DRTV: Orchestrating a Deal
Congratulations! Your direct response television (DRTV) commercial has been produced, and you’re ready to go. The next step is to determine which media outlets will best serve your requirements while working within the DRTV parameters. Depending on whether you choose a long-form infomercial or a short-form 30- or 60-second spot (referred to in the business as 30s and 60s), your options will vary.
But first, let’s take a look at how the television medium is evolving these days, thus affecting the opportunities for advertisers.
Changes in the Broadcast Environment
Gone are the days when all we had were local ABC, CBS, NBC and an independent station in each city. Advertisers could just place a spot on four stations and achieve 100 percent market penetration. Today, with so many national cable stations available, an advertiser has more than 100 options. Opportunities constantly are changing. For example, this year we said goodbye to the WB and UPN networks, and hello to the CW and My TV networks.
Even the origin of the broadcast feed that comes into your home has changed over the years. The advent of cable, high definition and satellite TV changed the playing field once dominated by a handful of stations. Now, a viewer can watch the same football game his three neighbors are watching at their respective homes—and all of them can see four totally different commercials. This is great for the advertiser who can’t afford to purchase advertising on the football game broadcast on a national basis.
National cable advertising can be expensive, especially on large cable networks. A 60-second spot can cost well into the thousands on CNN, ESPN and other highly rated networks. Instead of reaching all 85 million cable households, advertisers can choose their spot to be seen in 12 million homes via Dish Network or 16 million homes through DIRECTV. Cable networks allow these satellite companies to offer 30- and 60-second spots during regular programming. With a smaller universe, rates are adjusted accordingly. And advertisers can test the market without having a million dollar budget.