Tuesday, January 27, 2009

But wait, there's more! Direct response goes primetime

I don't watch a ton of TV, but is it just coincidence that I seem to be seeing more of the looks-like-it-was-shot-with-a-FlipVideo camera commerical for 5-hour energy ? Or the creepy and uber-annoying Sham Wow whammy of a shammy? Or Snuggie, the blanket with arms? Apparently not. I am seeing more of these direct-response ads...

We've posted before about the relationship between deflation and ad inventory (here) and the impact of auto and financial services exodus from brand advertising markets (here). But now, it's even hitting primetime. Direct response marketers are availing themselves of ad space that used to be called primtime for a reason: prime ad rates.

As the NYTimes confirms, the lack of primetime-paying advertisers has left the major network and cable outlets with inventory...and direct response marketers are in a position to take advantage of the opportunity.

The money advertisers spent declined 7.5 percent on network TV, and 5.5 percent on cable, from 2007 to 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

The money direct marketers are spending on primetime space is sometimes a tenth of what the space went for just one year ago.

Recessionary pressures and increased emphasis on revenue-generation among advertisers is creating a perfect setting for direct response marketers to redefine primetime advertising. We can all expect more of the slightly amusing, certainly annoying, wonder-product advertising into the forseeable future.

Consistent with an Increasing Discomfort Index (one of our 5 marketing themes for 2009), it appears that primetime is a comfort zone no longer...Subprime time has arrived...the question remains whether 'As see on TV' means anything special to anyone but the advertiser.

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