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Infomercials: The more you tell, the more you sell

With an estimated 0.2% of the total TV market revenue, long-form TV (or infomercials) makes up only a small amount of the total TV landscape.

But this doesn’t mean they should be ignored – Used mainly by retailers, they can provide a useful entry point for many advertisers as the price point is very low and the longer airtime allows for an additional sell, especially if the product is complex in nature.

As an added bonus the commercial can also sit in the background as the sale continues increasing conversion.

So, what is available?

  • Mainly 28.5 or 30 min slots, but some 12 min slots are available.
  • A full range of commercial stations take infomercials including ITV Be, 2, 3, 4, Channel 4 and 5, Dave, Alibi as well as many others.
  • A range of different day parts although midnight through to 9am is most prevalent.

What’s the catch?

  • The ad can be quite complex to put together meaning extra work to organise the content, layout and general story of the ad.
  • The creative lead times are longer with copy required around two weeks before launch. Changes to the creative mid-campaign can also take up to two weeks to be completed.
  • Unlike short-form ads, Clear cast charge of around £750 to assess and pass long-form ads
  • Because of the longer time length, measurement is possible but more complex than short form.
  • Call centres may need to be ready for variable call volumes throughout the day

Any other pluses?

  • Deadlines are shorter vs AB deadlines for short-form advertising although more in line with our deadlines at around 6 weeks before airing.
  • Scaling of budgetary spends is possible just like short form: moving from smaller retail stations to bigger stations like Channel 4 and 5 can increase the budgets required massively but allow for low weight testing to be carried out.

All Response Media viewpoint

If you have a product to sell and feel it could need longer than 90 secs to sell, then it may be worth thinking about long-form infomercials.

Give yourself plenty of time to get it right and start small so that optimisations can be made over many months including the back-end processes like telephony and web conversion that can make or break the campaign.

With careful preparation, long-form TV could provide a smart way to sell your product even if you’ve had little success elsewhere.