore, the TV is often on the local NBC affiliate when we turn on the TV. So even though the station is a local station, and even if it is a small market, those airings can cost $1000 - $5000.00. Maybe in your house you watch a lot of CNBC during the week to track your millions. Well there are a lot of infomercials on CNBC during the weekend, and, of course these are "primo" national spots costing well over $10,000.00 per airing.

Well, we could go on and on. The bottom line: Your media buyer better be smart and experienced.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Infomercial Media Rates

“How many airings will we get?” “I think my infomercial media should air on Lifetime.” “How much does infomercial media cost?” The questions keep coming, and we have the answers here at the DRTV and Infomercial blog.

Lets start with some basic information. The largest and best known cable networks now reach about 90 million TV households in the USA. Broadcast networks have been losing audience to cable for a generation. So make no mistake, the best known cable networks have plenty of demand for their limited inventory from the largest brand marketers out there. For example, back in January a :60 second direct response spot on HGTV would clear for about $2500.00 with :120’s costing double. The rates go up each month as we closer to second quarter. Remember, when it comes to media, it’s all about supply and demand. And even the nest media agencies have to pay the rate that will clear. Cable networks do not give their inventory away because they like the agency.

When selling a product with a hard offer, it is generally known that a two-minute infomercial will work the best — so as you can see large networks are not efficient methods of testing and may not be the best medium until you have a large roll out in retail.

We generally recommend media tests in the $10,000 to $20,000 range using the most efficient media available, which is usually lower tiered national cable networks, not local cable.

Using the example above, we ran our client on DIY (which is owned by the same cable family as HGTV) but has a smaller cable footprint and is much more infomercial and direct response friendly. We were able to clear on DIY at rates from $250 to $700 for two-minute airings.

Another efficient media buying strategy is satellite networks like DirecTV and DISH. These networks work best for lead generating offers because they do not have 2 minute inventory available. You can buy 26 HD cable networks on DISH for as low as $50 per :60 second airing.

Infomercial media rates change on a daily basis, and the market is fluid and demand is heavy even in this tepid economy. You see it pays to advertise and everyone realizes that TV infomercials are effective channels of distribution