VOD – There is Clearly ‘a Demand’, But Maybe Not The Right DRTV Supply… |
SmartResponse are a unique full service DRTV and TV Shopping agency offering DRTV creative and media, DR Social media and TV shopping campaigns.
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VOD – There is Clearly ‘a Demand’, But Maybe Not The Right DRTV Supply…

Successful DRTV advertising has always been about marketing products and services for the lowest possible costs, especially where DRTV airtime is concerned.

Any seasoned DRTV practitioner will always be far more interested, from a commercial perspective, in the low cost per thousand (CPT) of any airtime rather than the demographic details or specific ‘targeting’ of consumers – the very cornerstones of brand advertising.

In addition, contrary to all theoretic strategies based on ‘brand building’, the best and most responsive DRTV adverts will create a profitable direct response on Day One of a given campaign – therefore negating the importance of ‘frequency’ or the consumers ‘opportunity to see’ a given creative.

At SmartResponse the founders experience in all areas of DRTV advertising dictates that almost without exception DRTV advertising only ‘works’ when the airtime is bought against the broadest TV buying demo graph – All Adults – from Monday-Friday and from 9.00am-6.00pm. Buying airtime outside this DRTV paradigm has virtually never produced profitable results regardless of the type of products or services being sold via this specialist medium.

In the somewhat crude, but effective, world of established DRTV media buying/planning techniques Video on Demand (VOD), when it first emerged, looked like something of a panacea. Maybe at long last VOD represented a viable alternative to the well-trodden approach to DRTV media buying that has formed the baseline approach for the industry for decades.

There has always been an in built challenge to selling inherently ABC1 products and services using DRTV advertising when the parametres of ‘daytime’ viewing will inevitably create the self fulfilling prophetic audience that is inherently C1D2 – not a desirable target market for premium marketing.

As consumers ‘on demand’ viewing continues to grow exponentially in the UK – it is forecast to reach 7% of all broadcasting in 2015 – so the commercial opportunity increases in tandem for advertisers.

VOD, unlike traditional DRTV airtime, allows companies to target consumers with DRTV adverts with the utmost accuracy against target audience both via broadcast and on line via 4oD, ITV.com and the plethora of other VOD platforms now populating the converged media landscape. Coupled with the fact that the consumer has to view the given VOD advert as a ‘pre roll’ prior to any given specified TV programme guaranteeing viewing of the creative the future of VOD looked bright….

This all sounds therefore like VOD may be the viable answer for companies with an upmarket proposition to use DRTV creative effectively – responsive content selling ABC1 products marketed directly to an ABC1 targeted audience.

There is, however, one inherent market problem that will only be resolved by greater ‘supply’ and lower pricing for DRTV advertisers. The current CPT for any VOD campaign in the UK is normally 10 x the comparative cost of a normal DRTV traditional media campaign.

Whilst the exact targeting and pre roll broadcast consumption of VOD may, on the surface, appear attractive until the CPTs drop dramatically for VOD it will remain a ‘brand building’ TV medium and return on investment in terms of net profit in crude DRTV terms will remain very difficult to achieve.