Weighing The Pros and Cons of Infomercials and How Much They Cost

Is it wise to invest in infomercials knowing how much they can cost even when you’re advertising during the fringe (late night) hours?

For most brand advertisers, airing on TV is best during prime-time. However, for direct-response television (DRTV) or commonly known as infomercials (long form), the post-midnight shift is their prime-time / fundamental waking hours.

Who stays up to watch TV during what they call the graveyard hours? Well, apparently it’s the best time for home shoppers to see what’s the latest in the market. For this reason, companies squeeze through the peak selling time slot to advertise brand awareness and for higher sales revenue.

The Pros of Infomercials

Let’s look at some of the significant benefits of airing product commercials on TV. This information might give light and justification for what contributes to the overwhelming costs of infomercials.

  •  A majority of the world’s population own and watch TV regularly, and 86% of consumers in the U.S. say it was TV advertising that had the most impact on their purchase decision. If you take advantage of this demographic, you have a better chance of generating brand awareness for possible clients, whether during on or off-peak hours.
  • TV advertising and marketing is one of the fastest income-generating strategies because it engages with consumers without taking the long route. A single powerful campaign can easily attract shoppers. DRTV can achieve in weeks what it would take most to do in a year with just online marketing using the same budget. Even without secondary sales points, you’ll be able to hit your target profit before going through retailers. However, infomercials naturally have a broad range of influence, so it won’t be long before first-hand sales start converting second level sales points.
  • You can target different funnels if you utilize infomercials in advertising your product. The ultimate goal of media marketing is to drive immediate sales driven by direct consumers or retailers. With our latest technology, you can leverage infomercials to reach audiences through other distribution mediums such as radio stations, digital websites, Social Media, PR channels, and anywhere that’s accessible by mobile devices. However, TV is still the biggest megaphone from the tallest mountain and rocket fuel for brands.

The Cons of Infomercials

There are a couple of challenging factors you might encounter when you leverage infomercials for product advertising— although these are most certainly not dealbreakers.

  • Some stations might have particular requirements for infomercial time slots. It would be best if you had a clear understanding of the exact air time you’re going to get. For example, a 30-minute time slot could literally be 29 minutes and 30 seconds air time. Losing a whole 30 seconds of your infomercial may or may not ruin your production format, but it should be accounted for as a part of your production cost.
  • Infomercials are downright expensive. There’s no denying that it’s a weighty investment and a risky bargain, so you need to make sure that your product is infomercial-worthy. If you don’t have the right margin, you just might end up losing a ton of money over one marketing strategy. As we mentioned, you need the right tools for successful results.

How Much Does An Infomercial Cost?

We will be looking into several variables at play if we try to calculate how much an infomercial costs. These variables have their own significant roles, which mostly involve the production expenses.

Let’s dissect the rough estimates into three parts: long-form, mid-form and short-form national infomercials. According to Response Magazine’s annual survey, national broadcast quality (HD) long-form shows running 28:30 minutes in length range from approx. $196,000 on the lower end to $840k on the high end with a median budget at around $500k. Mid-form averages around half those costs.  Short-form spots (:120, :60 and :30) range from $56k to $400,000 maximum. . The production expenses are from script to screen including creative development, scripting, casting, on-camera talent (actors), video/audio/lighting crews, shooting locations, fees, permits, sets, props, music, editing, graphics, voice-over narration, etc.

Are Infomercials Effective?

Infomercials have been a part of the TV industry since the late eighties, and up until now, it’s still widely used as one of the most effective marketing strategies in the advertising industry. You will reap the advantages of infomercials if you know the right tools and learn how to use them.

This type of advertising method is good for business. TV stations never have to waste any minute on dead air while the clients also get to test their products on local or national networks, and then escalate their sales in real-time. It’s highly-efficient, especially when, after each segment, you will have gathered statistical consumer data that you can use to target the right market for other marketing strategies.

You’ll be impressed that even in the middle of navigating through the age of a global pandemic, the DRTV industry is thriving with increased viewership and soaring response rates for a wide variety of industries. Despite the COVID-19 situation, this is how TV Ad performance went throughout March 2020: “TVSquared found that a variety of DTC brands experienced astronomical performance throughout March. TV, more than ever, is one of the main activities of consumers’ daily lives, and categories such as DTC and home improvement are seeing performance peaks (TVSquared Platform, 2020).”

Infomercial-Worthy Product

Not all products are a good fit for direct-response TV advertising.

You need to know if your audience will respond to your product advertisement through an infomercial. The most common types of products promoted via DRTV are DTC fitness, health, education, home improvement, beauty, appliances, self-care products, and lifestyle. As you can imagine, categories that decreased in performance include travel, gambling, retail, auto, and legal.  

If your only goal is for, infomercial media strategy is not the wisest option. It’s too expensive for a marketing push that does not drive direct sales. When you broadcast your product through an infomercial, you must ensure that it can target immediate ROI.

Validating The Costs of Infomercial Media Strategy

If you look at how the rise in digital marketing (paid social, etc.) has affected the advertising industry, you might think that infomercials are losing their touch. But surprisingly, companies continue to spend a large percentage of their overall ad budgets with DRTV and OTT. TV is still the biggest megaphone from the tallest mountain. Nothing can touch it in terms of scale, reach, and even trustworthiness/credibility.  All you have to do is to believe in your product and ensure the right capital. You will soon discover that infomercials are time-tested and have proven effective in optimizing large-scale ROI. And no matter how much they cost, the substantial results often outweigh the price factor. All it takes is one MyPillow or Proactive or StreetStrider successful campaign to set you for life.

Do you want to find out how you can strategically position your product via DRTV advertising? Contact us today for a free product evaluation!

Subscribe To News & Trends