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Direct Response Marketing

Response Magazine's 13th Annual State of the Industry Report

1 Sep, 2008 By: Thomas Haire Response


Hawthorne: It is more important, from the clients' viewpoint — many of whom think HD is a must with the upcoming conversion (though it isn't). Using HD cameras can add $3,000 to $15,000 to production budgets — and another $10,000 for editing in HD. For many DRTV marketers, the additional expense of HD just isn't justified, since the vast majority of show/spot dubs still are distributed to stations in standard def formats and the jury is still out as to HD's impact on viewer purchasing response.

Knight: There's no hiding from HD's continued growth in popularity and increased presence in homes. Clearly, the business is traveling to an all-HD world, and as more HD platforms become available, it makes clear sense for DR marketers to stake a claim in the space. Refusing to expand HD into your campaigns runs the risk of missing an attractive consumer base.

Medico: We have not seen a major migration of our client production to HD. It could be coming, but I don't see it.

Lee: HD is very important if you are a marketer in the personal care genre.

Orsmond: We create DRTV spots for a wide selection of clients, and it really is dependent on the budget available. For example, of the 18 new DRTV spots we've made in the past 12 months, only one production was filmed in HD.

Sarnow: I have not found any producers changing the media they've been working in for the past couple of years. Digital video has been used by mostly everyone doing products other than skin care.

Stacey: It's becoming more important, but it's not absolutely necessary at this stage. Differences in costs and overall impact can be significant. Images in HD look much sharper and slicker. Visually, it can be similar to comparing a picture taken by a 2-megapixel phone camera and an image taken with a 10-megapixel camera. Regardless of cost, as standard definition dies in the U.S., most Canadian stations will follow suit soon after.

With Generation X coming into its peak buying power and Generation Y hitting consumer age, how must DR marketers change in order to reach two generations of consumers who dislike push marketing?

Eden: I'm not sure if it's push marketing vs. "self-focused" marketing to these generations. Both are truly into the idea of, "What's in it for me?" They will be sold and they will buy, but the relevance — primarily convenience and status — is a key determinate in effectively selling this audience. Additionally, the ability to "order" online and via text is getting more important, and those marketing to this audience need to consider response mechanisms in their messaging.

Fays: DR marketers must throw away all previous perceptions regarding Gen-X and Gen-Y. These two generations have become increasingly savvy and have shown the ability to cut through advertiser nonsense. Our demographic tracking system at MTVN allows us to do just that.

Garnett: I think this question exaggerates the situation. Every generation (back to the venerable 1960s, when current CEO's were weaned) believes it is rejecting "push" advertising. And, really, very little changes. Remember the "anti-materialism" of the '60s? Those Baby Boomers are now the foundation of consumerism. And do we need to sell to them differently? Not much. The big change with these new generations is that they are technologically savvy, and we'll have to deal with some new parts of communicating with them. But I generally dismiss these "generation" discussions. People are people, and they don't change. When a good product is offered at a good price through smart advertising, there's no difference in the response of a new generation. This, of course, is not true in "fashion" advertising like a Nike or Levis. But that's really not a type of advertising where DRTV shows any power yet.

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