Is Direct Response Television the Future of Advertising?


Direct Response Television (DRTV) refers to a type of advertising that’s primary purpose is to elicit a response from the viewer. The contact could be via the web, mobile phone or interactive TV.

DRTV is as much an art in the psychology of advertising as it is in production, aiming to make the audience pick up the phone, enter their details online, or to connect with your company in one way or another.

Proof of Purchase

The success of DRTV lies in the ability to quantify the response from an advert and therefore to be able to justify the budget that was spent on it. It is a direct measure rather than waiting to calculate after campaign success.

Due to the increase in the amount of digital channels that are broadcast, there is now more space available for advertising and so as the competition has dropped, so has the price.

Direct TV also can be used not only as a standalone medium, but in conjunction with an already existing advertising campaign to present certain products to the audience.

Bolstering your traditional advertising with these extra DRTV opportunities can go a long way to creating a strong sense of brand and a continuing campaign.

The Future of DRTV

DRTV will become increasingly important as new internet connected televisions are spread across the marketplace. Although there are is no standard system for distributing advertising content, the level of interaction between the television and the advert itself may prove to be one of the greatest areas for companies to profit from.

Whereas traditional television relies on the audience taking a complete new step in order to count as a ‘response’ to the advert, adverts that are directly accessible, acting as funnels to websites etc and could prove to be extremely lucrative.

DRTV Online

In 2011, there were 1.94 billion TV and radio programme requests for BBC iPlayer alone; it seems that the rate of online consumption will continue to increase. We have seen clickable interactive adverts displayed before the content is viewable on BBC’s main rival 4OD and I believe that this is the main way for companies to generate direct interest in their brands.

In the future direct response TV advertising will not only fill a time slot to show their advert on television to appeal to a certain audience depending on the programme airing, but it will offer third party information from the users online profile to show targeted content in an online environment.

The Problem with Desktop Viewing

I believe that the flaw within the current system is the audience’s familiarity with online advertising. Even using a keyboard and mouse is a clear psychological indication of the context of the advert. The household computer is an interactive experience in which the audience is used to controlling, by shutting down a pop up window for example. Compare this to the passive consumption of television in which the audience is passive and is accepting of advertising.

The online customer is therefore less likely to click the advert through the familiar disregard of other content that would normally frequent their screen such as pop-ups.

With the new wave of connected televisions being released onto the market, there are the perfect ingredients for a TV advertising agency to match the correct content to a receptive audience and to use DRTV to its full potential.

Image via Marc Samsom

About the Author: Gavin Harvey is a dedicated personal trainer whose thirst for adventure has taken him around the world. After a gap year in Australia he developed a serious case of wanderlust and is always searching for the next adventure, as well as the latest gadget. He is currently renovating the home that he shares with his partner and two cats.

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