Yes, once again it’s that magical first quarter of the year, when DRTV (direct response television) time is plentiful to purchase and all the marketers are taking the plunge into the post-retail season of high availability.
Getting some time off with the TV constantly on in the background to entertain both the very old and the very young, from the Holidays through January, gives one a great opportunity to see interesting things while passing by the set. Seemed to me all the specialty cable channels, as well as the network channels, have been abuzz all day with the latest and greatest things that you suddenly wonder how you could ever live without.
Old school hard-sell DRTV Lives! Grout Bully. I have to admit it – I guess I am just a sucker for the good old DRTV formula (fortunately my wife monitors my activities … following my mesmerization with this newest gadget, I was almost ready to order the “Grout Bully”!). Note that they show the commercial on the Website (upper right). So if you missed some Grout Bully detail on TV you can watch it again on the site.
But what has really impressed me in my recent TV viewing is the multitude in this year’s crop of DRTV spots that have moved up the ladder in production value to no longer look like their celebrity-endorsed, pitchman-shouting cousins. Sleep Number beds, Sensa (weight loss product), and Hydrolyze (skin care) come immediately to mind.
Sensa: New Wave Brand-Direct. This spot has upped the ante in editing and overall production value – but the hard sell is still pretty solid. Granted, the KC & The Sunshine Band musical approach isn’t all that “new” – but the overall approach to DRTV is innovative. View the spot here>
Sleep Number: Taking another route. Now, these guys have upped the ante on quality, and more. While delivering a solid, very traditional DRTV response-style product demo, they are focused on driving viewers into a retail location and are clearly counting on all the channels of distribution to win the day. View the spot here>
I also noted that the weight loss and beauty people are looking very much like “real” pharmaceutical advertisers. However, if you check them out on YouTube, you can view the older tried and true DR formula spots for these products.
The lesson here — at least for me — is that right now there’s room for every type of spot and a wide range of production values. The old-formula spots seem to still be working and are prolific … so much so that even those advertisers adapting the new “Brand-like” look still have their workhorses out there on the Internet to help drive traffic. Those marketers that are moving way “uptown” to build brand are still using many old-school techniques to work hard at generating leads and store or site traffic. It’s more an evolution than a revolution going on.