Infomercials and Presentations

The other day after days of struggling through an illness I finally gave in and stayed in bed most of the day. I usually go years without instances like these, in fact I did not miss a day in high school due to illness. As the years have passed and now I have my own children, who seemingly have brought every conceivable germ home from school known to man this year, I could go no more. Fortunately or unfortunately my marketing mind doesn’t sleep or succumb to illness, please don’t tell the kids they will work up one for that also. Boy or boy daytime television is jamb packed with marketing everything from insurance, wheel chairs to walk in bath tubs. Pretty well defined target audience I would say.

The part that we can learn from as marketers is the “how” not so much the “what” in the experience. Number one is the audience, they are in fact preaching to the masses of daytime television, retired or semi-retired Americans. Notice the use of power words over and over again in 30 seconds or even 2 minute commercials. The use of the words: free, no additional cost, easy, simple just one call, etc. These are just a few but boy do they create the urgency to buy. Even the use of symbolism, you can often see the American flag waving in the background, an eagle flying by, even the color schemes tend toward the ole’ red, white and blue.

Now let’s look at this from a whole marketing campaign. These companies did not start with television spots, they started quite likely with the telephone and if you notice the give a number to call not a web site to this generation. So I wonder after testing probably 20 – 30 phone scripts both opening and closing and settling on the ones that worked, I’ll bet almost 90% of those scripts are in those infomercials. Point is folks it all starts with a strong foundation and once you have that you can go wherever you want to advertise. But even after that and the success and the television ad campaign you still are directing the people to use the phone. The phone is where it all starts and ends in the marketing business.

Let’s look at the presentation part of the infomercial. If we were doing a phone presentation we would be looking at, at least 20 minutes of presentation time. With these ads we see a precise condensed version with two items always present on the screen. You guessed it the name and number to call. You see the company name and there number for the entire length of the infomercial, whether that is 30 seconds or two minutes. Additionally, there is little to no fluff, they get right to the product within ten seconds, then spend about 30% of the remaining time telling you about the product and finally pile on the testimonials.

It’s truly an art to watch and learn from these marketing giants. The great part is that as we hone our craft we can continue to grow and if we so desire in a few years be the next generation of infomercials or in time most likely something even more eye catching. Hope to see you there.