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Why Infomercials and Commercials Fail

By Sy Sperling

Much of my success in building a national hair company can be attributed to my effective use of television advertising. Although it is commonly known that 9 out of 10 infomercials/commercials fail, I was able to reverse those statistics so that approximately 9 out of 10 of my commercials worked. The secret to my success? I turned an art form into a science.

Listed below are the 10 most common mistakes made in TV advertising. By avoiding them, you'll be on the path of maximizing the power of TV advertising to your ultimate benefit and profit.

1) What Not To Do: Spokesperson is obviously reading from a teleprompter and doesn't seem to believe in the product. His/her presentation is canned. What To Do:  Make sure that the spokesperson becomes very familiar with the product, should love and use the product and be able to ad-lib the commercial (speak from the gut)!

2) What Not To Do: The camera doesn't like the spokesperson. Lack of charisma and a monotone voice are common causes for failure. What To Do: In today's channel surfing world you have to give the viewer a reason to stop and look at your commercial. There are now hundreds (maybe even thousands!) of other stations and commercials competing with yours. The camera has to love the spokesperson!

3) What Not To Do: Choosing a celebrity spokesperson who doesn't fit the product. What To Do: Choosing a celebrity isn't always the best idea. There are always more successful non-celebrity commercials than visa versa on the air today. If you choose a celebrity, make sure he or she fits all the guidelines listed and must be a proper fit for the product

4) What Not To Do: Not enough of a mark-up built into the price of the product. What To Do: The basic rule of thumb in direct response advertising is to mark your product up five to six times. For example if the product costs you $3, it should sell for between $15 and $18.

5) What Not To Do: Using the wrong in-bound telemarketing firm. What To Do:  I've personally used firms that could not handle the load of calls coming in at one time and could not deliver the right message. Be sure to talk to other firms before making a commitment.

6) What Not To Do: Poor TV production quality. The commercial looks like it was made with a home video. What To Do: Always peruse through prior commercials produced by the production company you're using, and of course, speak to other clients.

7) What Not To Do: The product was never price tested to see which price point gets the phones to ring off the hook. What To Do: It's not a bad idea to test market your product with different price points in different local markets. For example:  $19.95 in Houston, $29.95 in Los Angeles, $39.95 in Denver. If you get three times the amount of calls at the lowest price point, you may wind up making the most money at the lowest price point.

8) What Not To Do: I followed all of the above rules and I still did not make money. What To Do: It's always safe to have a back end sale. For example:  if you are selling vitamins, it's not a bad idea to sell a years supply at a substantial discount. This generates higher revenue and chances are you will have an on-going customer.

9) What Not To Do: I started my ad campaign on December 1 and I bombed out. What To Do: You probably thought that everyone is in a buying mood in December, but you are now competing with the nations' retailers for TV time and like any other commodity, the cost of TV time is dictated by supply and demand. The two best quarters to buy TV time are January - March and July - September.

10) What Not To Do: I was trying to sell a vitamin enriched, no calorie fruit flavored drink and I bombed out. What To Do: This may be a great product but selling this product through health food stores and supermarkets may be a better way. The customer may not want to pay $15 in shipping fees for something they could pick up at their local supermarket.

There is never a guarantee for success in TV marketing but by using these guidelines your chances will be that much greater!           

Learn more about Sy Sperling.

[This article is available at no-cost, on a non-exclusive basis. Contact PR/PR at 407-299-6128 for details and requirements.]

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