Direct response television or DRTV is not a new form of television advertising; it has, in fact, been around for a few decades. DRTV basically is TV commercial but with an 800 number that consumers can directly contact while the commercial is being aired. It’s a TV advertisement that lasts longer than the usual 30 or 60 seconds, with the aim of providing comprehensive information on the product or service being advertised.
DRTVs are best suited for new products or services – the kind that have not yet been introduced to the retail market – such as a battery-operated split end trimmer, vacuum-sealed clothes bags, flatulence odor-absorbing blankets, boyfriend-arm shaped pillows, and oscillating barbells. These products are usually newly-invented and patented, and most of the time comical. They are often sold first on television through DRTVs that typically last for 2 minutes or for 20-30 minutes depending on the preference of the product or service producer.
DRTVs are more complicated than regular TV ads and infomercials, whose only requirements are the services of an advertising agency, a media planning agency and a production outfit. On the other hand, successfully launching and managing a DRTV would require a solid sort of machinery that covers production, media buying, call center support, order processing and freight management, to mention the basics.
Because of the difficulty in managing the entire DRTV production and management, many video and multi-media companies expand to provide all necessary services for DRTV production and management. This makes the whole process easier for the producers as all tasks can be centralized into one service, which is in turn more profitable for the production company.
While the actual DRTV production process should be easy enough, as they are most of the time low-budget, focusing more on giving information than on visual appeal, it’s the whole management and follow-through system that’s tricky. A team of people – a call center or a pool of customer service agents – is required every time the ads air for order processing.
The use of DRTVs is still considered very effective for retail-virgin products. DRTV production allows their consumers to react directly and quickly to the products being advertised, which in turn gives producers real-time knowledge of their business’ profitability.
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