7 Steps to a Killer Commercial

How to write a commercial that grabs your customer’s attention & gets response.comecrical writing

After 20 years of crafting Direct Response TV, Radio and Print ads here are some tips to help you win.

1.) Present the problem: This can be short and to the point because you want to have time to provide the solution. Be direct. Who are you talking to? Talk to them. Help them identify immediately with your message so they can say “oh that’s me.” Here are some examples….

“Are you tired of being overweight?”
“Behind on your bills?”
“How would like to save hundreds of dollars a month on your mortgage?” Now you are prepared to grab their attention.

2.) Grab your audience’s attention: Once you have presented the problem now you are ready to grab their attention and hold it for the rest of the spot. This next line is critical. Don’t waste it. Just like the title of a book can summarize it’s contents and make you want to pick it up to read it, you want this part of the spot to give your audience a tantalizing taste of what’s to come.

  • “What if you discovered the secret a housewife in Maine found that just made pounds melt away.”
  • “Get ready to find out how to cut your car payment in half…for FREE.”
  • “What could you do with an extra $5,000 a year you save on your mortgage payment?.”

3.) Provide the solution: Deliver the goods. This is where you want to talk about how your product or service can solve the customer’s problem. Or provide them with the benefit they are looking for. In this part of the ad it is important not to confuse features with benefits.Finding the Solution

  • Most companies want to talk about the features of their product or service and fail miserably to connect with the benefit to the end user.
  • For example, instead of saying …. “Max X is the new weight loss supplement that has vitamin C, Vitamin D and Chinese Herbs.”
  • You would want to say “Max X is the powerful new weight loss supplement that melts fat like butter, curbs your hunger pains and increases your energy without that jittery feeling.”

4.) Provide testimonials and be specific: Where you can and when you can use the legitimate success stories you have to tell the world. It makes the most sense to use the testimonials that are most like your target audience. Also be as specific as you can about the performance of your product or service. If you can save your average customer 64% off their printing cost – then say it. If you can deliver in 3 days when most companies take 14 then say it. But again make sure you relay the benefit.

“You’ll save time and money in production costs and down time because your order will be there in 72 hours.”

5.) Create a sense of urgency: You need to give your audience a good reason to respond now. Whether it’s a deadline for savings or a limited time offer, create a reason that will make someone that may be interested what you have to offer get off the fence and respond.

“Save up to 40% this weekend when you enter promo code XYZ” “ The first 25 to order will get a special bonus gift.”
“Log on now to take advantage of the 48 hour sale.”
“Only 4 days left until …”

6.) Give a call to action: Tell the customer exactly how you would like them to respond. If they need to “log on now” “Call Toll-Free” “Stop in for savings”. Call the audience to a specific response.

Tell them to call you7.) Repeat the call to action. I have seen many spots fall flat because they will only tell the audience one time what they need to do. Or they want to end the spot with the tag line. Here some secrets within these secrets.

For Television spots leave the call to action and way to respond up during the entire length of the spot. Don’t just bring it in at the end

For Radio spots have the call to action and way to respond be the very last thing the audience hears.

For print and web ads make the call to action clear and concise. Let it dominate the bottom portion of the ad.

  1. Identify what is most important to the target customer when deciding to buy what the advertiser is selling.
  2. Pinpoint the emotions the target customer might be experiencing when deciding to respond to what the advertiser is selling. This helps the advertiser to build trust and connect with more potential clients because they identify with what the target customer is going through. Emotions like Fear, Skepticism, Anger, Worry, the need for approval are all very powerful, motivating emotions and need to be addressed in the creative.
  3. Develop a problem- solution strategy. What prospects problems is the advertiser providing a solution to and how? Be specific!
  4. Differentiate yourself from the competition.Who else can say that? The creative needs to relate exactly how the advertiser is different from the competition. What are the real benefits the customer is going to get when calling the advertiser vs. calling the advertiser’s competition?


If you need an agency that can help you execute your creative well we would be honored to serve you..

Email [email protected] or 
Call 940-391-8182 for a FREE Creative evaluation.


Posted in Dallas Television Advertising success., Direct Response Advertising, Direct Response Radio, DX Media Direct Advertising Solutions, How to make advertising work., Making Advertising Effective, Making TV advertising work | Leave a comment

How to Get the Best ROI from DRTV

What is Direct Response Television Advertising?

Basically, Direct Response Television Advertising is advertising that is presented on television and asks viewers to respond directly to the company by calling an 800 number or by visiting a website. It can be either a short form which is a 60 second, 30 second or two minutes in length commercial. Or a long form that is usually 28 minutes and 30 seconds long. It very often creates both interest and demand of a product and quickly turns that interest into an impulsive and immediate sale.

Advantages of Direct Response Television Advertising – DRTV

DRTV Hits the MarkSince Direct Response Television Advertising is presented on television, understanding brand and converting consumers into buyers is primary. According to thinkbox.com, television is an excellent way to create success for brands over the short-term as well as over the long-term. Let’s look at some of the advantages of TV advertising presented by thinkbox.

  • TV is Best at Generating Profits: Of all the forms of advertising, TV generates higher volumes of sales than all the other forms, and at the same time delivers the best ROI.
  • The Scale and Reach of TV is Unbeatable: The capacity of television to reach over 71% of people with a plethora of programs and channels in just one day can’t be beat by any other form of advertising. Additionally, Event TV programs reach even larger audiences including the viewing groups that are hard to reach such as men between the ages of 16-34. Therefore, TV is unique and superior in getting brands to appear bigger than they are, building a stature and authority sense.
  • TV Creates Fame for Brands:The most famous brands have been made famous by TV brands. Looking at the past 27 years impartially, we can see that TV makes advertising campaigns more effective and outperforms all other channels of media.
  • TV ADS ARE USUALLY DIRECT RESPONSE ADS: Since marketers are well aware of the fact that the advancement of technology over recent years has made it increasing easier for a person to respond to television. The result of this has caused the key objective for most advertisers to be driving viewers to do something. It might be anything like voting for their favorite reality contestant to buying something online. This is where Direct Response Television Advertising becomes part of the big picture.


Direct response TV ads are best for businesses with a big budget and a product that a The Way Things Workdemonstration would benefit. The typical cost ranges from $40,000 to $600,000 based on the length of the ad, the location of the business and whether a celebrity is in the ad as well as other things. There are ways to produce ads for as little as $2,500 if your product or service can you voiceover and visuals.

The direct response TV ads can be a short-form ad, a long-form ad, or live shopping on channels such as QVC and HSN. The design of these commercials is based on a repetitive reinforcement format. Demand is created by persuading consumers that they want the products being demonstrated or shown. That demand is then converted into sales.


The short-form ads are usually aired but not specifically given a slot of time at the time of purchasing. This type of airing is what is called run of station or run of schedule (ROS). They can be aired anytime during the day and/or night. However, long-form ads usually are aired overnight at explicit time slots. The slots are usually between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. and in the course of weekends with the program guide reading “Paid Programming”. Long-form ads can be offered during daytime hours on some independent stations.

A big advantage of time to fully explain or demonstrate your product or service is provided by the long-form direct response TV ads. If your product is new or coming on the market for the first time, this is an important advantage for you. If you have a limited budget and your product can be easily demonstrated then you should start with short form. Production costs are less and testing the creative is much more cost effective. Long form ads cost between $60,000 to $120,000 to produce. That costs come before you place the first ad. So you need to be well funded to venture into long form advertising.


Setting up direct response TV advertising can be more complicated than you might think. Usually, the best route to take is to use a Direct Response Agency. If you consider the fact that your budget is sufficient enough to consider direct response TV advertising, you most likely have the budget for a professional company to handle it for you.

Cameraman works in the TV studio shooting commercial

Cameraman works in the TV studio shooting commercial

Details such as setting up a toll-free number make it obvious that you need a professional. Scripts must be written that will maximize both leads and sales. If they don’t work, they then must be rewritten. Operators who answer your toll-free phone number must be thoroughly educated with knowledge about you as well as your product. They must clearly understand your offer. In addition, the calls should be monitored so you are sure they are professionally handled. Tracking call volume is essential in order to be sure you have sufficient numbers of operators to handle the call load. All of this is just a sampling of everything you will need to have done to run a direct response ad.

Companies that offer direct response TV advertising have developed relationships with station contacts, and for that reason they can help you if scheduling problems should occur.

Your direct response TV ad should be tested to see whether it is successful. If it isn’t, the commercial would have to be both re-worked and retested until it reaches a satisfactory level of response. This can be costly. Therefore, using a professional company can actually save you money in the long run.

In addition a professional direct response advertising agency can save you time and money because they have a history of knowing which stations or networks perform best for a wide variety of products. Plus they have relationships with the media outlets that give them more favorable rates because of the buying power they have by bringing the stations and networks more than one client.

If you are thinking about Direct Response Television contact us and we can help you from start to finish to make sure you get the best possible return on investment.Contact_Us

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6 Secrets to Effective Direct Response Advertising

“We sell or else.”

The insightful words of advertising icon David Ogilvy get to the heart of the real purpose of Direct Response advertising. In his short film to direct response advertising directors he breaks down the differences between branding or general advertising and direct response advertising. He said these two worlds are on a collision course. The world of general advertising is about awards and cute or poetic headlines. The world of direct response advertising is to sell. And we who are in charge of these type of campaigns know what works. In fact as Mr. Ogilvy so appropriately states it, “You know to the dollar.”

  • So what does work?
  • What does sell?
  • What makes the phone ring?
  • What makes your web-site get more visitors and buyers than ever before?
  • What makes Television advertising, radio advertising, mobile and web-advertising perform and deliver a positive ROI.
  • Can your ad campaign actually be a revenue generator and not just an expense?Absolutely.

6 insiders secrets to help your campaign deliver like never before


Secret number one:

Advertising TargetKnow Your Target

Before you spend a penny on advertising you need to know your ROI formula.

  • When do you make money?
  • When does the campaign become profitable?
  • How many calls or clicks does it take to generate a sale?

If you don’t know what you are aiming for you will hit it every time. So develop a metric or standard for success and make sure every campaign, every media buy, every schedule aims for that goal.

If you are not quite sure here is how to build it here is how.

  • A.) How many responses does it take to generate a sale? This is your conversion ratio.
  • B.) How much profit do you earn per sale?
  • C.) What can you afford to invest per response to generate that sale?

Answer these questions. For example. One of our clients had a financial service that costs the customer $500 upfront. Then $35 per month for 12 months. So the total of each sale generated was $920. Their actual cost on that service was $200. So they had a profit of $720 per sale generated. They had a 10% conversion ratio. For every ten people that responded to their advertising they sold one. So basically they broke even at $72 per response. They doubled their money every time we achieved a cost per response of $35 each. So the goal on every campaign we did whether it’s national or local television, cable TV, local radio or network was to deliver a $35 cost per lead. We knew we could afford to refine the media if it came in a little higher because we knew where the client made money, when they broke even and when they lost. We knew their target. Develop your target. Be conservative. Figure worst case scenario or lowest average conversion ratio. Then build your target metric from there.

Secret number two:

Know Your Audience

Crowed Audience

Who is buying your product or service now? Identify them by age, sex, income and shopping habits. If you would like some good insight check out Neilsen’s Prizm data. This will make you think more in depth about who are your best customers. What they are like and where you can find them.  Once you know who they are and where to find them you will generate a much better return on investment. It will help you limit your waste and hit your target faster.

Secret number three:

Develop creative that generates a response

Your entire campaign will be dead on arrival if your creative does not do it’s job in generating enough response to achieve your target metrics. Direct Response creative is not sexy, poetic or award winning but it will make the cash register ring. There is a formula that works. It’s the framework to build your advertising creative on.

Young Woman making a call me sign

  • Identify the problem or pain source: Are you overweight? Is snoring making your life miserable? Do you feel run down?

Present the solution: X product or service can help you stop snoring naturally in one week?

Give the benefits: You will feel more energetic, rested and ready to take on the day.


Create a sense of urgency: For a limited time you can try Snoring X risk free for 10 days. Create a desire for the customer to respond now. Not later.

Deliver a call to action: Call 800-900-4567 now for your risk free trial. Or visit snorenomore.com. For radio spots make sure the toll free number is given at least three times and have the phone number be the last thing they hear. On your television spots have the number and call to action up the entire length of the spot.

Build credibility with testimonials and risk lowering strategies. People don’t trust like they used to. So give them real life examples of customers who have tried the product or service and loved it. Also lower their risk for trying it by offering money back guarantee, risk free trials and free information on how to get the best results.

Secret number four:

Match Your Advertising to Your Market and Sales Systemcustomermatching

When you are deciding on your media mix you need to consider how your customers typically purchase your product or service, when they purchase and your own internal sales system. That will determine the best place to test. For example if you only have sales people responding to customers during business hours then radio and daytime television will be the first place to test. If you have a web-site that captures sales 24/7 then you have more flexibility and take better advantage of media opportunities on the weekend and during primetime television times. An excellent source for understanding what has worked for other Direct Response advertisers is this report.

Secret number five:

Don’t Pay To Much for Your Advertising Space


National cable, local cable, Television programs, radio and print are all a commodity. Rates are negotiable. It will save you time and money to get a reputable direct response ad agency and media buyer on your side to negotiate for you. They will have access to rates and deals that a first time or outsider may not be able to achieve. If you do want to source rates for cable here is a good place to start.


Secret Number Six:

Test, Measure and Plunge

tapemeasureYou cannot manage what you cannot measure. So when you have everything ready make sure you can measure the results during your testing. Google analytics is great of course for seeing what is coming to your site. If you need good call tracking we suggest www.dial800.com. Once you have tested what works then plunge. Invest more into the outlets that are working and cancel the outlets that are not. You can build out your campaign based on success.

Mark Twain said “Many a small thing has been made large by the right type of advertising.”

I hope these secrets help you grow as big as your dream to be.

If you would like a no obligation consultation on your next direct response campaign give us a call at 940-323-1110 option 1.

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How many households does each cable Television Network reach?

If you want to know the total households by national cable network here is run down of some of the top performers:

Number of Million Homes by Network:

FXX – 74 Million

ESPN2- 97 Million

NFL Network – 73 Million

Lifetime Movie Network – 82 Million

Investigation Discovery – 87 Million

History Channel – 96 million

Esquire – 70 Million

Tru TV – 92 Million

Comedy Central – 93 Million

Fox News – 97 Million

H2 – 71 Million

OWN – 83 Million

UP – 70 Million

ABC Family – 95.7 Million

CNN – 97 Million

HLN – 97 Million

BET – 88 Million

TLC – 95 Million

USA Network – 98 Million

If you need some cost effective rates to test any of these networks out please contact us. We are here to help. 940-323-1101 ext. 1 or [email protected]

dog watching a movie

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So your advertising campaign failed. What do you do now?

There can be several reasons advertising campaigns tank but usually it boils down to three reasons.

1.) Your creative is bad. Have you ever seen a TV ad and asked yourself “What was that about?” Or heard a radio spot that just made you change the station? Sure you have. Bad advertising is all around us. Bad creative makes us change the channel where good creative engages the audience and causes them to do something.

2.) You paid too much. Many times the people paying for advertising don’t understand all the ways a media outlet can confuse, over charge or package worthless ads into the mix to make you feel like you are getting a deal when really you just bought junk. Have a professional media buyer on your side. It’s like having a good doctor. They can heal a lot quickly by seeing where your campaign is sick.

3.) You chose the wrong advertising medium. It’s amazing to me how many times clients have asked me to purchase advertising for them on programs, show, stations or sites that they like. They paid for this and by gosh they want to see it. Never considering where their target customers are consuming their favorite programming. Look at your media mix. Make sure your target customer are there before you invest.


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How much does it cost to advertise on Television?

We get asked all the time to quote rates for Television advertising. It’s a challenge because advertising rates are effected by so many variables. Do you want local or national ads? What time of day do you want to be on? What type of programming do you want your spots featured on? And what time of year do you want to advertise?

Television advertising is a commodity. Supply and demand drive rates week to week. But since you asked let me give you some ranges.

Local cable spots can run anywhere from $2.00 per ad to $250 a spot. National cable can run anywhere from $250 a spot to $100,000 a spot. Network Television advertising tends to be the most expensive ranging from $15,000 a spot to $300,000 a spot. Of course you have the Super Bowl which goes for 5 million a :30 second spot. But before you think you can’t afford it. Contact a Direct Response advertising agency. They have ways to save you 90% or more on traditional rates. That’s what we do for our clients. They are pleasantly surprised how inexpensive Television Advertising can be.television-2

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The Secret Steps to making your Direct Response advertising profitable.

After 25 years of managing Direct Response advertising campaigns here are some secret steps to helping you become profitable fast.

1.) Step One: Before you spend a penny know when you make a dollar. The heart of direct response is knowing how many responses you need for your investment so the campaign delivers your profit instead of costing you your future retirement. Here are the metrics you need to know. How many responses, calls or unique visitors does it take for me to generate a purchase? That is your conversion rate or ratio. If it takes 10 calls for you to generate 1 purchase or sale then your conversion ratio is 10%. Next how much can I afford to invest to generate these responses? If you product or service costs the customer $500. Let’s say your profit on that sale is $250. If you convert at 10% then your target cost per lead can be no greater than $25 just to break even on your media, or deliver what is called a 1 to 1. Spend a dollar, make a dollar. So any media that delivers a cost per call or response under $25 is a winner.

2.)Step Two:  Match your media to your sales system. Analyze your internal sales system. Do you generate most of your sales from your web-site? Do you have in-house sales people or a call center answering the phones? When do your best salespeople work? That will guide you to your media mix as to how much Television, Radio, Mobile or Internet you need to be doing.

3.) Step Three: Make sure your creative is really a well crafted Direct Response piece of advertising. Direct Response advertising is a totally different animal than branded advertising. There are tried and tested formulas you need to adhere to. Hire a professional Direct Response agency. They will make sure  you have the best creative and alert you to any copy that may hurt your response rates. iStock_000021543989Medium

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What’s the benefit of Direct Response Radio?

There are three key benefits to Direct Response radio over traditional branding advertising.

1.) You know within the first 48 hours if your advertising is performing. With traditional branding advertising your reps will tell you that it takes 13 weeks or more to see if it’s going to deliver. That’s one way they get to keep more of your budget longer. With Direct Response radio you know within the first 24 to 48 hours if it’s driving enough calls, web visits or even foot traffic to be worth renewing the next week.

2.) It’s much cheaper to test creative than Direct Response Television advertising. To have a Direct Response radio ad produced cost anywhere from nothing to $100. It’s very inexpensive to test out different spots to see with copy performs best. TV spots can cost from $3,000 to $150,000 per spot to produce. That’s an expensive venture to find out you have a dud.

3.) You get the benefit of branding on top of immediate sales. A well executed Direct Response radio campaign is going to drive calls, leads, sales and brand awareness. So you are really not losing one to gain the other. Get a professional Direct Response agency to help develop and execute your campaign. You will make money, save time and look great doing it.


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Three Best Types of Video to build your brand online

Empty asphalt road towards the big cloud and signs symbolizing success and safety

Empty asphalt road towards the big cloud and signs symbolizing success and safety

In a recent interview with Buzzfeed’s Chief Revenue Officer Lee Brown AdWeek asked him “what types of videos work best for branded content?”  His answers are both insightful and actionable. Why should we listen to Buzzfeed? Because they generated over $100 million dollars last year in revenue. So here goes. Here is what he says works.

1.)Identity. The video connects with the viewer and says “This is so me.” Have you ever seen a post that you identified with? Then that’s a video built to connect with you because it makes you feel like someone understands.

2.) The Emotional Gift.  This is a video Lee Brown that makes you laugh out loud and want to share with your friends and family.

3.) Informational. Research driven or how to video’s that give the user information they can use. These videos get attention. They can also help you build your brand by helping your target customers learn something that makes their life better.

There you have it. Thinking about producing a video for online attention. Craft it to meet one of these categories and it should deliver.

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Iconic Brands Use Television Advertising to drive sales and web traffic

tvA new study published by the Cable Advertising group found the television helps build iconic brands and drive massive sales results. Iconic brands like Oxi Clean and Snuggie used Television advertising to drive sales and become part of American culture.

So what was the secret Media Mix? What drove these former no name products to become so desired? The report revealed that of their budgets 97% went to Television Advertising and the remaining 3% went to Print, Internet and Radio. Of the 97% television advertising budget 82% was spend on National Cable. Many advertisers think they can’t afford national cable. But that’s because they don’t know how to get the best rates and positions.

Using a professional Direct Response advertising agency like DX Media Direct can turn your unknown brand into a household name.

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