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By Jim McNamara
Reprinted from Response Magazine

There’s no question that infomercials are new, hot and effective. But there are a lot of reasons you might want to consider a DRTV short-form infomercial or spot campaign before you take the plunge into that half-hour. Namely:

Faster & cheaper to make.
Making an infomercial typically costs at least $100,000 and takes 3 months or more of hard work.

But you could make a DRTV commercial for about 1/4th of that. Your spot marketing program could be up and running in 4 weeks, before you’d even start filming your half-hour.

Put fewer eggs in one basket.
If you had $100,000 to gamble with, would you sink it into one infomercial or 4 DRTV spots?

A lot of shrewd marketers say that spots are the better bet, since they can try 4 different products with spots for the price of one single product in an infomercial.

Other marketers feel that a small investment in a spot is a good way to test the waters for products they intend to later try in the longer format.

Avoid “infomercial stigma”.
Say the word “infomercial” and a lot of people think of cheesy gadgets, hard-sell pitchmen and has-been celebrities.

But tell your CEO you’re doing a commercial and, well, you might just get invited for golf.

Some advertisers and brand managers would never consider lowering their product to the level of the half-hour. But they might consider a spot.   

Shorter and sweeter.
Because a spot is so short compared to a show, it’s often a tighter, stronger, better presentation of your sales message.

If a viewer is going to tune in at random to only a minute or two of what you have to say, you’d rather they see your commercial, not your show.

That way you know they’re getting your very best sales presentation, instead of, say, that beautiful-but-obscure dance sequence in your infomercial (which you never liked anyway).

Jim McNamara is a proven writer-producer for DRTV, internet, print, and interactive projects. He can be reached at or at 818-425-6441.


Reach more of the market.
A lot of people never see an infomercial, since long form tends to run only in late night or weekend time periods.

But everybody sees commercials. DRTV runs on stations and in time periods where you’d never see an infomercial—even prime time.

It’s generally a better way to build an image and brand name in a marketplace.

Scene from a skin care infomercial

A scene from a skin care infomercial

Better retail support.
For nearly 50 years, a TV spot campaign has been the proven way to support retail distribution.

Whether you’re the Gillette Company launching a new razor or an entrepreneur with a new kind of windshield wiper, there’s nothing like the power of a good TV commercial repeated over and over again to drive sales in stores.

Your DRTV spot can not only make immediate sales every time it plays. It can also make people pick up your product the next time they’re at the K-Mart.


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