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TV Infomercial Budgets

October 26, 2009

What is the cost of an infomercial? How much does it cost for TV infomercial production? Are long form infomercials more expensive than short form infomercials? These questions — and others about the cost of TV infomercial media and airtime come into our offices every day. This blog is for you — to answer your questions and help you understand the wacky, wonderful world of TV infomercials — our world!

Let’s start with question number one: What is the cost of an infomercial? First of all, as you may know, there are two basic formats: short form infomercials and long form infomercials. Short form is comprised of commercial lengths of two minutes or less. Long form is generally considered the thirty minute format (actually 28:30 minutes, but there is now some nationwide media distribution for five minute infomercials too. So what is the cost of an infomercial? TV infomercial budgets start with a TV production budget. This cost is a one time fixed cost, and it needs to amortized over the life of the project. Short form budgets can run anywhere from a few thousand dollars to more then $50,000.00 depending on the scope of the production. Long form infomercial costs also run in a wide range of budgets. Talk show formats cost about $20,000.00 and up, demonstration shows usually cost around $50,000.00 to $100.000.00. Again, think production values — or in movie language big action movie budgets verses low budget indie films.

The largest portion of a TV infomercial budget is the media budget. And you may be surprised to learn that long form infomercial media is cheaper than highly targeted CPM short form airtime. Check out our other blog for ongoing discussions about TV and radio media costs, clearance issues, and the latest trends. We recommend testing your offer on national and regional cable with test budgets of at least $5000.00 per week. Remember, repetition is very important in all forms of television advertising, so you must stay on the air to build momentum. Check back here frequently for more information on TV infomercial budgets.

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Perlstein’s 10 Questions for Infomercial Success

January 17, 2009

Success in direct response TV and Radio infomercials often requires several rounds of media testing and tweaks or revisions to produce a successful TV or Radio Infomercial campaign.

The Direct Response Television Infomercial test results need to be drilled into and analyzed to determine the causes that contributed to the positive or negative results. Here are 10 questions about your infomercial you should address:
1. Does the product effectively fulfill a consumer need?
2. Was the price too high?
3. Was the offer compelling enough for people to call?
4. Was the media planning and research well targeted?
5. Was the media buying campaign optimized?
6. Was the call volume high enough?
7. Was the telemarketing conversion rate too low?
8. Was there adequate incremental revenue from up-sells?
9. Was the show effective at communicating the product benefits?
10. Can the marketer afford to make less money upfront by enhancing the back-end revenue?

Ron Perlstein – Infomercial Producer

December 18, 2008

You know….when I started in this business (1992) an infomercial was a half hour program that combined information and a sales message for a product.   Back in the day, no one called a direct response commercial an “infomercial.”  Nowadays, the term is thrown around willy nilly for just about any advertising that makes a direct pitch to the consumer.  Having explained this business to thousands of marketers, product developers and inventors, it’s clear that everyone is looking for the cheapest, fastest and best way to launch a new product and bring it to market.

The classic infomercial, a half hour program that informs, entertains and sells is still the best format to achieve faster, cheaper, better.  Especially if you are reaching out to baby boomer and older audiences. Yes, it’s true that my son’s generation (he’s 22) uses the Internet and mobile devices for information.  But us old folks who have been brought up with Ozzie and Harriett, The Fonz, or even Seinfeld still love to watch TV for entertainment, information, and shopping from home.

There’s much power in the half hour and we can produce shows for as little as $30,000.00.  Airtime for half hours can be as lttle as $10.00, so the idea that half hour infomercials cost more then short form direct response commercials is not correct.  There are usually several long form infomercials airing with great success in a talk show format.  Why? Because viewers stop to listen to information that interests them.

Check back to blog frequently and I’ll give you many more insights into how to make the most with little or low budgets.