Deals abound for DRTV

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Thanks to negotiable rates and desirable time slots, some products see rising DRTV success
Thanks to negotiable rates and desirable time slots, some products see rising DRTV success
But Cardinal says that type of expo­sure isn't for everyone. “The competi­tion for those spots stays among the larger buyers of the media because they have the client base and can han­dle a large airing,” she says, adding that not all companies could handle the huge call volumes the national spots are likely to generate.

Experts also say certain product categories tend to do better during a recession. Tim Pearson, VP and general manager of direct response for Gaiam, an online retailer of healthy lifestyle products, says the fitness vertical tends to do well because people tend to cancel their gym memberships and personal training sessions in a downturn. Gaiam currently has long-form spots running for the Wave Speed Slimming System and the GT Xpress 101.

“This is when you really see the economy come into play,” Medved says. “A product [like the GT Xpress] solves the meal-on-the-go problem, which is a longstanding one in the housewares vertical. That kind of sell [will] thrive in this environment.”

Cardinal says even higher-priced items can do well if they still seem to give value to the consumer. “We've seen a lot of flexible payment plans,” she says of orders for the NordicTrack. “Anything that's value-driven is defi­nitely going to work.”

Pearson has become more cautious with his company's buying. “We're try­ing to buy smarter and leaner and really manage the minutia of the buys closer, because there's less room for waste than there was before,” he says.

However, at the end of the day, the experts say the product is still king. “We're still looking to provide a solu­tion to a unique problem with a unique product that has mass market appeal at a great value,” Medved says.

Though it's still unclear where the market is headed, Cardinal believes that DRTV media buying rates will go up a bit going into the second quar­ter. “The business [will stay] strong, because marketers want to see ROI right now,” she says.

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