Five Secrets to “As Seen On TV” Success


Beth finalBy Beth Vendice, President, Mercury Media Boston

DRTV has proven to be a very effective and cost efficient tool for entrepreneurs and small businesses.  Still, while one in four Americans have purchased a product off a DRTV advertisement, 90% of DRTV ads fail because they are not executed properly and small businesses are ill equipped to handle back-end services essential to the DRTV model – call centers and product fulfillment.   

So, how can savvy entrepreneurs ensure that they’ve got what it takes to be the next “As Seen on TV” success story?  Mercury Media’s five secrets to DRTV advertising success are below:

Look for Three of a Kind

Successful DRTV products and services tend to be unique, demonstrable and offer outstanding value.  When considering DRTV, ask yourself if most adults have a need for your product/service and, if so, what sets your product /service apart?  Consider whether your product/service has features that can be shown visually and whether you are offing consumers a deal they can’t refuse.

Create a Call to Action

DRTV advertisements are meant to generate immediate consumer action.  In order to be successful, these ads must include a call to action in the form of an 800 number and/or dedicated URL, mobile code or promo code and also a premium.  You have heard it before, “call now and you’ll receive not one but two of this great product.”  Providing a call to action and additional incentive provides the push consumers need to make a purchase.

Set a Budget and Realistic Goals

DRTV agencies use a formula called a Pro forma to establish acceptable returns on investment before making media buys.  Pro forma calculates the “allowable” media spend per order—in essence, the media budget—by subtracting the expense from the revenue generated by an average order to find the “breakeven” point.  This formula allows agencies to identify the appropriate scope of a campaign and set media goals accordingly, guaranteeing the most bang for your advertising buck.

Look for Real-Time Campaign Management

DRTV agencies have some of the most advanced arsenals of media planning, testing and tracking tools available.  These tools allow us to track and adjust your media placements and spend daily with the goal of delivering the most eyeballs, qualified leads and sales for your investment.  If your ad is not delivering on certain stations or networks, media spends will be decreased on those stations and increased on stations and networks that are delivering the best consumer response. 

Make Sure You Are Getting the Whole Package

As entrepreneurs and small business owners, your budget and resources are limited and so it is important that your agency is willing and able to take care of you from start to finish.  We make it a point to offer advertisers a complete package by taking care of everything from creative production, to media buying, to executing and managing your response platform in real time, to packing and shipping your products.

Beth is President of Mercury Media Boston and is responsible for leading the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of the national short-form practice.  Since joining Mercury in 2001 she has led the firm to significant year-over-year growth by attracting clients that include Mandalay Bay Resorts Group, Neutrogena, LifeLock, Liberty Medical, Boost Mobile, Conair,

Beth can be reached at


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3 Responses to “Five Secrets to “As Seen On TV” Success”

  1. Testing With Google TV Can Save Money « The Mercury Index Says:

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