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What is a TVR, what makes DRTV 'Direct Response'? We've tried to answer all your DRTV questions here, but if you have more, please

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1 / What is DRTV?

DRTV stands for Direct Response Television. DRTV is a type of TV advertising which calls for the viewer to respond directly to the advert – by picking up the phone, going online or going into a store. One of the best things about DRTV is that the response is almost instant in most cases, so you can get a read very quickly.

2 / What is Teleshopping?

Not all DRTV is teleshopping.  Teleshopping or TV Shopping is a subset of DRTV which must have certain characteristics:

 a) it must offer a product or service for sale

 b) it must include a fixed price on screen

 c) it must include an ordering mechanism

If the advert fulfils these characteristics this opens up specific Teleshopping airtime, which is traded differently to linear TV advertising, often at excellent rates.

3 / How long does it take to produce a DRTV advert?

The usual lead-time you create a DRTV advert from scripting stage to being on air is 3-4 months. Much faster turnarounds are possible if required.

4 / How much does it cost to produce a DRTV advert?

The cost very much depends on whether there is existing footage available or if we are starting from scratch, what the product or service is and of course the length of creative. We are a lean company, and we think you will find our budgets fair and reasonable. Please get in touch with us and we’ll be very happy to give you an estimated budget depending on your requirements.

5 / How long does it take to test a Direct Response TV advert?

We would normally recommend testing your creative over a one-month period as response tends to improve with repetition/opportunity to see (OTS). That said, you can normally gauge if a campaign is going to be profitable within seven days.

6 / How much does it cost to test a DRTV advert on TV?

This very much depends on what other media is in the mix at the same time. If there is not significant spend elsewhere we would usually recommend testing with a media budget of circa £30,000 over the course of a month.

7 / What is the difference between longform and shortform teleshopping?

In the UK there are two overriding DRTV creative formats, longform and shortform:


LONGFORM – Longform DRTV is usually one 30 minute or 12 minute advert, also known as an infomercial. In the regulators’ eyes, longform is any creative over 5 minutes in length.


This type of creative is excellent if you have a product which needs a lot of explanation and demonstration. It is usually presenter led, contains testimonials who explain the product or service from a consumer use perspective, and contains multiple ‘Call-To-Action’ segments (CTAs).

SmartResponse have also developed an ‘As Live’ style creative format which allows our clients to feature up to six products in one half hour infomercial. Please contact us to find out more.

Longform media is low cost, because there are not many companies who have invested in this type of creative. Those who do generally reap the rewards from the same creative month in month out, with long-term, profitable campaigns which span over years.

Every mainstream channel in the UK is entitled to carry three hours per day of ‘longform teleshopping’ airtime. Airtime is also sold on some of the specific TV shopping channels, carried mainly on the Sky platform.

SHORTFORM – Shortform DRTV is usually one 3 minute or 4 minute advert, but this term can also be applied to shorter adverts for 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds or 2 minutes.


Shortform creative allows brands to showcase a full set of features and benefits for their product. We often advise on including consumer testimonials in a 3 minute DRTV creative as the ‘real user views’ certainly help with response rates.

Shortform creative can be designed to be modular, and therefore cost effectively updated as required with new products and/or seasonal offers/messaging.

Smart Response are also very experienced in producing 30 second creative for our clients to run on linear airtime, which can be very efficient to drive retail sales, particularly when it is run in tandem with 3-minute advertising to drive additional reach.


Combining 3 minute shortform with 30 second ‘cut-down’ creative can be a hugely compelling format to drive consumers to respond online, on the phone or in store whilst enabling greater brand building through the impacts a 30 second creative can deliver.

Shortform teleshopping creative runs on mainstream TV channels to achieve campaign reach at a fraction of the cost of linear airtime. It also runs in the daytime, when TV is being watched rather than recorded – so adverts are generally not skipped.

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