The DRTV Centre Answers 12 Direct Response Television FAQs

Increasingly, brand advertisers are quizzing their advertising agencies about the benefits of Direct Response Television (DRTV). In this short article, The DRTV Centre, a leading exponent of the technique, answers 12 of the most commonly-asked questions.

DRTV can sell product fast. It can produce colossal numbers of enquiries at relatively modest cost. Unlike brand advertising, it is immediately and accurately accountable; almost all variables are measurable, very quickly.

1. What exactly is DRTV?

DRTV stands for Direct Response Television advertising. The advertiser aims to achieve an immediate response from the viewer via a heavily-featured 0800 number, text response or website visit. The desired response could range from a brochure request or other enquiry to a firm order, paid for by credit card. Here is an example, for The River Cruise Line.

2. What is the difference between short form DRTV and long form DRTV?

Short form DRTV commercials are 2 minutes or less – in the UK, most are 30 seconds or 60 seconds. Long form DRTV commercials – also known as infomercials – are longer, usually half an hour.

3. Does DRTV work?

Yes. DRTV can produce new customers almost immediately. No other medium works more quickly. It can produce colossal numbers of enquiries at relatively modest cost. Unlike brand advertising, it is immediately and accurately accountable.

4. Can all advertising agencies handle DRTV?

No. Ordinary advertising agencies simply do not have the expertise and experience to make DRTV advertising work. Clients are strongly advised to appoint a specialist DRTV advertising agency.

5. How long does it take to get on air?

Allow around six weeks from approving a script to being on air.

6. How long before it is known if a test campaign is working?

A good indication will normally become clear in less than a week – because response success is measurable, fast.

7. At what times should DRTV spots be transmitted?

Effectiveness varies greatly by time of day. Daytime generally works best, ideally lots of spots with small audiences. Avoid peak time.

8. What is a CTA?

Call-to-action; the short injunction that that urges the viewer to take immediate action, such as "Call Now" or "Visit our website."

9. What are CPO and ROI?

Cost Per Order and Return On Investment.

10. In what detail can DRTV success measured?

Because virtually every variable in DRTV is measurable, it is the perfect medium for experimentation and continuous improvement:

  • Try different lengths of commercial
  • Try different TV stations
  • Try different times of day
  • Try different days of the week
  • Try weekends instead of weekdays
  • Try different genres of programme
  • Try different creative approaches

But, whatever the experimentation, measure, record and analyse the response. That way, something new will be learned every day and the cost-effectiveness of the DRTV campaign will gradually become more and more impressive.

11. What creative approaches work best?

Following a problem/solution format works especially well. Carefully chosen presenters are often a good vehicle to communicate this. Video testimonials from satisfied customers can also be very persuasive.

12. What are the biggest mistakes new DRTV advertisers make?

First, appointing an advertising agency which is inexperienced in DRTV. Second, confusing brand awareness objectives with response objectives.

About The DRTV Centre

The agency was founded in London 17years ago. It is the only advertising agency in the UK to concentrate purely on direct response TV. Short form DRTV commercials are typically spots of 60 seconds or less; long form infomercials are normally programmes of 15 or 30 minutes; The DRTV Centre specialises in short form.

The agency's recent experience includes advertising travel and holidays, annuities, coins & jewellery, communications, comparison websites, education, equity release, injury compensation, law, loans, pet insurance, solar panels and toys.

The DRTV Centre's service includes everything clients need to mount successful DRTV campaigns: strategies, idea creation, scriptwriting, storyboards, research, casting, location search, film/video production, music, voice-overs, Clearcast clearance, transmission copies, channel selection, TV airtime planning/booking and campaign response analysis.

David Pearson of The DRTV Centre adds "Our specialist advertising agency can achieve for new advertisers what we've achieved for dozens of other great clients. We have worked with several clients who started with a tiny TV budget and who are now substantial advertisers, partly thanks to our expertise. So talk to us about DRTV, even if at this stage you don't have a big TV advertising budget. With our help, you could have in the future!"

For more info, call The DRTV Centre on 0800 635 9000 or email david(at)drtvcentre(dot)com

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of David Pearson Advertising Ltd, trading as The DRTV Centre , on Monday 13 October, 2014. For more information subscribe and follow

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David Pearson Advertising Ltd, trading as The DRTV Centre

David Pearson Advertising Ltd, trading as The DRTV Centre
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