Myths & Truths

MYTH
DRTV’s only purpose is to sell product directly to consumers.

TRUTH
DRTV is advertising. Selling directly is one option. And DRTV affects all channels. Depending on distribution, typically 7 to 15 times more products is sold at retail than is sold directly to consumers.

MYTH
DRTV is seen only by midnight munchers and insomniacs.

TRUTH
The vast majority of DRTV advertising airs between 5am and 11pm. Many campaigns run over 95% of media dollars during daytime hours.

MYTH
No one I know watches DRTV.

TRUTH
Over 60% of consumers watch DRTV. Why? It’s advertising and it gives consumers the information they want and find valuable.

MYTH
TV buyers live in trailer parks.

TRUTH
Research shows DRTV viewers cross all demographic and lifestyle categories.

MYTH
Brands don’t use DRTV.

TRUTH
Rubbermaid, Sears, DuPont, AAA, AT&T…(need we say more?)

MYTH
The most effective DRTV uses a “Yell & Sell” style.

TRUTH
The biggest direct, retail, and long-term results come from creative that delivers the “sell” without the “yell”.

MYTH
DRTV success requires a 300 pound ex-pugilist or a former actress.

TRUTH
Maybe … and maybe not. The key is to make your brand the celebrity.

MYTH
DRTV success requires a 300 pound ex-pugilist or a former actress.

TRUTH
Maybe … and maybe not. The key is to make your brand the celebrity.

DRTV TERMS:

Direct Response Television

Highly measurable TV advertising that asks consumers to respond directly to the company -- often by calling an 800 number or visiting a web site. Qualifies for discounted advertising rates because of the direct appeal to consumers.

Infomercial/Long Form

Half hour advertising (typically 28:30 in length); often called “Paid Programming”. A small amount of 5 minute long form time is also available.

DRTV Spot/Short Form

DRTV advertisements in shorter lengths typically 30, 60, or 120 seconds in length. Often campaigns include both :60 and :120 spots.

Lead Generation Campaign

Not all campaigns sell directly. These are campaigns designed to invite a consumer to respond for information or a coupon. Later product sales happen by phone, web, or at retail.

Retail Factor

A measurement of a DRTV campaign’s impact at retail. Good distribution at retail results in DRTV driving from 7 to 15 units at retail for every one sold directly.

MER/Media Ratio

A common term used to evaluate direct sales from DRTV. The MER is calculated as direct sales revenue divided by total media spending. MER only shows direct sales impact.

Call To Action or CTA

Segment(s) of a DRTV show aimed at requesting an action or purchase from the viewer. Sometimes, the CTA is referred to as the “internal commercial”.

“Yell & Sell”

A classic DRTV format utilizing crass hosts prone to overstatement. Only one in twenty yell and sell campaigns succeed. Worse yet, yelling can hurt sales. And, it always destroys brand.