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IMS Top 50 Infomercials and Spots of 2013

1 Dec, 2013 By: Thomas Haire Response

The rankings provided by IMS are based solely upon the frequency of programs aired on cable networks monitored by IMS from Nov. 1, 2012 through Oct. 31, 2013.

Once again, Response Magazine is proud to present one of its most popular annual features. For the 12th consecutive year, Infomercial Monitoring Service Inc. (IMS) has provided its ranking of the top 50 infomercials and short-form spots.

The rankings provided by IMS are based solely upon the frequency of programs aired on cable networks monitored by IMS from Nov. 1, 2012 through Oct. 31, 2013.

Newcomers Make Waves in Annual Rankings

During the past two-and-a-half decades of monitoring and tracking the world of DRTV, the IMS team has yet to see a year without some significant changes. The year 2013 is no exception, as new records have been set again.

In long-form DRTV, what more can be said regarding Beachbody? The marketing/brand company has created a dynasty in the space, with the No. 1 product in four of the past years. If that was not enough, Beachbody also set a new IMS record by having the same product — Insanity — earn the top spot in back-to-back years. Although Insanity has dropped its frequency in recent months, making way for a new Shawn T product (Focus T25), the marketing company continues to use long-form advertising as the main media to promote its products.

New products in the long-form top 25 in 2013 are Shark Sonic Duo (Euro-Pro), Lifelock, Ninja Mega (Euro-Pro), Cold Plasma Sub-D (Guthy-Renker), Supersmile (Guthy-Renker), AndroZene, Luminess Air, Hip-Hop Abs (Beachbody), Focus T25 (Beachbody), Teeter Hang-Ups, and Zumba. Almost half — 11 of 25 — are new to the list, demonstrating a strong group of newcomers representing several different categories.

In short-form DRTV, Lipozene moved to the top of the chart, as Guthy-Renker’s Proactiv line finished right near the top again, placing the new Proactiv Plus at No. 2 and the classic Proactiv Solution at No. 3. Newcomers to the top 10 include Wax Vac (LM Direct/Hampton Direct), Rosetta Stone, Tag Away (Plymouth Direct/McAlister), ActivStyle and Wipe New (Avento Corp.).

This impressive list of new products in the top 10 shows the ever-changing and dynamic world of short-form direct response. On the whole, short-form airings were up significantly, year-to-year. In 2013, IMS detected more programs of different length than ever before. It has become a standard practice for one product to run several different versions at two or more lengths.

All in all in 2013, IMS measures the national long-form space up 7.4 percent from 2012. This growth is exciting as we move into 2014. Although DRTV has not come back to 2007 levels, the year-over-year growth is a good indicator for the future of the industry.


Beauty and Kitchen Products Lead Long-Form Space

The top four categories in long-form DRTV advertising — beauty, health & fitness, household and kitchen — represented 78 percent of all spending in 2013. This is up from 74 percent in 2012. These four categories continue to dominate the long-form space and are responsible for 20 of the top 25 products for the year.

Overall, long-form media dollars saw a decline in 10 of 15 categories in 2013. The sharpest decline came in computers & electronics (down 94.6 percent) and education & self-help (down 43.8 percent). Although most categories saw a decline, kitchen, beauty and health & fitness were flat or saw increases year to year.

The kitchen category enjoyed spending of $103.9 million, delivering a 32.6-percent jump over 2012. The two leading products in the category, Nu-Wave Precision Cooktop (Hearthware) and NutriBullet, combined for $37 million (35.6 percent) of the total category.

The largest year-over-year increase belonged to the beauty category, up 56.2 percent. Guthy-Renker’s Wen led the charge, increasing its year-over-year spending by 61.3 percent. The personal products category also saw a lift from 2012. Lifelock and Tommie Copper — both hosted by Montel Williams — broke into the top 10 products for the year, making them the first products from this category to break the top 10 in more than a dozen years.

Outside of the top four categories, entertainment had a strong year. Mostly represented by Time-Life products, the category enjoyed a 25.4-percent increase.

Housewares Continues Short-Form Domination

For the second consecutive year, housewares is the No. 1 category in short-form DRTV. Even without a product in the top 12 and a percentage decline year-to-year, the category controlled 17 percent of all frequency on national cable.

The No. 2 spot went to the beauty category (up from No. 4 in 2012). Led by Guthy-Renker products Proactiv Plus and Proactiv Solution, as well as Bosley (which jumped into the top 50 for the first time), the category had a record year with 15.8 percent of all detections.

The health & fitness category claimed the top short-form product of 2013 (Lipozene) despite an overall category decline. The category slipped to third in short-form DRTV overall at 15.3 percent. It was just two years ago that the health & fitness category dominated short-form detections. In 2013, the category controlled five of the top 50 products — compared to 11 in 2012 and 13 in 2011.

Nutrisystem celebrates its third straight year as a top-10 product and continued to be a steady week-to-week performer throughout 2013. The business & finance category jumped to 4.7 percent of all short-form detections year over year, thanks to Consolidated Credit, which led the charge, ranking No. 40 among the year’s top products.

IMS is proud to announce a new intensified approach to short-form monitoring in 2014. This method allows us to detect more spots across more networks 24/7. Our reports now feature short-form airings and expenditure by network/by daypart — providing a more in-depth analysis of the industry.


About the Author: Thomas Haire

Thomas Haire

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