Friday, September 09, 2005

DRTV Gets Its Due

Direct Response TV advertising (DRTV) seems to be the fastest growing segment in TV Land. Sales are up 25 percent during the first half of 2005 to $1.2 billion, according to TNS Media Intelligence, a growth rate double that of cable TV. Sellers are reporting 100 percent renewal rates from DRTV advertisers like J&J, Pfizer, Orbitz and L’Oreal. Packaged goods and financial services advertisers who long disdained DRTV are now embracing it.

My...how things have changed.

Not too long ago DRTV was the late night and weekend province of the Ab Roller, Hooked on Phonics and Ron Popeil. It was, if you believed the white shoe ad guys, a sleazy neighborhood frequented by brands on the deathwatch, jobbers with leftover inventory and small time entrepreneurs running boiler room operations in search of quick and dirty wins.

Fast forward to a time of tight budgets, fragmented viewing, integrated marketing and creative executions that can simultaneously promote the brand and carry a call to action. Presto! The ugly duckling becomes a swan.

DRTV can be branded and responsive. DRTV is carefully tracked to yield a clear ROI. And DRTV at 40 percent of the cost of upfront or scatter inventory is still bought creatively to finesse network issues and zero-in on target audiences. DRTV reinforces brand awareness. DRTV drives phone calls. DRTV drives web traffic. DRTV provokes search engine queries.

DRTV has always done these things. This is nothing new to those of us who have toiled “below the line.” We can all enjoy a brief “I-told-you-so” moment, bask in the recognition for a previous undervalued media channel and savor a back-handed compliment for all those savvy media people who have mastered the nuances of DRTV.

8 Comments:

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