infomercial drtv
Any successful infomercial campaign starts with a well produced show. Infomercial DRTV outlines the key steps in the infomercial production process. Infomercial DRTV takes you through the infomercial production process from budgeting, to scripting, through editing. Infomercial marketers can utilize this information about the infomercial production process as a guide to producing a successful infomercial.
Please select a letter to skip to that part of the glossary.
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  • Adjacency: infomercial time purchased next to a specific program that targets the marketer's target audience.
  • Advertiser: a marketer is a company that manufactures/invents products then runs an infomercial campaign to generate product sales.
  • Affidavit: this is a legal document that television stations provide to ad agencies confirming that infomercials ran and the specific times they ran and the cost of those airings.
  • Airing: Refers to the broadcast of an infomercial during a certain time period.
  • Airtime: the time slots a station has available for infomercial placements.
  • Analysis: (a) After orders are sourced to their prospective airings, reports are generated in many formats to determine the financial outcome of individual airings. Follow up action includes determining budgets, rebooking and emulating profitable airings and canceling airings that are loosing money. (b) What one needs before entering the DRTV arena.
  • Avail: An infomercial or spot time period available for purchase.
  • Average Audience (AA): The term as defined by Nielsen refers to the number of homes that are tuned into a TV show for an average minute.
  • Average Take: This refers to the average number of orders a consumer will make when they are enrolled in a continuity type program.
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  • Back-End Sales: This refers to purchases that occur after an initial DRTV infomercial sale. These sales are typically from upsells, cross sells, continuity programs and clubs.
  • Bad Debt: outstanding debt unpaid by consumers who purchased a product through an infomercial.
  • Billboard: the segment of an infomercial that outlines the specific offer and related items such as price, 800 number, shipping and handling, etc.
  • Bonus Item: an extra item added to the offer if the consumer calls now to buy a product through an infomercial.
  • Border Market: markets where the television signal reaches into Canada. These include northern TV markets that border Canada.
  • Branding: Also known as building brand. A major wish by the advertiser is that the consumer thinks of THEIR product or name when making a buying decision.
  • Break Even: Calculated in CPO or Ratio. Revenues that must be generated by sales in order to recapture the hard cost of product, merchant charge, telemarketing, shipping, handling, customer service, administration, royalties and returns.
  • Broadcast Month: The television industry divides the year into twelve broadcast months. Broadcast months are generally different from the calendar months. Each Broadcast month commences on a Monday and ends on a Sunday.
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  • Call Center: An infomercial call center is a place staff by telemarketers that answers inbound, or places outbound telephone calls.
  • Call To Action: see CTA below.
  • Campaign: Refers to an entire advertising program, including the planning and execution of both the production and media buys.
  • Card Issuer: The financial institution or bank that sets up a line of credit with a credit cardholder and issues the credit card used to purchase infomercial products.
  • Channel surfing: Involves the use of the remote control by the viewers to review several channels prior to selecting a channel to watch.
  • Chargeback: When the cardholder dispute's a charge with the bank that issued their credit card. After the customer requests a chargeback their bank informs the merchant's bank, then the merchant can dispute the charge prior to the credit card holder's bank initiating a debit against the merchant's account.
  • Composition: This refers to the demographics of the viewing audience.
  • Continuity: Offers having the potential for continued sales, such as ingestibles or skin care, can be set up for "auto-ship" and payment on regular intervals that can be established on the initial inbound call or later with an outbound call. The income potential of this avenue should never be overlooked.
  • Contract: An agreement between an agency and a station that reserves a particular time period for the agency's use, usually from three months (1 quarter) to a year in length.
  • Copy: Refers to the choice of words developed by a scriptwriter for an infomercial.
  • Cost of Goods: Direct costs connected with the manufacturing of an infomercial product.
  • Cost Per Inquiry (CPI): This is calculated by dividing the cost of media by the number of inquiries received (for example: a $1000 airing divided by 100 inquiries [people that call for a brochure or additional information] equals a $10 CPI).
  • Cost Per Lead (CPL): Same as CPI.
  • Cost Per Order (CPO): This is calculated by dividing the cost of media by the number of orders received (for example: $1000 airing divided by 20 orders equals a $50 CPO).
  • Cost Per Point (CPP): Defined as the cost of one household or demographic rating point in a market.
  • Cost Per Thousand (CPM): This is a measure used to determine the cost efficiency of various media types. It refers to the cost to deliver 1000 persons or households. CPM is calculated by dividing the media cost by the audience delivery then multiplying the quotient by 1000.
  • Creative: Describes the conceptual and scripting development stages of the production process.
  • Cross-Sell: When a direct marketer offers his customers (or targeted database) the opportunity to buy another product, typically as an outbound effort.
  • Customer Service: A term used to describe the customer care personal that handles consumer questions, returns, shipping and payment issues.
  • CTA: Call To Action: used throughout the commercial to implore the consumer to "call now" or "buy now."
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  • Daypart: Refers to various multiple hour segments of a broadcast day:
  • Early Morning6a-9a
    Early Fringe4p-6p
    Early News6p-7p
    Prime Access7p-8p
    Prime 8p-11p
    Late News11p-11:30p
    Late Fringe11:30p-1a
    Late Night1a-6a

  • Decline: When a credit card charge cannot be authorized typically because of insufficient funds, the card has passed its expiration date, a report of a stolen card.
  • Direct Marketer: A terms that refers to a company that owns, develops and markets a product through an infomercial campaign.
  • Discount Buyers Club: There are several companies that have assembled a variety of special offers, packages and discounts in a number of categories that are only offered to those who subscribe to a year of membership. It is structured in such a way that the members save enough money over the course of their membership to justify the annual fee. Typically offered as an upsell or outbound offer, the direct marketer is compensated each time the offer is read to the prospective buyer. This is a proven, no-hassle way to increase revenues.
  • DMA: Designated Market Area: TV market area defined by Nielsen.
  • Direct response marketing: A method of marketing where products are sold directly to consumers through DRTV, radio print or online marketing programs.
  • DRTV: DRTV is an abbreviation of Direct Response Television. DRTV marketing involves utilizing infomercials or short form commercials to motivate consumers to respond directly to the direct marketer's product or service offer.
  • Drop Shipping: TV shopping channels typically utilizes this method of product fulfillment. This process involves distributing products at multiple fulfillment centers around the country.
  • Direct Response Media Buying Agency: A firm that plans and buys for infomercial campaigns for a direct response marketer. Direct response media buying firms typically also provide clients with, trafficking, reporting, tracking and campaign optimization services as part of their services.
  • Driving Retail: This term refers to using an infomercial or DRTV to drive sales at the retail level. Retail sales for a successful infomercial campaign are often 5-10 times the DRTV sales, since only about one out of five consumers purchase infomercial products through DRTV.
  • Dub: The tape on which the infomercial/spot is recorded and sent to the station. Sizes range from: 1", 3/4", 1/2"; VHS or Beta.
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  • Electronic Check: This is a method of payment where the consumer authorizes the marketer to deduct an approved amount from their bank checking account. This type of transaction is typically completed by phone.
  • Encode: A "code" is embedded into the master tape, which is picked up during it's airing by a monitoring service and downloaded to our order response department. Since direct response short form runs in broad rations, as opposed to specific half hours like long form, encoding increases the accuracy of media reporting.
  • ERA: The Electronic Retailing Association is the industry trade organization for direct response marketers and associated vendors.
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  • Feasibility (informal): Initial review of your prospective DRTV project to determine if it meets basic DRTV success criteria.
  • Feasibility Study (formal): An in depth compilation of all available sales and marketing information on competitive or similar products to that you plan on bringing to market.
  • Fire sale: last minute avail purchased at a rate much lower than the normal rate (50% or more).
  • First Right of Refusal: an agreement granting an agency the right to renew or not renew a contract.
  • Focus Group (informal): Our brutally honest in house DR professional's gather to evaluate feasibility, scripts, creative, or offer. Used most frequently to collect suggestions geared to increasing overall response. This service is typically free, or offered at a nominal fee. Try it.
  • Focus Group (formal): Groups of people who most closely resemble your target demographic are gathered in 2-3 cities across the country and offer their input on how they perceive your product and what you will need to do for them to embrace your project. They typically offer qualitative insights that can make the difference between a roaring success and obscurity.
  • Frequency: This is a measurement of the average number of times an audience is exposed an advertisement.
  • Fulfillment Company: A firm that fulfills orders for an infomercial marketer.
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Government organization that regulates advertising and trade practices.
  • Fulfillment: Includes the packaging, storage, labeling, shipping and tracking processes involved in fulfilling orders for an infomercial campaign.
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  • Gross Impressions: This refers to the total audiences from all the advertising mediums that comprise a media plan.
  • Gross Media Billings: The media costs, including the standard media agency fee of 15%, that TV stations and cable networks or agency's charge for the placement of infomercial media.
  • Gross Rating Points (GRPS): Refers to the total gross weight delivered by an advertising medium. Reach x frequency = GRPs.
  • Gross Profit: Calculated by subtracting the Cost of Goods from the retail price.
  • Gross Profit Margin: This is determined by dividing a product's gross profit by its retail price.
  • Guarantee: an agreement between an agency and a station where the station promises to deliver a predetermined CPO or ratio, then airs as often as needed to reach the promised payout.
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  • Home Shopping Networks: Refers to 24-hour home shopping channel, including QVC, HSN and Shop NBC, among others.
  • Households Using TV (HUT): Nielsen defines HUT as the total number of TV households using television during a certain time period.
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  • IMS: Infomercial Monitoring Service, Inc. A media reporting service that ranks the leading infomercials and spots, based on the number of direct response infomercials and spots aired weekly on monitored national cable networks.
  • Infomercial Prime Time: the most sought after times for infomercials to air: Sat & Sun 8am-12pm.
  • Inbound Script: This is also referred to as a telemarketing script, which is read by the inbound operators when customers call to order an infomercial product.
  • Inbound Telemarketing: The process of handling the inbound calls from infomercial viewers seeking to order a product sold through an infomercial.
  • Independent Broadcast Station: this term refers to a broadcast TV station that is not affiliated with a TV network such as CBS, ABC, Fox, NBC, WB, ION, CW, myTV, Telemundo and Univision.
  • Infomercial: A television commercial that is typically 28 minutes and 30 seconds in length.
  • Inquiry: A term used to describe a telephone call from a prospect responding to an infomercial that does not result in a completed order.
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  • Just-In-Time Delivery: This is a process where products and inventory are shipped so that they are received only when needed, in order to minimize warehouse costs.
  • Jordan Whitney: Publishers of the DRTV Report "The JW Greensheet," ranking the top ten infomercials and direct response spots.
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  • Knock-Off: Refers to a similar product that is developed and marketed following the success of another infomercial product.
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  • Lead Generation: A type of direct response campaign where the prospect calls an 800 number to request more information about a product or service. It's also referred to as a two-step offer. The inbound operator typically captures the prospect's contact information and then the marketer sends the prospect some type of free information, such as a product brochure, DVD, etc. Some lead generation campaigns involve trying to book the prospect into an appointment or consultation, depending upon the type of product or service that is being marketed.
  • Lead-In: The program that precedes a time period.
  • Lead-Out: The program that follows a time period.
  • Local Cable: Refers to local cable systems throughout the country where infomercial time can be purchased on 11,000 individual systems.
  • Logistics Management: The process that involves negotiating with various carriers to help organize packaging and shipping in order to reduce freight costs.
  • Long Form: A 30-minute infomercial. This is one of the two formats for direct response television marketing.
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  • Makegood: A time period offered by a station at reduced or no cost to make up for poor past performance, station error, or other time period that is not available or been preempted.
  • Market: Refers to specific geographic areas surrounding cities that TV advertising reaches.
  • Mark-up: This is a ratio that is calculated by dividing a product's retail price by the cost of goods. A 5:1 mark up is recommended for most products marketed through an infomercial or DRTV campaign.
  • Master: The final, finished version of an infomercial or DRTV spot.
  • Master Dub: This refers to the copy of the master tape. This copy is used for editing in the 800 numbers that are used to track infomercial performance by station/networks.
  • Media: Defined as the infomercial or short form DRTV time that is sold by stations or networks.
  • Media Analyst: A person at a media buying firm that reviews profitability reports and makes recommendations regarding future media purchases based on the performance of specific airings, stations, networks and dayparts. This individual is also responsible for spotting trends and helping to analyze, track and report results that allow media buyers to optimize infomercial campaign performance.
  • Media Buy: DRTV, radio, online or print media purchased to advertise a product or service to potential customers.
  • Media Buying Agency: An agency that specializes in the purchase, analysis, tracking and optimization of DRTV or infomercial campaigns.
  • Media Efficiency Ratio: Also referred to as MER. This is a ratio that is calculated by dividing infomercial sales by the media cost. The MER typically is calculated for each infomercial airing and for the overall campaign. This provides infomercial marketers with a method of tracking the profitability of their campaign.
  • Media Time: Advertising inventory available for marketers to purchase on TV stations or networks.
  • Merchant Account: In the case of DRTV, the processor that handles telephone credit card orders. Merchant accounts are not created equal.
  • Multiple Payments: This is a marketing technique typically utilized for making higher price point items more affordable. It involves breaking the payment into several payments that are charged to the consumer's credit card over the course of several months.
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  • N/A: Not available, an indication that a time period has already been sold or taken for regular programming or cannot be sold at a particular rate and is not available for resale.
  • National Cable Networks: Refers to over 100 networks that transmit programming to thousands of cable systems throughout the U.S. National cable advertising has been an excellent media vehicle for DRTV advertisers.
  • Net Media Billings: Defined as the media charges billed to an infomercial marketer by a broadcast channel or cable or satellite network excluding the agency fees.
  • Nielsen Week: Thursday through Wednesday.
  • No charge: Refers to free bonus airings offered by a station or networks to infomercial buyers because of a mistake or to reward the agency/buyers for volume of purchases made with the station or network.
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  • Offer: (a) an attempt to purchase a time period usually at lower than asking price; (b) what the consumer gets and how much they pay by "calling now" is also referred to as "the offer."
  • On-camera: Items or persons within the field of view of a TV camera.
  • One-Step Offer: This is an offer where the viewer is encouraged to call an 800 number or go to a website now to purchase an infomercial product.
  • One-Time-Only: This is refers to an infomercial time slot that is sold for one airing and is not available on an ongoing basis.
  • 120's and 60's: This is the typical length of short form DRTV spots. Often :60 spots are employed for lead generation campaigns and a combination of :120's and :60's are utilized for DRTV campaigns marketing/selling products.
  • Orders: Defined as calls to a telemarketer or visits to a website that result in the purchase of a product advertised by an infomercial marketer.
  • Order Response: The department that is responsible for locating the source (station) of each order and inputting that information into the computer database.
  • Outbound Telemarketing: Either the direct marketer's in house telephone sales force, or a trained outsourced service provider, makes calls to their own, or rented targeted database. Typically for the purpose of introducing other products (cross selling), or offering the opportunity to join a club, it can be used for a variety of revenue generating or customer relation purposes.
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  • Package: A group of time periods that could not have been purchased separately.
  • Payment Processing: Refers to the processing, verification and authentication of credit and debit card transactions in a secure environment.
  • P/I : (per inquiry) An agreement between an agency and a station where the station agrees to charge for a single time period based on the number of orders received after the airing.
  • Persons Using TV (PUT): The percentage of all the persons viewing television during a certain time in a specific geographic area.
  • Post Production: Following an infomercial or DRTV spot shoot, it's the process involved in editing the various components, including film or video, graphics and audio into a finished commercial or infomercial.
  • Pre-empt / pre-emption: when a time period is re-sold to another agency usually at a higher rate, or taken back by the stations programming department or network.
  • Pre-production: The stage of the infomercial production process that involves planning for the shoot. This typically includes researching testimonials, talent, scheduling, determining locations, developing sets, planning for before and after photos, etc.
  • Price point: The cost of the offer or product to the consumer.
  • Producer: Refers to the individual who oversees, manages and executes an infomercial production.
  • Production company: A company involved in shooting, producing and editing DRTV commercials.
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  • Quarters: there are 4 quarters that comprise the broadcast year. 1st quarter runs from January to March, 2nd Quarter runs from April to June, 3rd Quarter runs from July to September, and 4th Quarter runs October through December. Each has it's own viewer characteristic which is reflected in media rates.
  • QVC: This is the largest live home shopping network.
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  • Rate: Price paid for a time period.
  • Rate card: The published asking prices for a station's time periods, usually higher that what the time actually sells for.
  • Rating: A broadcast rating is an estimate of the audience that has viewed a program or tuned in during a specific time period.
  • Ratio: Gross sales divided by cost of media (for example: if you bought $1,000 in media and received 20 orders which yielded $2,500 in revenue, $2,500 divided by $1,000 equals a 2.5 to 1 Ratio).
  • Reach: This refers to the total audience that is exposed to a particular advertisement at least once over a certain timeframe.
  • Reps: Rep firm: a company that, under contract, represents stations from around the country with the intent of selling the station's advertising for a predetermined commission.
  • Response: Defined as the results generated from an infomercial or DRTV campaign.
  • Retail price: The price advertised in an infomercial offer.
  • Returns: Refers to the dollar amount of products returned for a refund by consumers to an infomercial or DRTV marketer.
  • Roll-out: Following a successful media test, this is when a media campaign is expanded to stations and networks throughout the country. During this phase of the campaign media spending is increased, while maintaining a profitable ROI.
  • Run of Station: Also referred to as ROS, typically involves a short form DRTV campaign where media time is sold to a direct marketer at a discounted rate because their spots can be pre-empted by general advertisers paying higher rates and inserted during broader time periods, such as 9:00 am to noon.
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  • Save-the-Sale: When a call center agent tries to deal with a customer complaint and restores confidence in the customer's purchase decision, to help avoid the consumer returning the product.
  • Share: This is a measurement of the audience for a TV show as a percentage of all households using TV during the time the show is broadcast.
  • Short Form DRTV: Refers to one or two-minute direct response television spots.
  • SKU: This abbreviation stand for Stock Keeping Unit. It refers to a unique, numerical description assigned to each and every product in a marketer's inventory.
  • Source: In order to run the reports necessary to do media analysis, responses generated by a spot or infomercial must be "sourced" or associated with the airing that generated the response. Since our reports are only as accurate as the information we get from the inbound call center, it is important to use a call center that has to capability to capture the 800 number, time of the call and zip code. If the inbound information is inadequate the accuracy of the reports will be compromised. Also see "encoding."
  • Spokesperson: A host or main figure in an infomercial or DRTV commercial, usually a product inventor/developer or a celebrity. Spokespersons provide credibility to a product or service through their reputation.
  • Spot: Generally refers to a shorter length commercial equal to 60 seconds or under.
  • Submaster: A compilation of audio and video footage that will be utilized in the master copy of an infomercial or short form DRTV commercial.
  • Super: Refers to various visual elements and text copy that is inserted into a DRTV commercial or infomercial.
  • Sweeps: Four times a year (in February, March, July, and November) Nielsen Media Research conducts its "sweeps." This is where Nielsen measures audience viewership for stations and syndication programs across America.
  • Syndicated Program: A method of distributing a TV program on a market-by-market basis rather than on a national network basis.
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  • Telemarketing: The process of using the telephone to make or receive calls and close sales for DRTV marketers.
  • Test: The first media run of any new creative. Primary objective of a test is to determine the overall strength of the creative in terms of response. Testing also determines the best offer configurations, price points and telemarketing scripts. Also refers to a spot or infomercial running in a new time period.
  • Tracking Numbers: These are numbers that are utilized by a call center and/or shipping service to trace the location of an ordered product when a customer inquires about the delivery status.
  • Traffic: department responsible for generating orders to tape duplication houses for creation and shipment of tapes to stations.
  • Transaction Fees: A fee charged by credit card processors for each customer order.
  • Two-Step Offer: Also referred to as a lead generator, where the prospect calls an 800 number to request more information about a product or service.
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  • Upsell: Once the inbound caller has placed the order, the telemarketer can offer the consumer additional opportunities to buy. This is called "upselling" the caller. A typical upsell is a related or companion product, express shipping or priority handling, additional units at a lower price or a discount buying club, to name a few. Upsells are a very important part of the offer as they generate significant additional revenues from already spent ad dollars; therefore they should never be overlooked. Since upsells are simply a part of the inbound script and not of the creative, they are extremely easy to modify and test.
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  • Viewers per Viewing Households (VPVH): Defined as the average number of persons viewing a TV show per household during a certain time period.
  • Voice Over: Refers to a technique where a person not present on screen narrates a DRTV commercial or infomercial.
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  • Zero Order: An infomercial airing that received no orders, indicating that it might not have aired.
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