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Direct Response Advertising & Infomercial Production

DR Advertising & Infomercial Production


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By Ava Seavey, Queen Bee, Avalanche Creative Service, Inc.

As both network and cable TV viewership continue to decline, and market fragmentation becomes an ever-evolving conundrum, how has all of this impacted the infomercial marketplace? A lot.

So what is a marketer to do who has a complex product or service, an expensive price point or a continuity item? The dilemma had always been choosing between executing a two-minute spot or a half hour. Well, not any more. Enter the five-minute infomercial, the perfect hybrid of long and short form, with many of the advantages of both and few of the drawbacks.

Five-minute infomercials, also called mini mercials, mid form spots, medium length spots, have been around since at least 1997. In the early days, there was a more limited amount of stations and day parts that fives were available on.

Now, these mini mercials air on over 60 national cable stations in almost every day part.

A few years back, the average time a viewer would spend watching an infomercial was eight minutes. Today, it is down to five minutes, making the five minute format an information packed, muscular feat of marketing perfection for this You Tube generation of viewers.

The beauty of this hard working and mighty format is that the response rates greatly out perform two-minute commercials and the close rates are more consistent with half hours.

The mini mercials don’t need the same disclosures as long form and don’t need to be close captioned. In that sense, they fall more into the short form category, yet packing the information punch of a long form infomercial.

Another advantage to the five-minute format is that they can be created from scratch as originals, expansions of two-minute formats, or cut-downs of long forms. Any existing assets that the marketer currently has can be evaluated for use in a five-minute show.

Since 2008 when Avalanche produced their first five-minute show, we have seen some of the lowest cost per calls and highest close rates ever. And this mighty format is huge for differentiation of a brand as a stand-alone format.

Five minute shows work well for categories including nutritional supplements, beauty, personal care, surgical, not for profit, diet, fitness, bedding, housewares and more.

So the next time you are grappling with deciding between long and short form, consider the mighty might five minute. You’ll be glad you did.

If you’d like to learn more, please have a look at the Masters Series video below from the ERA September 2016 D2C Convention I took part in.

Ava Seavey is president of Avalanche Creative Services, Inc., a creative shop that produces long, short and midform drtv, radio, print and digital advertising. Ava celebrated 25 years in the drtv industry in 2015.


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