The Deal Channel Uses DRTV for PC Offer

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Production West is testing a 30-minute infomercial promoting the Systemax Internet Computer Package for online retailer The Deal Channel on undisclosed networks nationally.

Filmed on a set at Production West, Billings, MT, the infomercial offers consumers a computer with a Pentium 4 processor packaged with a 17-inch monitor, speakers, printer and software package for $1,599.

Show designers fashioned the set to match the color scheme of The Deal Channel's Web site. The infomercial features a male and female host, testimonials from product users and film showing people using the computer.

Designers also included a line of rolling text along the bottom of the screen that repeats information about the product given in the infomercial. The screen crawl, as it is known, was inspired by the practice of television news broadcasts after the Sept. 11 attacks to provide news updates along the bottom of the screen.

The infomercial seeks to provide basic information to consumers about the value of owning a computer at home, said Brad Tallman, senior producer at Production West. Because its product is expensive compared with discount computer offers on the market, the infomercial stresses the quality of the product and the usefulness of the "extras" that come with it.

"That's the value of a computer today," he said. "One of the things The Deal Channel was going up against was the flurry of computers for $899. There are a lot of promotions out there for cheaper computer systems."

Results of initial testing were not released.

Cmedia, Portland, OR, is handling media placement for the infomercial. Direct response agency Respond2, also of Portland, is handling The Deal Channel's Web site, which is also featuring the Systemax computer package.

Though filming its DRTV campaign in Montana may seem like a remote choice of location, The Deal Channel said it saved on costs.

"Having our DR production handled in Montana was a smart move for us," said Bryan Shepard, a representative of The Deal Channel. "They have no sales tax, so all of our production dollars were used toward production value."

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