Atomic Direct, LTD

Tech Needs TV


December - 22 - 2009 - Tuesday

Q: Hasn’t television viewership declined over the past few years?
A: No. The latest research shows that TV is as popular as ever. During primetime, you’ll still find two thirds of American households watching TV.

Q: Has TV’s Effectiveness Been Decreased by DVR’s?
A: No. According to the Journal of Advertising Research, with or without the DVR, normal viewer behavior is unchanged. Some people view all ad messages, some pay partial attention and others completely ignore commercials. A DVR simply allows a viewer that normally would’ve ignored advertising to simply fast-forward past it.

Q: Can’t I just put my video work on YouTube?
A: You can. And we wish you well with your 15 viewers. But if you want to have real impact with video online, you need to drive people to care to watch it.

Q: Why do you talk about TV and DRTV?
A: At Atomic, we use TV to refer to all video communication — broadcast spots, direct response television (DRTV), in-store television, online video, DVD’s sent in the mail and any other method for getting that TV in front of consumers.

TV brings extra power when you can broadcast it — on national cable, national networks or local affiliates. But traditional broadcast television advertising is expensive and often quite ineffective. In fact, the single most effective and cost effective approach to TV is direct response television, which has been used for decades to drive outstanding success for products that are difficult to sell.

At Atomic, we have some preference for direct response television over traditional television. But most important, we believe that TV has communication power that is primarily untapped in tech marketing.

Q: What’s the difference between TV and DRTV?
A: Traditional TV reaches a potential audience and is purchased to reach the best audience at the lowest cost per impression. DRTV (Direct Response Television) asks consumers to respond through an 800#, website, or SMS code. It is purchased to generate the highest response per dollar. Because DRTV is purchased on a special rate, DRTV campaigns are always less expensive that traditional TV.

Q: Do infomercials always air in the middle of the night? I don’t want my product to only be seen by midnight munchers and insomniacs.
A: Most DRTV advertising airs between 5 am and 11 pm

Q: We have no interest in direct sales. Can I still use direct response style TV  (DRTV) successfully?
A: Direct response television (DRTV) has emerged over the past decade as one of the most powerful communication tools for building retail sales. That’s right. We said retail. Direct sales are no longer the most important reason to use DRTV, because it builds sales, higher margins, strength to negotiate with retailers, and strong long-term business.

Q: Do I need a celebrity to have a successful TV campaign?
A: No, in most cases it’s best to make your brand the celebrity

Doug Garnett, DRTV and Technology Industry Expert

Doug Garnett is founder and CEO of DRTV agency Atomic Direct and a leading expert on innovative uses of DRTV, infomercials and other in-depth TV and non-TV messages to build brand and drive sales.

Doug has been working in and around the technology field for 27 years. After starting in aerospace, he spent 5 years selling and marketing supercomputers. Since shifting to advertising, his clients have included AT&T, IBM, Apple, Disney Mobile, Ugobe, Presto, and Netpliance.

Doug sits on the editorial board of Response Magazine, is an adjunct professor of general advertising at Portland State University, and is a member of the Jordan-Whitney Greensheet Panel.

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