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Comparing DRTV to Traditional TV Advertising

Jonathan Rolley
Jonathan Rolley Posted on Nov 4, 2015, 9:00:00 AM

Okay, so you're ready to advertise your product or service? Developing a TV ad might be the first thing that jumps to mind, but not all commercials are created equally. Understanding the difference between traditional and DRTV advertising can save you time, money and drastically improve your results. 

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Traditional TV Advertising 
 
You can’t turn on the television without seeing TV ads – literally! These TV ads are what pay for the bulk of this nation to watch TV from the comfort of their lounge rooms. Traditional commercials that show up between shows are typically called 'branding' commercials. In most cases, they showcase a company’s brand or attempt to represent the value of what they do.
 
Think back to the famous Aeroplane Jelly commercial. As the TV ad develops, the young singing girl reminds the audience, 'I like it for dinner, I like it for tea.' Nowhere in the commercial does the announcer ask the audience to take action and 'buy now.' There’s no price discussion, call to action or number to call.
 
Traditional TV ads, like the Aeroplane Jelly example, are carefully designed to create an emotive response, which is then related back to the brand. These emotional triggers are often used with products that have no discernible advantages over their competitors. Most people wouldn’t be able to pick Aeroplane Jelly out in a taste test, but this branding makes Aeroplane Jelly far more memorable than it's counterparts.
 
With branding, there’s little or no direct call to action at the end of the commercial. There’s often no urgency to buy and no reference or contact information. It’s simply meant to create an emotional experience that the consumer can reflect on once they are making a buying decision.
 
DRTV Advertising
 
DRTV ads are essentially developed to deliver the same end result as the traditional TV ad… sell more products! However, they go about it in an entirely different way. Direct response TV ads are designed to get customers to 'pick up the phone and call right now!' or ‘go online and find out more!’ DRTV is less subtle than branding, as it asks for the sale directly; clearly communicating why consumers should buy it and the cost of the product.
 
Direct response commercials come in a few basic variations. The first variation that most people are familiar with are called Advertorials or Infomercials. These are longer in format and market products in the range of 5 minute to half-hour long-form. In recent years, the short-form commercial has increased in popularity, due to the population's decreasing attention span. In Australia, a short-form DR TV ad can range from 30 to 120 seconds. It requests the audience to take action, through enquiring, buying or downloading via the web or calling toll-free numbers.
 
Direct response TV ads can also be designed to drive traffic directly to a brick-and-mortar store. You can recognise this type of commercial by it's call to action to find 'XYZ brand at these fine establishments'. Often a retail-oriented TV ad will display the logos of stores that carry the products, so that consumers can easily find them and they might also include the website for the product. With developments in technology, it is now possible to measure the ROI from a TV commercial to in-store foot traffic, which is completely changing the game for physical retailers.
 
While traditional and direct response advertising both serve a similar purpose, they perform in very different ways. If you are looking to increase lead generation, then incorporating DR TV into your marketing mix will provide instant, measurable results.


If you're open to discovering the secrets of DR TV from a leading Melbourne advertising agency and learning how to drastically increase your lead generation and boost your ROI, please download our FREE e-book now.   



 

Jonathan Rolley
This post was Written by Jonathan Rolley

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