Direct Response Hits ‘Fast Forward’ on 30-Second Spot Format

The 30-second spot has been a mainstay for media buying and video production for decades. While there is great appeal for some to spend a year's worth of marketing dollars on a 30-second spot during a high-profile live event, the multi-platform consumer has led marketers to ask: is this the most effective media buying strategy to reach the audience who will buy my product? Is this the right time slot for my limited marketing dollars?

Originally used by brand advertisers in consumer packaged goods and automotive industries, the 30-second spot has lacked the ability to be measured for interaction. With consumers more time-starved and distracted than ever, direct marketing is seeing tremendous value in applying its specialized data-focused approach to meet the demands of advertisers.

Born in a time of slower living when viewers flipped through channels with only a remote control in hand, DRTV measured engagement for the traditionally popular 30- or two-minute infomercial. Here, direct interaction is measured between brand and consumer right on the spot; when TV commercials are running, direct marketers dive into the data to see who is engaging the phone number or website in a spot's call to action.

With broadcast television, Netflix and set-top boxes in most Canadian homes, direct marketing is evolving to engage the connected consumer. Canadian families are still at home watching the tube, but now they are flipping a little faster between Netflix and broadcast television, with tablets and smartphones nearby. Key for advertisers is developing a media buying strategy with cross-platform direct marketing in mind: combining radio, mobile, web and eBlasts with 30-second direct response spots – all measurable – to generate leads and drive sales with marketing dollars.