Secrets to Using DRTV Ads to Drive Demand for Health Brands

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Understanding how to leverage DRTV for health brands starts with understanding the quality of your offer and then demands you examine your media buying strategy and your target markets.

How can direct-to-consumer brands stand out from the marketing clutter? DRTV ads! But, knowing how to leverage this marketing format is key in getting in front of the right audience and compelling them to take action.

In today’s digital world, it’s easy to fall into the belief that “everyone is online so that’s where I should advertise.” While more ad dollars are spent online and screen time online and on digital channels is up, there’s so much growth is using a multi-channel approach to marketing and specifically in DRTV.

Is TV advertising a dying marketing strategy?

The answer will depend on who you ask. But to me, the numbers never lie.

Because nearly $80B will be spent on TV ads in 2019 alone. Not to mention that 100 million Americans still choose not to access the Internet, making TV one of the only ways to reach them.

And when you look at what demographics interact with TV ads, it becomes clear that TV can be a lucrative marketing channel. At a minimum, TV ads should be part of your larger marketing approach.

But be careful… TV ads can be powerful but only for certain health products.

     1.Highly-Compelling Benefits.

Your product needs to stand out as unique. You need dramatic demonstrations (or graphics) and if possible, powerful testimonials. One of my favorite commercials out now is the Plexaderm ad where they show the wrinkles literally disappearing with time-lapse video.

A true direct response ad is 60-120 secs, much longer than the branding commercials of just 15 seconds in length. This extra time allows you to properly sell your product, offer a website, and give a 1-800 number for people to call and buy. 

One of the great secrets of DRTV is that you are also getting a lot of branding and retail push-through while you are selling direct. 

     2. DRTV is cheaper!

DRTV ads are pre-emptable meaning that you’re not guaranteed an airing time. But so what– when you’re buying TV time at 50-75% off the normal rate card? That’s right. You might be airing on the fringe time slots but instead of paying $15 CPM, you might get that for $3.5CPM. There is an art and a science to buying DRTV media, and any good DR broadcast media team can help you. My favorite DRTV media buying agency is Eicoff in Chicago. They buy more 2-minute DRTV time than anyone in the country and know how to negotiate the deals.

     3. DRTV can aid in demand generation.

This is the most powerful point. Whether you’re selling direct or have a growing retail distribution network, DRTV creates demand. We see search volume and conversion skyrocket from online sources when we have TV running in a market. 

Retailers are more likely to give you shelf space when they know the products are supported by broadcast and digital marketing. Experience shows that for every unit you sell through a DRTV commercial, another 8-10 products sell in your other channels because of the broadcast push. Through buying at the station/market level, you only need to run commercials in the markets where you have product placed.

If you want to build a big recognizable health brand, do so by spending the least amount of marketing dollars and support your retail distribution. DRTV can be a secret weapon in your total marketing arsenal.