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Direct Response Advertising & Infomercial Production

DR Advertising & Infomercial Production

Archive for DRTV – Page 2

I have a camera. Why can’t I just shoot my own infomercial?

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I have a camera. Why can’t I just shoot my own infomercial?

If the internet and smart phones have done one thing, it has been to level the playing field on putting video cameras into people’s hands in order to record everything they see and do.

With that comes a perception that video is simply a commodity. That anyone can point and shoot and create content.

Well, that is true.

However, creating a piece of compelling content designed to motivate consumer behavior is a bit harder than it might look and best be left to experts who have already learned countless lessons, made mistakes and are direct response experts who can properly navigate this course and give marketers a higher chance for success.

Put it this way. If you were about to undergo brain surgery, would you rather hire a surgeon who has performed that operation 2 times or would you rather have someone who has performed it 2000 times?

Marketing a product or service in today’s world is harder and harder. It is harder to break through the clutter. Harder to get targeted customer engagement, harder to get someone to pick up a phone or go to a web site, harder to get the order.

Infomercial and DRTV specialists have insight into consumer trends, category relevance, recent data on demographic and behavioral response rates, creative, marketing and offer trends and so much more.

While your nephew may own a great video camera and understand how to edit video, it may be penny wise and pound foolish to give him charge of an infomercial production that has one shot at succeeding. And the price that will be paid for lack of experience, be it in lost sales, legal action, or other types of errors, is far higher than it would have been to hire a professional for the job.

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What categories will be hot and which will rot in the infomercial world in 2017 and beyond?

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What categories will be hot and which will rot in the infomercial world in 2017 and beyond?

DRTV or infomercials are a form of advertising that seeks to get an immediate response, be it going to a web site, the phone, schedule an appointment for a consultation or even to retail. They have traditionally accomplished this through video content designed to entertain, educate, inform and inspire.

DRTV, as opposed to brand advertising, wants the customer to take an action, and not just to like them. It is the difference between liking something on Facebook or buying something online.

More and more marketers are seeking accountable and readable results from their advertising dollars. But with all the turmoil going on in the country right now and so much uncertainty, can the genres and categories that have previously worked still perform and are new categories emerging that might show promise? Is it possible to make direct response great again?

While consumer confidence is the highest it has been in the past 15 years according to Bloomberg Media and the stock market broke through the 20,000 mark for the first time ever, there is much uncertainty about how things will shake out with the new administration.

While I am not a fortune teller per se, I can offer my own predictions for how the infomercial landscape may shape up based not only against the landscape of political unrest, but also on emerging customer habits and preferences.

I recently attended the CES show in Las Vegas where everything tech was celebrated. I believe there will be a huge rise in infomercials around tech products in categories including wearables, hearables, audio assistants, health related products for both treatment and prevention, housewares and any device controlled through apps.

There seems to be an app for everything imaginable. I am waiting for an app that can go to the bathroom for you. And also waiting for an app that will let you vote.

The tech category is a great one for the infomercial world as it needs some explanation, needs some demonstration, and also needs awareness building. And even though tech products are, well, technical, most are driven by emotional triggers to solve a problem or make life better. So in addition to explanation, the tech products need to be humanized by selling the benefits and uniqueness of the products.

A category that I would predict another renaissance for would be the nutritional supplement category. Nutritional supplements were a much bigger category until the past administration’s creation of a much tougher regulatory climate with a litigation happy FTC. While there were some great protections for consumers, others went to far and restricted the ability for a marketer to properly present the attributes of their products within the limitations and guidelines.

Obama was known for asserting executive authority on a multitude of actions and regulations. In fact, according to a recent article in the New York Times, “the Obama administration in its first seven years finalized 560 major regulations – those classified by the Congressional Budget office as having particularly significant economic or social impacts. That was nearly 50 percent more than George W. Bush”. Advertising to consumers was one of the areas that became more highly regulated and one of the categories that got hit most was the nutritional supplement category. I would think that mood enhancement products would be particular strong in light of the malaise the country seems to be afflicted with.

The new Trump administration is promising to roll back a large variety of regulations, including those pertaining to advertising. This may be one business silver lining.

Products that are Made In the USA will have another resurgence. While in the recent past, products with this label were considered premium and pricy, consumers, regardless of political party, seem to feel favorable about products made in the USA.

With that said, lower end products manufactured in China may not fare as well as they have. Trump is threatening to place large tariffs on these imports, which will mean the price will rise and without a higher perceived value, my prediction is that this category will drop off quite dramatically.

Cannabis. That’s right. Marijuana. I predict that cannabis related products will start to emerge on the scene. With more and more states legalizing, we will start to see some regional advertising for products designed for this marketplace.

In general, my prediction is that higher price point products and services will dominate the infomercial industry and the $9.95 and $19.95 products will be harder and harder to make work.

The last category that may see a bump in advertising to consumers may be educational and instructional products from insurers or from the government. With mass confusion about health care, people will be scrambling for information no matter how it shakes out.

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DRTV Companies Are Not All Created Equal

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DRTV Companies Are Not All Created Equal

The direct response television industry is no longer in its infancy and, one could argue, there are two distinctly different sub sets of DRTV companies that have evolved in the industry.

There is the “traditional” DRTV agency, that is usually working with you in the capacity to sell one product with a premium or an upsell, usually a hard good, something that is revolutionary, remarkable, demonstrable and super cala fragalistastic. It usually has a hard offer, somewhere between $10 and $29.99. It is usually sold in two minute and one-minute TV spots. Then, if successful, will roll into stores like Bed Bath and Beyond in the As Seen On TV section.

But wait, there’s more! There is a whole other world out there with regard to DRTV companies and direct response agencies. And that is the world of: 60 and: 30 direct response TV spots generating leads for expensive products and services, continuity items or subscription offers. These spots often have “soft” offers (no price is mentioned), or trial or discount offers.

In fact, would you believe it if I told you that Avalanche has sold $5,000 plus services from sixty second DRTV campaigns? Now I sound like a snake oil salesman, but it is the truth.

Consider this. The way that media is consumed now is quite different than it was in past years. Many consumers will research what they have been exposed to from these DRTV companies and go into due diligence mode. They will look at reviews. They may do comparison-shopping. They will educate themselves about the category and options. Then, when they come back to make a purchase, they are willing to spend those big dollars on a hair restoration service, on a cosmetic procedure, on a home improvement project or on a monthly subscription to an alarm system, a nutritional supplement or a diet program.

So how do you go about weeding through the many DRTV companies out there to find the right one for your project? When searching for a direct response company to carry out your strategy, be it for a traditional hard good or generating a lead for a service, just be sure whatever company you select has a strong track record in a similar category or genre. It wouldn’t be advisable to hire a company who has only done kitchen gadgets to produce a direct response commercial for your window installation. Nor would it make sense to hire a company who has done only financial services to work with you on a DRTV production for your toenail fungus product. And while it may be tempting to hire your nephew’s friend of a friend who has never done DRTV before, there is just too much that can go wrong. Your efforts to save yourself a bundle may likely cost you three bundles.

There are plenty of great DRTV companies out there in all categories. Do your homework and you will have the best chance for success.

Check out potential companies in the resource guides published by industry trade associations, ERA (Electronic Retailer Magazine) and DRMA (Response Magazine). They both have listings by category showcasing the different DRTV companies as they may suite your unique requirements. If you are in the market to produce a long form infomercial, be sure to hire a DRTV company that has produced long form, same thing for short form. See if you can identify the categories each company has worked in. Go to their web sites and view some of their work. It is generally best to speak to at least three companies. If you schedule calls with the companies, be sure to try to speak with the actual folks that will be working on your account, not just the sales people. Part of a creative, collaborative process involves creating a working relationship. Be sure that the personalities jibe well with your own corporate culture. And be sure that whomever you want to work with has a passion for what you are marketing. It’s a tough business and without passion it’s harder to move that needle.

So now that you know the different types of direct response advertising companies out there, go find that one that is right for you and get your product or service out there in front of millions of people. Simply put, TV is still among the most persuasive and effective media channels available.

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How To Use Existing Video Assets To Increase ROI In The Digital Landscape

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How To Use Existing Video Assets To Increase ROI In The Digital Landscape?

You’ve invested an enormous amount of money and additional resources to create video assets that you’ve used successfully on TV.

Unfortunately, even with all the money, time, brain power and elbow grease invested, there’s still a very strong likely-hood that prospects who are exposed to your DRTV campaign and are even genuinely interested still won’t buy.

At least not right away that is.

Likely, they’ll first do a little homework and visit your website to check you out.

And while this is a good thing as it presents you with some great opportunities to repurpose your video for the digital landscape, if you’re not implementing some of the strategies below, you’re likely leaving a lot of revenue on the table.

According to Kissmetrics, 96% of visitors that come to your website in fact are NOT ready to buy.

Additional data shows that over 75% of visitors to your website will never return…

And if you don’t believe those stats, have a look at your own website analytics, and compare the conversion rates of new vs returning visitors. Don’t be surprised if you see a 3x conversion rate for returning visitors over new visitors.

Ok. So what now. How do you turn those new visitors into returning visitors and eventually buyers?

They’ve already seen your main DRTV campaign and clearly it was effective. But what can you do next in hopes of a 3x or more bump?

On the bright side, to counter act the info above, we can take a look at another stat that should put a big smile on your face.

According to kissmetrics, viewers of video are 64-85% more likely to convert after watching a video. BAM!!!

This is fantastic news.

So how and where can you leverage your already existing video content to work in your favor?

Here are a few ideas for alternate and additional video content to create and distribute in the digital world.

* Video that promotes specific benefits as well as benefits of the benefits
* Video that explains usage and possible precautions
* Video that showcases testimonials
* Longer versions of your content that can be consumed in smaller pieces.

Now that you’ve got this additional video content, how can you add it to your strategy to inject yourselves into the digital world?

Consider some of these ideas below.

Website landing pages – By embedding your video content on your website landing pages you’re in complete control. While adding the video is a great start, consider setting up a testing environment where you can see which videos perform better than others. You can take your testing even further by implementing an analytics strategy to see exactly where your viewers are dropping off and then customizing your video for maximum conversions based on the data revealed to you.

Youtube – Now considered one of the most important sites on the web, with over a billion users, hundreds of millions of hours of watched video per day that generate billions of views per day. This presents you with a tremendous opportunity to get your content in front of even more traffic than your current media buy in an evergreen manner. It’s important to note that you should pay close attention to your optimization of your videos based on proper research before you even upload them. It’s a massive environment where those that strategize properly will leave those that don’t in the dust.

Facebook – Reports suggest that Facebook receives 4 billion views a day and 70% of them are uploaded to Facebook directly. In addition to the massive audience on Facebook, there are several extreme benefits of promoting your video content there. For one, the opportunity for laser targeting your audience. While you can certainly choose segments based on your own ideas, you can look at facebook audience insights to gain even more info about demographics, psycho-graphics, and affinities of those you want to target in this specific environment. You also have the opportunity to target based on desktop vs mobile usage. Depending on your strategy, choosing one can be a very important consideration with regard to where your audience is showing higher conversions. And of course we can’t ignore the notion that Facebook advertising can be extremely cost effective as well. With the addition of flexible options pertaining to impressions vs clicks, you can implement a strategy that you’re comfortable with and ease into your spend.

Video distribution – While Youtube and Facebook currently dominate, there are numerous other sites that you can use to leverage your video content accross the web. If you think outside the box a bit, you’ll see you can add your video pretty much everywhere. And each corner of the web offers you access to another niche group complimenting your other efforts to get more eyes on your videos.

What else….?

How about creating uniqe video ads and serving them to website visitors that landed on your site but didn’t “buy now”?

Enter Re-targeting…

You’ve likely been exposed to re-targeting numerous times. In broad strokes without getting too technical, re-targeting is simply the process of serving custom ads to those that have already visited your website. You can (re)target visitors based on which pages they’ve landed on, what actions they’ve taken, how long ago they’ve visited, as well as various other custom rules. And often times, re-targeting can be much less expensive than a campaign designed to get that first click.

What’s so great about that?

Re-targeting has shown to increase ad response by 400%!!! (cmo.com)

How’s that bump looking now?

The opportunites to utilize your existing video content and increase your ROI in the digital landscape are endless.

Want to put some of these strategies to work for you? Contact us today.

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Direct Response Fitness Campaigns That Work…Out

How To Buff Up Your Fitness Direct Response Advertising Campaign

Creating a direct response advertising fitness campaign is a unique endeavor. As with any type of professional production there are many considerations you must take into account as you work towards creating success. But before discussing the components of a successful DRTV advertising campaign for your exercise product, it’s important to properly assess whether or not the product being sold has potential. Is there space in the market for your product? Why will people buy it? Does it fulfill a need or want? These are the questions that need to be asked and researched before you get anywhere near the infomercial production stage. If the answer to these questions is “yes” then the tips and insights below can likely help make your DRTV exercise campaign a heart thumping success.

Who Are You?

The first step is to define who you are, what challenge your product solves and who is it that will truly benefit from your product? Creating clear definitions will help you stay on course. Consider creating an Avatar of your ideal prospect. AKA, “Bob”. Ask yourself, “Who’s my Bob?” Consider various demographics, psychographics, geographics and anything else that may help you hone in on your target and stay on track. If you know the who, what, where, why and anything else with regard to your targets and goals, many of the other important aspects related to the creation of your DRTV advertising campaign will become much easier to identify and then stay on course with.

A Lone Voice In The Wilderness

Using testimonials is a powerful tactic to utilize whether you’re promoting a workout product or simply an infomercial for exercise equipment. Sharing the results a product can garnish from an actual user is much more convincing than trying to explain to your viewers how good a product is and trying to explain it to them yourself. Having a regular, normal looking person, that the audience can relate to, demonstrate a product and show what they looked like both before and after within the direct response campaign about the exercise product, is often a successful way to help you create sales as it shows the viewer that “You too can achieve results like this if you just give it a try”

It’s Okay To Be Redundant… It’s Okay To Be Redundant

The reality is, that while people are listening and paying attention to your DRTV campaign, they usually only digest a small percent of the actual dialogue being communicated. Even in a best case scenario, your audience is not listening attentively enough throughout the entire infomercial to warrant a fear of repetition of the key elements you’re seeking to communicate. By using this to your advantage you can make the most of the short time you have in front of your viewers. It’s worth noting however, that it wouldn’t be advisable to say the exact same thing using the exact same words repeatedly. Rephrase your message and vary the tonality. Varying the speed of delivery as well as the amount of pauses and duration of pauses can be effective as well. The various nuances you can include will help keep your audience “tuned in”. Regardless, if people tune out for a while they will likely still hear your key points at least once and they won’t be turned off by hearing the same thing over and over again.

Now or Never

Making the audience feel the need to take action now is important. By making your offer seem urgent you’re likely to greatly increase whatever conversion you’re seeking to get. An offer with an incentive such as call within the next 10 minutes to get some sort of bonus or if you communicate there is a limited supply available, people are more likely to take action and open up their wallets. For example, if it’s an direct response advertisement for exercise equipment, you could create and include a free exercise calendar for the first 100 buyers.

Awake The Dream

If you’re passionate or enthusiastic about your product, this can be extremely powerful and beneficial. Emotions can resonate with people far beyond a good deal. Consider ways to connect your product to your audience making them feel something. It’s worth noting that often pain and fear will be your most powerful motivators. If you can demonstrate genuine before and after insights that show how awful life was before previous buyers viewed your DRTV workout infomercial’s benefits and how great life became afterwards, this can bring out pain as well as demonstrate relief and ultimately lead to one of the most powerful tools available to humankind, which is hope. Where there is hope, there is possibility. And if your product can exude hope to those in need, you’ve got power on tap.

Shout It Out Loud

DO NOT be subtle with your call to action. This is one of the most important parts of your fitness infomercial and it should not be overlooked. Your goal is to generate as many sales possible relative to the financial investment you make. It’s extremely important that you tell your audience exactly what to do at some point within your DRTV campaign and it’s usually best practice to do so multiple times. Make it very clear that you want people to “Buy Now!”. Tell them exactly how to buy now. This means clearly communicating how you would like them to contact you, what payment methods to use and anything else they should expect from the transaction. You want to make sure that there is no confusion nor any disregard on the part of the viewers. So say it loud, say it often and say it all. They should know exactly what to do after viewing your fitness or weight loss infomercial without any questions or hesitation.

At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what product or service you’re selling. It could be a weight loss infomercial, exercise equipment or a product that has absolutely nothing to do with fitness at all; These are all considerations that can help you achieve your goals regardless of what niche you’re in.

Ava Seavey of Avalanche Creative At Direct Marketing Club of NY

Ava Seavey, founder and CEO of Top DRTV and digital shop, Avalanche Creative Services Inc, will be moderating a panel for the DMCNY (Direct Marketing Club of New York) at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. The focus will be on the latest in lead generation approaches, and feature marketing pros Deborah Holland (Executive Vice President, Publishers Clearing House Inc.), Dany Sfeir (Chief Marketing Officer, Dormeo Octaspring), and media executive Vic Golio (Executive Vice President, Chief Media). There will be two other lead generation panels at this event.

Avalanche Creative Services, Inc., does not do traditional “yell & sell” direct response, but focuses on creative, branded direct response television and digital production. Avalanche has created and executed hundreds of DRTV and web campaigns in the health & wellness, beauty, house and home, pet care, and financial categories and has generated over a billion dollars in sales.

DRTV Folks: Sometimes You Just Need to Have Fun

The life of a DRTV producer is stressful indeed. Deadlines. Airdates… Sometimes you just have to take a step back and laugh and appreciate the hard working folks who labor with you day in and day out to get it all done.  It truly takes a team to make everything needed happen.

However, if you find yourself entering into a project with a DRTV producer that isn’t bringing their “A” game, you may want to consider moving forward in an alternative manner. Everyone has their good days and bad days, but sometimes you may run into someone that you just don’t mesh with. Such is life.

If you find yourself an infomercial producer that you can work with day in, day out that can still keep it together, not only with regard to your production goals, but as well that is a pleasure to be around… you may have struck gold. If you’re finding yourself in a bind searching for this unicorn, here are a few things to consider that might help you in your exploration.

While a resume and portfolio can speak wonders, until you take some time and have a conversation with potential producers, you don’t quite know what your getting yourself into. Could be good… could be really bad. If you have the opportunity set up a call, consider setting up a Skype video call instead. You may get to know someone much better through visual communication. You may also catch a glimpse of what you might expect when in a working relationship. Whatever the vibe, don’t be afraid to ask the important questions, whatever those may be for you.

Avalanche Creative has produced some of the most successful infomercials and DRTV productions in the field. If you’re looking to step up your game, let’s set up a call and see if we’re a good fit.

 

 

 

Infomercial Production Companies in NYC

Infomercial Production Companies

Infomercial production companies that actually bring you positive results are few and far between. The bottom line with regard to finding the top infomercial companies lies within the results they can achieve and bring you a healthy return on your investments.

Here are some aspects to consider when evaluating infomercial companies to bring on as part of your team.

“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor”
Experience –While the number of years under a company’s belt certainly isn’t the only target to hit, It can’t be overlooked how important it is to work with a professional infomercial producer that has a great deal of experience. In addition to years, consider how many successfully completed jobs they have under their belt. Consider what different types of infomercial productions they’ve been involved in. While viewing the exact production you have in mind in their portfolio, be sure to look at what else they have produced to see if they’re on par with the level of professionalism you expect.

“Nothing succeeds like success”
Client history – Does the infomercial production company have a strong list of clients they’ve worked with? If your infomercial producers have been in business a long time yet have very few clients historically, it may be a sign to keep looking. Of course you may be able to garnish positive results from a newbie that’s hungry to please, but unless you’ve got very deep pockets and money to burn, it’s likely a bad idea to take too many chances on a company that has yet to prove themselves.

“Riding the pig’s back”
Historical results – If you’ve spent some time navigating the world of infomercial production companies, you may have come across some interesting stats. These can be a great resource to help you better understand the successes your potential infomercial company has achieved. Spend some time and perform your due diligence to investigate wisely. A top infomercial company will likely have a long track record of experience, a large client history and as well, be able to communicate a high standard of actual results they’ve obtained for their clients. If an infomercial production company has been able to stand the test of time amongst in such a challenging environment, you may have found your ace in the hole.

“Be spoilt for choice”
Solutions available – With advent of todays emerging technologies has come some tremendous opportunities as well. If have yet to explore the many opportunities available to you through digital & social marketing, there are some very exciting discoveries in store for you. Not only do these new paradigms offer great solutions with regard to increasing your sales and subsequent ROI, but as well, there are some great ways to utilize digital and social for testing before you even go into production. When conversing with potential infomercial companies, be sure to ask them what kind of solutions they can offer you that would work in conjunction with the traditional infomercial production you have in mind. A well rounded and well thought out digital strategy that works cohesively with your traditional drtv campaign can go a long way to increasing your results dramatically.

“Beware of Chinese whispers”
Communication – One of the most important aspects involved in any situation how well those involved are able to clearly and effectively communicate the various issues and challenges at hand. When you begin to discuss your project with infomercial production companies that have met your other criteria, be sure to pay attention to how well they are able to both listen and communicate back to you the essentials of what is being discussed. An infomercial company that fails to meet your level of communication in the early stages is likely a red flag and you should definitely proceed with caution. If poor communication is at hand in the preliminary stages, in all likelihood this is how things will continue and quite possibly become even more difficult as the challenges and stresses of a project progress through their cycle.

“Birds of a feather”
Personable Demeanor – Being surrounded by like-minded positive energy and a pleasant smile makes any road we travel in life all the better. If you sense early warning signs that you’re traveling companion maybe a challenge to work with, you may want to head the other way and seek out some better energy. What you’re about to embark on will undoubtedly be hard work and require some patience on all ends. Head the warning signs early. If you sense a dissonance, be prepared to walk the other way.

“Bet your bottom dollar”
Financial Parameters – While it’s important to partner with an infomercial production company that fits within your financial parameters, it’s very important to consider the various aspects of ROI as well. If the infomercial company you’re engaging with is able to put together solid strategies that can bring you higher performing returns on a percentage basis than a less expensive company, you’re likely better off going the more expensive route initially to garnish larger gains down the road. Simply put, if the infomercial production company can help you put more dollars in your pocket than the amount of dollars you’ve taken out, you should be in good shape. Of course you’ll want to factor in all your expenses with regard to product creation, fulfillment and distribution as well.

“The icing on the cake”
Achievements – If you’ve found an infomercial production company that meets your expectations and has a strong track record of success, congratulations. While having the above mentioned considerations in place is terrific, if you’ve come across a company that has proven track record with over a billion dollars in sales and numerous awards under their belt, look no further.

Avalanche Creative Services has separated itself from the vast pack of Infomercial Production Companies by generating over a billion dollars in sales for their clients and won numerous awards in various areas of achievement. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you increase your ROI and achieve your intended goals with your infomercial production.

Under The Weather: Mother Nature Vs Infomercial Production

Under The Weather: Mother Nature Vs Infomercial Production


Weather conditions can cause numerous challenges on production companies when it comes to shoot time. Each season has its own unique set of inherent difficulties that need to be dealt with properly in order to wrap your infomercial production in a successful manner. Here are some of the challenges you may be up against as well as some potential solutions to help you navigate through them.

Rain On Your Parade

There are many aspects of production that can be disrupted and impaired due to rain. Rain can sometimes last for days, bringing any outdoor filming that doesn’t warrant rain to a stand still. Unfortunately, even if the rain passes fairly quickly, it can still sometimes have long lasting effects with regard to your intended production. Depending on the severity of the precipitation, props and equipment as well as your set can be ruined if they aren’t properly sheltered during the rainfall. They may need to be replaced, fixed or require time to dry before filming resumes if they didn’t have proper protection, thus further impacting your production schedule and budget. It’s important to consider as well that If the ground becomes soft because of the weather, equipment may not be able to stand up or be used to its full capacity. In order to combat the challenges associated with a rainy production: consider season as it relates to the various locations you intend to shoot at. Implement a backup plan and make sure all types of rain protection are readily available. If your equipment does become exposed to the elements of mother nature, here are a few tips to bring your gear back to life. One thing that may be helpful is to have a hair dryer packed away. As long as the camera isn’t completely drenched using a hair dryer to help evaporate the water can help restore the camera faster than simply waiting with your fingers crossed. Another tip is to put the wet device in an airtight container with packets of silica gel to help absorb the moisture. And lastly, the trick using uncooked rice to dry out electronics can work wonders. Simply fill a container that’s a little bigger than your equipment with uncooked rice. Then bury your camera in it. After a few hours it should be ready for the front lines again.

Beware Of The Melting Zone

The effects of snow can be disastrous. Long lasting and easily even more inconvenient than rain (unless your setting is a winter wonderland or slushy mess of course). Snow can halt production for days and sometimes even weeks. While blocked and icy roads present safety and scheduling concerns for your crew, talent and equipment, if your infomercial is being shot outdoors you’re in for much more than a few delays. People that are traveling from areas hit hard by the storm may not be able to arrive at all. If this happens your production is then at a stand still until everyone that’s needed, or replacements for those unable to make it are found. But don’t despair. If there’s nothing but snow in your crystal ball consider having everyone that’s vital to your production stay at the same hotel or establishment close by the actual shoot location to eliminate the potential of missing team members. If you find yourself having to deal with the effects of snow and your equipment, snow is a little easier to deal with than rain, but be sure to bundle up your equipment well to protect it from the elements. If your gear takes a snow dive make sure to pick it up by the strap so you don’t accidently compress the snow and create further challenges. You do not want the snow to melt. So once you’ve retrieved it, take a cold glove and wipe off the snow gently.

Nothing Burns Like The Cold

Even if there’s no snow throughout shooting during the cold weather months, low temperatures can be just as harmful and sometimes even more so than the snow. Proper precautions should always be taken to prepare for cold weather outdoor filming. The good part of single digit degrees versus snow is that the show can usually still go on. However, in order to continue your infomercial production outside, you must be prepared with protection for your entire team as well as all of your resources and equipment. Expenses are also a huge concern, such as purchasing extra gear to combat the freezing air or even implementing remote or additional heating sources . Postponing your shoot may not be an option as it can be incredibly costly and often disrupt a tight schedule. Being well prepared to handle the frigid environment is not only beneficial to everyone likely to endure the weather but proper preparation will also help ensure you’re able to complete the goals at hand. A few simple things that may make a huge difference would be having items like: blankets, extra gloves and socks, hot beverages and even tents for protection to keep everyone and everything warm on the set. Having all these precautions in place can make a tremendous difference between having the shoot run smoothly or become an awful experience for all involved.

TWISTERS, HURRICANES & TROPICAL STORMS, OH MY!

Extreme weather such as hurricanes, tornadoes and tropical storms are obviously much more rare of an occasion than any other weather conditions you’ll likely face. Hopefully you’ll have enough warning and the sense to avoid these situations all together. However, should you find yourself in the path of a hurricane or tornado while in production, the damage and danger you’ll likely be up against will be tremendous. Without dwelling on the obvious tragedies that can come about, everything you may have planned can likely take weeks, months or even years to come back to any sort of normalcy. With this in mind, always evaluate properly what type of weather you may be facing when planning your infomercial production. If a certain geographic area is prone to such catastrophes, consider looking for an alternative location right from the start. For instance, if you have an upcoming shoot scheduled to take place during hurricane season that needs to be on a beach, you should likely stay away from the entire south-east of the U.S.. Regardless of what you have in mind for your upcoming production, consider having a look at some weather websites and look beyond the forecast to examine the history of the weather for that particular locale during your upcoming production schedule.

BEAT THE HEAT

While the hotter months tend to be much more pleasant than colder months, your production still needs to be prepared for the challenges that extreme hot weather can put before you. To combat potential high temperatures, your production should be prepared with plenty of water on hand and you should pay close attention to make sure that breaks are taken on a regular basis and possibly more so than usual. Breaks are beneficial to not only the crew but as well to cool down any equipment that may run hot and potentially ware down. Whether it be your equipment, cast or crew, too much heat can be detrimental to your efforts. In addition to heat exhaustion and dehydration, extra make-up, touch ups, costume changes, and various adjustments may be in order to make sure your infomercial production stays on course. Even if the shooting is indoors, it’s critical the establishment has properly functioning air conditioning and enough power or the shoot may be in for some trouble. Backup generators may wind up being lifesavers to help keep your production on schedule and your budget in line. The extra investments ahead of time can wind up saving you a great deal more than the expenditures.

Even though there are many different weather related obstacles production companies might face, if proper precautions and planning are taken into account, you can certainly shoot your production nearly anywhere at anytime. Nothing should stop you from saying “ACTION!”.

Welcome to our DRTV Summer Hot Topic

A lot of you probably heard about Dr. Oz coming under fire from Congress for endorsing products and supplements that were “miracle cures”. He did have to admit that some of these things wee not substantiated with clinicals and that he didn’t have viable proof that some of these things really did what they said they were going to do. And since he carries a lot of weight as a doctor, Congress was very disturbed. Does this mean that we have to alter what we are doing as far as the nutritional supplement side of DRTV? Absolutely not. There’s ways you can protect yourself and do great effective DRTV supplement advertising. First make sure you have a great FTC attorney who knows the ins and outs of all the regulations. Secondly, try to work on products that do have clinicals; at least two double-blind clinicals. And three,: work with a company that has this particular expertise. If someone’s great at doing a kitchen gadget they might not necessarily know how to do a nutritional supplement. There’s a lot of great producers in the country that have a pretty good track record. In fact we’ve had a very successful year in terms of nutritional supplements, so I know that you can get around these issues, that you can be successful, and if you’re compliant and working on great products you can have major success. So, Happy Fourth of July and see you for the next Hot Topic!