Doug Garnett wrote a blog post titled Lessons from the Past: Infomercials — The Only TV Advertising Viewers Chose to Watch

« Infomercials succeeded by offering consumers something they aren’t getting anywhere else — communication and demonstration about new products that make products meaningful. Of course, if your need is reminder advertising you have different challenges. But for a product based company with new products to bring to market, infomercials were incredibly effective. »

« Atomic Direct’s Drill Doctor infomercial spent years on-air and drove nearly 3 million unit sales. The campaign built so much price support consumers willingly paid $100 – $175 for a product that sharpens $0.25 drill bits. By contrast, traditional brand advertising rarely generates dramatic price support. »

« Consumers pay more for meaningful products than for brand. (They pay the most for a meaningful product with a good brand.)   »

« The creative idea cannot become more important than the communication. »

« Infomercials only succeeded when consumers picked up the phone. And by counting phone calls, we learned that humorous DRTV spots generally don’t work. We’ve learned that DRTV messages must be carefully oriented around the product and not simply a lifestyle. And, we’ve learned that ideas like storymercials (a version of an infomercial based around a “story” which my first agency invented) generally fail. Why? These clever ideas entertain the creative team but rarely add anything meaningful to communication for the consumer. And humor becomes inappropriate the closer you get to asking for the order (you wouldn’t buy a car based on a joke — why expect it to work anywhere else). »

« DRTV spots rarely spent more than 10% to 20% of a commercial defining the problem. Why? Because advertising delivers higher impact when it communicates positive messages. »

« Don’t take a campaign off the air too soon. Phones told us when an infomercial stops working. By counting calls, we found that strong campaigns produce the same phone results for years. Interestingly, Claude Hopkins found the same thing with his work 100 years ago. Is it possible that traditional advertisers abandon advertising too quickly? »

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