DRTV: Orchestrating a Deal
8. DRTV offers several advantages over standard television advertising. The most apparent reason is that it inspires customers to pick up the phone, or go to a Web site and buy quickly. The return on investment is immediately visible. Thus, adjustments can be made to the media budget or schedule based on the performance of the current schedule.
9. DRTV also offers considerable cost savings compared to retail or brand advertising. The cost of running DRTV advertising campaigns is normally less than half the cost of airtime for traditional commercials. They can run for less because the stations have the flexibility to run the spots over several hours. But the advertiser must be amenable to different time slots and willing to run both 30s and 60s to accommodate the inventory of the station.
10. Advertisers should consider Hispanic stations, since they also accept DRTV advertising. In some markets, like Miami, the Hispanic stations outperform the English-language stations.
So how much can you expect to pay for airtime? According to Ken Kolb, vice president of direct response advertising for DIRECTV, the “marketplace sets prices. … Things could clear at $100 or not clear at $5,000.” This is true with all direct response TV advertising, as it can be preempted at any time. The business climate constantly is changing and demand for airtime varies on a monthly, weekly and even daily basis. Kolb recommends that advertisers be flexible and take advantage of last-minute deals.
Keep in mind that television and cable stations must air something at all times. A radio station simply can play another song if it’s not sold out, and a newspaper just won’t print an additional page for unsold inventory. But TV stations and cable networks are anxious to fill their excess inventory immediately and are receptive to all offers. The savings really can add up as a $1,000 infomercial time period can go for $300 if the station needs to sell it right away. A knowledgeable media buyer will have access to prevailing inventory and can offer the discounts to the advertiser. Obviously, the tape has to be at the station and approved to take advantage of the deals. This is the case for national and local-level advertising.