What is Direct Response?2024-01-18T11:42:05-05:00
Direct Response Television (DRTV) describes anything marketed directly over television usually displaying a TFN, a URL, QR Code, text short code – the response mechanisms. The commercial directly asks the consumer to respond via a specific action leading to or making a sale.
DRTV is trackable, measurable, predictable and scalable.
Types of DRTV Campaigns:
Direct to Consumer (D2C) – Sell directly to your customers via an ecommerce site. Some businesses continue as online-only while others scale by adding brick and mortar outlets. Examples:  Purple Mattress, Dyson, cbdMD, Chirp, Kizik
Lead Generation – Immediate action is generating a lead which results in a sale through short term and long term CRM tools (Salesforce) Examples: Guaranteed Rate, Priority Health, Progressive, Geico, Liberty Mutual, LifeLock
Retail Sell-In – Open doors at retail. New Brands get the attention of retail stores when they spend money on TV Examples: Snuggie, Thundershirt, Your Super, Nature Made, RenewLife
What is the DRTV Formula?2024-01-18T11:42:50-05:00
Creative: Specifically designed to deliver a powerful sales message or compelling reason to respond within a short window of time while keeping the brand integrity intact.
Media: Purchased 85% of general rates although this percentage can vary based on variables:
Seasonality – First and Third Quarters traditionally have the lowest rates while Fourth and Second Quarters the most expensive
Station Inventory – Stations in high demand i.e. HGTV, have greater control over rate structures than smaller lesser known networks i.e. Fido
Media Constraints – Political, Olympics, Breaking News all impact media pricing and placements
Track: Accountable advertising defined by Return on Investment (ROI)
Operations: Optimized data delivery
Brand Support: Integrate, drive and support other sales/marketing channels: corporate growth, general advertising, retail, print, online, radio. Lifts all boats.
Fundamentals of Direct Response DRTV2024-01-18T11:57:32-05:00

Arguably, the most important element of linear DRTV is rate. The spot rate you negotiate as a buyer not only dictates whether you will clear on a specific network but also if that schedule will efficiently achieve your KPIs and client goals. Because rates can change due to seasonality, inventory constraints, market conditions – tracking performance across these different events provides you with the necessary information to make informed buying decisions.

Although DRTV advertisers secure inventory across all networks and programs – from small cable channels to the Super Bowl, network selection is key in the media planning and placing process. Cable networks in particular target a specific audience demographic which should align with the prospective customer of your ad campaign. The average audience size of a network (its reach), also plays a critical role in selection because it directly impacts the average unit rate, which as mentioned above, will influence performance.

Unlike Brand advertising where specific programing is purchased based on the projected ratings and impression delivery, DRTV normally buys across dayparts: Early Morning, Daytime, Early Fringe, Prime Access, Prime, Late Fringe, Overnight. In buying across several hour increments i.e., 9a-3p stations have more flexibility placing these ads, which in turn reduces the over all rate and improving the probability of more efficient result. Additionally, many networks plan their programming in “blocks” across these dayparts – making it even less necessary to pay more buying a specific program.

Commercials come in a variety of unit lengths. The most utilized by networks are categorized into 2 groups: Short Form and Long Form Media. Short form unit lengths are :15,:30, :60, :120 while Long Form shows are 28:30 and generally known as Informercials. It should be noted that ads are produced in other unit lengths such as :10 seconds or 5 minutes but they are more the exception than the rule. Most of the media campaigns Modus Direct implements are Short Form. Long form has seen both success and station inventory wane over the last decade. Historically, the most efficient unit lengths for DRTV campaigns have been the :120 (2 minutes). This makes sense because when the goal is to compel a viewer to take immediate action, the more time you have to outline either problem/solution and/or key benefits of the product or service, the higher the likelihood that the viewer will respond. However, over the last 5 years, we have witnessed the shorter unit lengths achieving efficiencies that rival what the :120s deliver. In many cases we are seeing :30s perform better than :60s. :15 second spots that have been used to drive frequency are now showing “cost pers” on par with :30/:60. We attribute this shift to the changing dynamic in the ad space brought on by digital video advertising and shorter attention spans across multiple demographics.

Another major difference between Brand and DRTV advertising is spot preemption and general schedule flexibility. Brand advertising is normally negotiated to run as close to 100% because the goal is to deliver as many of the targeted impressions as possible within the campaign timeframe, called the “campaign flight”. Since DRTV advertisers are focused on the ad performance, driven by the lowest possible rate, spot preemption is permitted to again provide the networks greater flexibility. Additionally, DRTV advertisers are able to cancel their entire schedule normally within 3 business days or less while Brand advertisers traditionally have a 2-week cancellation. By allowing networks the flexibility to air spot or not – agencies in turn are able to cancel schedules based on performance or client request.

As mentioned, the importance schedule performance is paramount for DRTV advertising schedules. Campaign performance is dictated by the calculated cost of each conversion event: a caller becoming a lead, or an online sale, etc. Tracking and analyzing the efficiency of these events across station, daypart, programming and unit length, provides the necessary data for future buying decisions.

Once the data has been provided, buyers are now able to make schedule optimizations and rate negotiations to improve the overall campaign performance. This process is done frequently and consistently throughout the campaign. Weekly client reports review all the key components of a client’s campaign and analyzes the key data to highlight media trends, schedule adjustments and campaign recommendations.
Want to know more about direct response DRTV media buying?2024-01-18T11:44:00-05:00

What is DRTV (Direct Response TV) media buying?

Direct response TV (DRTV) media buying involves purchasing remnant TV inventory at reduced, pre-emptible (or direct response) rates on a daypart or broad rotation basis. DRTV rates are typically 50-80% off rates paid in the general market. Due to the possibility of preemption, direct response TV media is typically overbooked to clear the budgeted amount. However, higher rates can be paid to assure clearance if a client needs to clear based on other business goals (such as managing call center staffing or visibility to retailers or investors).

What networks, programs and stations offer DRTV rates?

Direct response TV media is available in most national cable, local broadcast, local cable, and syndication properties. Modus Direct will recommend the direct response TV media that is best for each advertiser’s goals, target audience and geography.

Is Direct Response TV media different from Brand media?

Direct response TV media airs intermixed on the same networks and stations as higher cost brand media. The lower rates enjoyed by DRTV marketers are typically secured by purchase on a remnant and preemptible basis and based on the flexibility to run in broad daypart rotations rather than in specific programs. While Gross Rating Points (GRP) are delivered in DRTV media, GRP delivery is not guaranteed; however DRTV marketers measure success based on response/sales not Gross Rating Points or impressions. Program specific direct response TV media is available for a premium on DRTV rates, which are still lower than brand rates.

How is DRTV media buying tracked?

Tracking of DRTV media is achieved by using unique toll-free numbers and web URLs that are unique to each network or station. Weekly and daily tracking of results allows DRTV media buyers or agencies to optimize your campaign weekly based on tracked measures of campaign performance. Other trackable metrics of direct response TV are lift to search, online, and retail channels.

What is Modus’ approach to DRTV media buying and planning?

Based on the Modus team’s extensive experience in direct response TV media buying, our DR media buyers select top performing DRTV networks/stations based on the specific target audience demo combined with historical performance data for each network.  Since Modus has recent relevant experience planning, buying and tracking response and sales against all demographic groups, we know which networks will have the highest probability of success for your DRTV campaign. For ongoing client business Modus continues to strictly monitor results weekly to maintain, optimize and improve DRTV media performance.

What type of DRTV Media Reporting does Modus Direct provide?

Modus Direct provides direct response TV media reporting, including analysis and buy management recommendations to improve results on a weekly basis. Modus’  media buying, tracking and optimization system allows us to provide various reporting options that will meet the unique needs of every client.

What is the difference between Probabilistic and Deterministic Methods for CTV2024-01-18T11:44:20-05:00

Probabilistic methodologies can complement a deterministic identity solution in two major ways: expanded reach (finding people who have been matched deterministically across more devices) and linkage curation (confirming device linkages and resolving identity conflicts).

Deterministic matching should be the backbone of marketing. Best-in-class identity solutions should be based primarily on a people-based, deterministic foundation. But relying exclusively on deterministic methodologies limits the use cases available to marketers. Deterministic identity solutions complement probabilistic graphs for reach expansion.
What are short form television commercials?2024-01-18T11:44:37-05:00

Short form production is a direct response television term pertaining to one and two minute creative formats. This means the production output is literally a :60 and a :120 second commercial, also known as a spot.

So it’s common to hear long form vs. short form DRTV language when talking to production and media companies. In other words, an infomercial vs. a spot.

Short form creative production has many advantages, and the product or service usually dictates when short form creative is the appropriate creative format. Some good rules of thumb for short form are price points below $39.95, or, multi-pay on higher priced products; simple, impulse driven products which are easily understood; sales lead generation for subscription services, appointment setting, etc. With short form creative, there exists a greater opportunity for media frequency and brand exposure, as short inventory is significantly more abundant than infomercial media time.

Much like an infomercial, there is a distinct, proven formula for successful DRTV short form creative. Regardless of the :60 or :120 formats, these required elements must be understood, planned and accounted for prior to production.  With much less selling time in short form creative vs. an infomercial, the script is one of the most critical components of a spot.

Short form production can also meet many of your company’s strategies. For example, short form can:

  • Drive consumers to retail locations
  • Generate quick cash flow
  • Increase brand awareness quickly, particularly with new product launches
  • Drive GRPs at a lower cost than a brand media approach
  • Save money on production costs

To find out if short form production is right for your program, contact Modus Direct today. We’re experts in short form creative, offer modeling and media management.

How to sync Social Media and Television2024-01-18T11:44:57-05:00

To harness the greatest potential of expanding brand awareness and obtaining sales goals, one of the services we provide is TV sync advertising. By creating a link between content on television and second screens, Modus Direct delivers an uplift in brand recognition, consumer engagement and sales. TV Synced Ads amplify your television reach & frequency and also allow the consumer to engage – making TV actionable.

Below are further details about TV Sync Advertising and how the technology platform works.

What is TV Sync Advertising?

TV synced advertising involves using clever and strategic technology that automatically triggers digital ads or a digital ad campaign specifically based on what is seen and heard on TV (in real time). Almost all of TV viewers multitask using devices to engage in activities like checking emails, browsing the internet, and interacting with show-related content on social media. Our service captures this second screen attention by syncing digital ads with TV content, reaching consumers in real-time across various platforms, including mobile, social media, and Google search ads. Modus Direct enhances brand recognition and consumer engagement by connecting television content with second screens, allowing consumers to interact with what they’re watching.

Why is TV Sync Advertising Relevant?

In a world where TV audiences are multi-screening, the attention attributed to TV advertisements is being eroded. As a result, traditional TV media buying has become less efficient. TV Sync Advertising provides advertisers with an opportunity to re-engage with viewers and make television actionable. These synced ads extend the reach of TV into digital and amplify the brand message. Additionally, by targeting viewers on multiple screens simultaneously, brands can create a cohesive and immersive advertising experience, ensuring higher engagement rates.

TV Synced Ads by Platform

TV Synced Ads on Facebook resulted in a 60% lift in engagement compared to standard ad targeting for an entertainment brand. When used on Twitter, there was a staggering 250% rise in engagement for an entertainment brand. Meanwhile, for a fast-moving consumer goods brand, TV Synced Ads on Display platforms witnessed a 50% increase in click-through rate.

What TV Channels does Modus Direct Cover?

We monitor over 2,200 channels globally, encompassing more than 600 in Europe and over 1,400 in North America, covering all 210 US DMAs. Additionally, our monitoring extends to channels in Latin America and APAC. Monitoring channels in 76 countries allows us a vast reach, and we have the flexibility to activate monitoring in specific territories based on client needs. With this extensive coverage, we ensure that our clients receive real-time, comprehensive insights from a multitude of regions.

How to Optimize TV Synced Ads for Maximum Engagement?

With the rise of multi-screen viewing behavior, simply deploying TV Synced Ads is only the first step. It’s vital to understand how to make these ads truly effective. Factors such as timing, content relevance, creative design, and call-to-action play a crucial role in ensuring that the viewer’s attention is effectively captured. Testing different creative variations, understanding peak engagement times, and leveraging analytics can significantly enhance the performance of TV Synced Ads. Dive deep into the best practices and strategies to harness the full potential of this innovative advertising approach. Understanding how to best utilize a multichannel approach can be a daunting endeavor, but we have helped tons of companies obtain a better understanding and crush their sales goals!

What is an informercial?2024-01-18T11:45:16-05:00

The term infomercial has been around now for some 20 years or so. Literally, the word infomercial itself is the almalgamation of the terms “information” and “commercial.” But figuratively, the term refers to pre-produced TV advertisements which are highly informative and are designed to drive the viewer to take some sort of consumer action. These types of advertisements are known as direct response advertising.

In today’s world and terms, the word infomercial specifically refers to half hour programming. A combination of sales, entertainment and demonstration, infomercials are very effective in driving viewers to either call or go online to take advantage of a limited time offer. Each infomercial is 28 minutes and 30 seconds in run time length, much like the standard sitcom program. The difference between this produced or “paid programming” is that there are no advertiser breaks during an infomercial. Rather, the infomercial contains three calls to action, at which point the viewer is asked to call or go online for more info, or to order, get free information, etc.

The standard infomercial is structured around three main pods or segments, each about 8 minutes long, with the call to action at the end of each pod. These pods generally tell the story of the product, expound on the features and benefits, contain compelling real user testimonials and entertaining demonstrations.

Infomercial is a term that also has been applied to shorter direct response advertising units such as one minute and two minute commmercials with an offer and call to action. Today these shorter units are known as short form commercials or spots, versus infomercial.

So, what is an infomercial? With the right product, offer and creative, an infomercial can be the launch to an instant new brand

Evolution of Television – A Timeline of Television Technology & Advertising2024-01-18T12:01:37-05:00
1941: The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) issues commercial licenses to 10 US television stations in May. On July 1, the first-ever commercial airs, a spot by the Bulova watch company that cost $9.
1951: TV ad spending reaches $128 million, up from $12.5 million in 1949: a 10X increase.
1953: Commercially broadcast color television launches.
1955: TV ad spending reaches the $1 billion threshold.
1963: TV surpasses newspapers as an information source for the first time.
1964: “The Big 3” (CBS, ABC, and NBC) demand upward of $50,000 from advertisers for a prime-time minute.
1968: Presidential campaign TV spending more than doubles, going from $10 million in 1960 to $27 million in this year.
1971: A congressional ban on radio and TV cigarette advertising takes effect, stripping the broadcast business of about $220 million in advertising.
1977: Gross TV advertising revenues rise to $7.5 billion, which, at the time, equates to 20% of all US advertising.
1984: During the third quarter of the Super Bowl, Apple introduces the Macintosh computer with a $500,000 spot, turning the NFL’s big game into a major ad event. This also marks the beginning of an era when advertising becomes newsworthy.
1986: NBC’s The Cosby Show breaks existing records for a network series by commanding $350,000 to $400,000 for 30 seconds of commercial time.
1989: Due to increased competition, the big broadcast networks reach an all-time low of 55% of the total TV audience.
1994: Internet advertising arrives. Web ad spending reaches $300 million in the mid-1990s.
1997: Netflix launches with a DVD pay-per-rental model.
1999: TiVo ships its first digital video recorder (DVR) unit, and the era of recording shows to watch later begins.
2005: YouTube launches. Google buys the site the next year for $1.65 billion.
2007: Netflix streaming launches, and AMC introduces the world to our favorite “Mad Man”: Don Draper.
2008: Hulu launches.
2011: Amazon rebrands its video-on-demand service as Amazon Instant Video and adds access to 5,000 movies and TV shows for Amazon Prime members. (They drop “Instant” in 2015.)
2017: Led by Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, the top US subscription video services generate close to $15 billion in monthly fees alone.
2017: Spending on TV ads falls for the first time, as more Americans make the move away from cable. Viewership of even the most popular network shows continues to decline.
2018: YouTube boasts 1.9 billion logged-in monthly users, who watch more than 180 million hours of YouTube daily.
2018: Traditional TV advertising spending declines another 2%.
2018: 70% of the television sets sold across the world are “connected” TVs.
2019: Hulu boasts 25 million subscribers; Netflix is nearing 150 million.
2019: The pay-TV industry will see a 5% decline in pay TV subscribers in 2019. This same year, YouTube TV becomes available nationwide and offers an alternate type of subscription option.
2020: Television explosion due to COVID and consumers start to watch more Television than ever in history.  CTV/OTT rapid growth – Peacock Streaming goes live.
2022: The revenue generated by US TV grew by $9 billion between 2021 and 2022, from $213.4 billion to $222.5 billion.
2023: CTV hit $25.09 billion in ad spend while linear TV is still dominant with ad spend at $61.31 billion. According to the latest research from Comscore, a whopping 81% of U.S. households with Wi-Fi are streaming TV, with cord-cutters now outnumbering linear holdouts for the first time (44% to 41%)
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