Creating Your First Infomercial

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You were recruited by a UK-based data management and marketing service company right after your graduation from New York University’s business school. You’re at the top of your class. The company has just been hired by a client to run a membership campaign, which aims to engage existing customers and entice others to become members. You will be inserted into a team that will spearhead the campaign for this client.

Your overall track record at the university and during your internship were some of the factors that led to your hiring. But this is now the real world, and you will be part of a sub-team that will develop an infomercial as part of the membership campaign of the client.

You have some knowledge of how to do it, but you’re not leaving anything to chances, so you are researching before joining the company. What are some of the things you need to know when creating an infomercial?

A Background on Infomercials

Infomercials are more extended versions of the typical TV commercials. They are otherwise referred to as program-length commercials or PLC because they last for up to an hour. Because they last longer, advertisers can present to customers more details about a product or a service.

A vital component of an infomercial is a convincing call to action (CTA).  These are the phrases you hear from home shopping networks, like “What are you waiting for? Call now!” whenever they are advertising the latest kitchen knife or vacuum cleaner.

Critical Insights on Making Infomercials

In the age of digital technology, the Internet, and an average attention span of about a minute, your infomercials need to be spot-on to create an impact. Here are a few things you need to consider.

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  1. Content is king. Either the seller or the buyer previously held the throne. Now it’s the content. As far as advertising is concerned, nothing matters more than content, and the most effective way you can turn it into an actionable message. The infomercial is a three-tiered story: a) present a problem (or sometimes create one), b) offer a solution; and c) convince people to act on the proposed solution. You need to make a highly creative and impactful video for your infomercial to be effective.
  2. Not expensive but short. Big brands with a national presence can afford a full production set to create an infomercial. Your client might not necessarily have that. Some cameras, lighting systems, green screens, and impressive talents can do magic for an infomercial. You need to appeal to the attention span of the new generation. Your infomercials must be viewable and can be appreciated via a mobile device. No millennial will watch a 30-minute commercial on their mobile phones. 30 seconds? You have a chance!
  3. Customers as a spokesperson. How many times have you used customer reviews as the basis for buying a product or downloading an app? Chances are, “all the time.” You don’t buy if the reviews are bad. And you get closer to purchasing if it was good. Get testimonials from customers and incorporate them into your infomercials.
  4. Name recall. Don’t forget to mention your product name or your service or at least a tag line that is associated with your product. Before they buy, you want your product to be remembered. Maybe they won’t buy now, but you have already planted a seed in their head.

Whether you’re aiming for the traditional longer infomercial or the shorter 30-second clip version, your content must be clear, and your call to action should be crisp and urgent. The given pointers can help you move forward.

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