A Guide to DRTV Terminology


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By:  Michael Goodman, Senior Director of Analytics, Mercury Media Boston

TV is by far the most powerful medium available to advertisers as it can reach mass audiences, show dramatic visual demonstrations, and air emotional testimony.  DRTV uses the power of TV to create the “impulse to buy” and drive sales to retail, Internet and other distribution channels.

DRTV refers to 30 second to two minute commercials (e.g., short form) in which viewers are asked to place an order during the advertisement through a toll-free number or web address.  This contrasts with commercials where the objective is to increase brand awareness.

Here is  a collection of terms to help you get started with DRTV.  Read our full glossary here.

30’s, 60’s & 120’s – This is the typical length of short form DRTV spots.  Often :60 spots are  employed for lead generation campaigns and a combination of :30’s, 60’s, and :120’s are utilized for DRTV campaigns marketing/selling products.

Ad Allowable – How much you can afford on a cost-per-order basis.  The ad allowable is the dollar amount determined to be the maximum media expense for each unit sold in order to generate a legitimate profit.

Below-the-Line –  Traditional media term for non-mass-media advertising.

Contact him at mgoodman@MercuryMedia.com

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