Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fight DRTV Fatigue With Creative Tweaks

For many in DRTV marketing, keeping the advertising fresh when the products and offers don't change much is a challenge.

In some cases, such as with Nautilus (which sells the Bowflex line of fitness equipment), the message tends to stay the same while only the faces and testimonials differ. With 20 years of ads and research, though, the company has found a system that works for them and stays fresh enough to keep interest levels high.

Other companies, such as Guthy-Renker (Proactiv and other health products) have an 18-month rule for an ad's lifespan, but change a few pieces of the ad during its life in order to keep it fresh. A 30-minute creative can have seasonal, promotional and competitive changes added or swapped to keep the ad fresh.

Keeping ad copy and presentation fresh is a challenge for those in competitive markets, such as cosmetics or cleaning supplies. In these markets, highlighting differences is paramount and the ability to change an ad mid-stream to cope with and differentiate it from new competition is important.

Some general advertisers have tried DRTV during the recession and have stayed, finding that it works. The Electronic Retailing Association, the industry trade group for DRTV, has added Jenny Craig, and Avon as members over the past year. This has also changed the market, raising TV ad rates and altering how some are required to do business in light of new competition and higher costs.

DRTV spending has grown to a $4.5+ billion annual market and, despite the recession, is becoming more and more competitive as well. Analysts are expecting a big year for 2010 and continued growth in 2011.