Saturday, May 28, 2011

Short Form DRTV-60 Second TV Infomercials

Our clients and potential clients call with many questions. The first question is almost always about the cost of TV Infomercials or Short Form Direct Response TV. Here’s a link to one of our recent posts that may help answer some TV Infomercial Production cost questions. Infomercial TV Production costs vary widely but Short Form TV Media costs will represent the largest portion of a budget.

OK, OK, now you’ve decided that your product can work in a short TV format. Great, but how long should your TV Commercial be? 30 Seconds? 60 Seconds? 120 Seconds? 5 Minutes? Wow…..let’s see if your Short Form DRTV Infomercial guru can help!

Let’s face it media rates will drive the success or failure of your project. Unless you are deeply funded and have a long term branding strategy like a beverage company or an automotive marketer, you need frequency and immediate results and sales. Let’s take a look at the benefits of each length in Short TV Infomercials.

5 Minutes or 360 Seconds:
Pros: This format has many of the attributes of a Long Form TV Infomercial. You can tell a convincing story, include testimony that can touch emotional notes with customers, and still have enough time to pitch an irresistible offer. With this format you will have all the video assets necessary for shorter spots and interactive viewing on your web site.

Cons: The 5 minute format is in limited distribution. Most of the Discovery Networks offer them, including OWN as do many NBC Universal properties. But, there is not enough inventory for a full roll out. In addition, the short form TV media available make it difficult to fine tune your customer targeting which is a major benefit of Short Form DRTV spots.

2 Minutes or 120 Seconds:
Pros: This format is the standard for As Seen On TV product launches. There is enough time for magic product demos and the spots usually make an offer pitch for about 20 seconds and then the telephone number is pitched for 15 more seconds.

Cons: The 2 minute format is in limited distribution. There’s no chance to get your product on Lifetime or USA, for example. Most of the major cables have limited 2 minute inventory. And the rate is 400% over the 30 second rate! The world is changing and shorter spots are the trend.

1 Minute or 60 Seconds:
Pros: Goldilocks was looking for something that was “just right”. In one minute you can show negative shots, solve the problem, include multiple demonstrations and pitch a compelling offer. There’s not a second to be wasted, though. No time to say “call now” several times, no time to pitch the toll free number twice. But, nowadays 30% to 65% of the sales will come from e-commerce. Make no mistake, our world is changing, and the consumer knows that they do not have to call now. There is a lot inexpensive, cheap, if you will, media availability. Your spots can air on Lifetime or any other major cable network in a variety of distribution networks. Heck, we can get these on the air in over 27,000,000 homes for as little as $20 per spot.

Cons: You cannot waste one second or one word. If you have a high priced product, you need more time. The short form media cost is double the 30 second rate.

30 Seconds:
Pros: These spots are usually considered branding spots. However, we have been successful many times using 30’s for lead generation and a drive to the web. There is more inventory in this format at the lowest cost per spot than any other length.

Cons: You cannot sell a product directly with this length. There is just not enough time to tell the story and ask for the sale. Your messaging must be perfect and the call to action must be short.

The bottom line: In 2011 you need an integrated approach that allows the marketer to get lots of frequency with the shortest format that is feasible for your product. Please check out our earlier post regarding the benefits of Long Form TV Infomercials. Then, think about your product, your budget, and your price point.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

6 Reasons Long Form TV Infomercials Work

Here’s six reasons long form TV Infomercials give marketers and viewers alike a format that cannot be duplicated in any other way.

1. The more you tell the more you sell. A recent study shows that long form TV infomercials convert viewers into customers at better rates than shorter formats. Long form infomercial product buyers were motivated to make a purchase after an average of 2.8 exposures compared with 7.5 exposures for short form DRTV commercials.

2. Infomercial Airtime Cost and Availability. Local stations, local cable systems, satellite providers and small and large cable networks offer half hour paid programing. Rates have been flat for several quarters, while short form rates on national cable have risen over pre-recession levels. With long format TV Infomercials, marketers can find airtime for as little as $25 per half hour and high profile national airings for well under $10,000.00.

3. Call management and scheduling. Marketers know when long form infomercials will air (unlike short form schedules). Based on the cost of the airtime, reasonable estimates for call center staffing are made. This frees the marketer to work with small, sales based call centers that can truly impact conversions and upsell streams.

4. Cross platform capability. One long form TV production can give the marketer all of the video assets necessary for short form DRTV, online video ads, and point of sale videos. Testimonials can populate the official web site or multiple web sites and offer convincing sales messages and compelling emotional triggers.

5. Long Form Supports Higher Price Points. Want to sell a $200 food processor, juicer or fat free grill? Long form DRTV is the answer. Do you have fitness equipment, a business opportunity, or a DIY product? These categories and more have traditionally performed best on 30 minute long form TV infomercials.

6. Testimonials, emotional triggers, and demos. Previously, we mentioned emotional triggers produced by compelling testimonials. A long form TV infomercial can support longer testimonials – even up to a minute -- that could be heart tugging, emotion producing moments that simply cannot be achieved in a few seconds. On camera demonstrations fit the same category. Side by side demos, “torture track” demos, and kitchen demos take time that only a 30 minute show can offer.

These are just a few reasons why the long TV format means so much even today with our short attention span. Marketers should consider this format when working on new product launches or campaigns.