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Direct Response Advertising & Infomercial Production

DR Advertising & Infomercial Production

Archive for DRTV – Page 3

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!

Protected: Brand Advertising Vs Direct Response Advertising

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What does the most recent FTC crackdown mean for DRTV marketers?

As the FTC gets more fuel to pummel marketers,   it is evident that we need to be smarter than ever about how we are creatively presenting the products and services we are marketing. The renewed fervor this administration has manifested in vilifying advertisers, not only in DRTV and on the web, but brand advertisers as well, should be a BIG WAKE UP CALL to our entire industry to get smarter about how we are positioning products and services and the strategies behind them to differentiate, motivate and make a case for purchasing.

As profit margins slide, consumers become more wary and the regulatory environment tightens, we must and  will find ways to market all the great and innovative products and services that will help improve consumer’s lives, yet still walk the compliancy line.

I sure am hoping that these important issues are being addressed aggressively by our trade associations, but we, as marketers and producers, need to find new and better ways of communicating product benefits  both visually and verbally and in every type of media and feel a safety net below us.

I don’t know about you, but walking the tight rope in high heels is sure getting tiresome for me!  What are your thoughts? Let’s open a dialogue. The article below explains the recent FTC actions.

New Venture Seeks to Make DRTV Products More Like Impulse Buys

The TVGoods website with CEO Kevin Harrington.

Direct-response marketer TVGoods, fresh off last week’s acquisition of direct-response megasite AsSeenonTV.com, is partnering with Delivery Agent to launch a system that later this year will let people in 20 million U.S. households buy products pitched on infomercials with a click of their TV remotes, without having to head to their computers or deal with telephone operators standing by.

In some cases, they’ll also be able to buy stuff they see on regular programming — say the sweater a character on a TV show is wearing — the same way as when they get a pitch to do so via ads overlaid on the bottom third of their screens.

The media seems to focus on the negative side of DRTV

Why does the media latch onto the dark side of infomercials and how they can be misleading, when the majority of infomercials out there are on the up-and-up and not “bottom feeders” described in sensationalized news shows? At a time when the economy is stifling, and media rates are rising, we need to support and encourage marketers and entrepreneurs to keep creating new, inventive and unique products and services that US consumers want to hear about. With all the crooks on Wall Street, why can’t the media leave hard working entrepreneurs alone?

There are many examples of how infomercials and other DRTV outreach can help both businesses and consumers and they are not sleazy or scammy. Doing legitimate infomercials are still a great way for the entrepreneurs of the world to get their products seen by millions of viewers and get the phones ringing to purchase their products!

We at Avalanche are tired of our industry being trashed and ridiculed. Please join us in providing some success stories of your own that we can take to the media to combat the negativity. Leave comments here to contribute!

Infomercials: Imitate or Innovate?

Infomercials. Direct Response Television. ROI TV. What ever you call it, the world is changing and infomercials must change with it. Media rates are up, call centers are having tougher times closing sales, consumers are bombarded with negative media reports about infomercial products. Attention spans are decreasing. Discretionary income is becoming more and more scrutinized. What is a marketer to do? It is shocking to me how many marketers want to imitate what other direct response marketers have done. Not only is this a poor tactic, it will likely confuse the public with your competitors. Why not stand out? Be different. Give the consumer something to latch onto. What is in it for them. Inform. Entertain. Educate. Sell!!!!! Package your offerings differently than everyone else. Look at Lady Gaga. Why is she such a phenomenon? It’s largely her packaging. Like her or not, she gets noticed. So why hide from view? Get noticed. Take risk. Stand out. Be different. Innovate. Don’t imitate.

Don’t give up advertising just because one media doesn’t work

Infomerical advertising. What has become of it? Why is there a lack of new advertisers coming to the fold? Could it be that there is currently a problem with short form DRTV? Call centers. Media rates. Fresh creative ideas. Yes. These are all problems. Serious problems. What are marketers to do? Give up? NO!!!!!! Short form DRTV marketers need to try other options. Radio. Print. Digital. Mobile. Longer format TV. If you have a great product, you need to find your audience even if it’s a smaller niche , they are certainly somewhere. We have many challenges facing our industry today. We need to focus on solutions. We, at Avalanche, have been thinking out of the box for our clients for 10 years in whatever media makes sense – from guerilla tactics to more mainstream. If one way does not work, try another and another. We all need the brilliant entrepreneurs that come up with all the great product ideas. We are here for you to try to help make you money and let consumers know about your great products. Don’t give up! Just try something different. It certainly has not helped that the media has been attacking the infomercial industry lately. Why don’t they go after the criminals on Wall Street and leave the entrepreneurs alone! Main Street needs a voice. Let that voice be the innovative products and services that need to be brought to market in rational, cost effective and creative ways.