August 23, 2006
Branding: Not Just Chia Pets: DRTV Goes Big.
DRTV (Direct Response TV) has a bad rap from serious branders.
Think of those late night infomercials for Ginsu Knives, Chia Pet and the Clapper and you get the idea. OK, they’re lame (even though I would bet every single person reading this blog knows what these brand names are and has even possibly considered buying one.)
Now, add Dell, Gateway, RadioShack and Hewlett Packard and then throw in Apple Computer, Nikon, Evinrude, Nissan, Redken. Stir in YouTube’s new Brand Channel and what you have is a pretty sweet means of promoting your brand name to millions of people.
DRTV requires a whole new approach - an entirely new way of offering customers an in-depth experience with your brand name and an instant means of buying. Because the shows are longer format, customers see the item, interact with it, and buy it. The emotive stuff - the whiz bang of a 30 second spot - is complemented.
This brings consumers into the heart and soul of the brand. Kind of cool. So cool that America Online, the U.S. Navy, Hyatt and Johnson & Johnson are all using it.
The longer format allows customers to digest complex information about your brand - great for computer companies selling products in new categories. Dell can go from PC products to consumer products, while Gateway can go the other direction, and keep customers informed on what’s up - and show them products in the comfort of their own home that they might be intimidated by in Best Buy.
This is partly why YouTube must find the new Brand Channel format irresistible - and what is this format but computer based DRTV? Customers can make purchases - think Chia Pet..or Paris Hilton’s new album, and you can get your brand name in front of people that TV spots miss.
YouTube has been so effective at reaching people that some bloggers predict Steve Jobs might even buy the company outright - or at least they fervently hope so.
What’s the bottom line? DRTV and YouTube’s brand channels are turning commercials and brand name promotion into entertainment. Right now, DRTV and YouTube spots offer an interesting option for those brand names that need a little more time with customers to ensure the sale. And that’s just about everyone.
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