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.

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