‘18 Trends Series: #3 – We’re All DRTV Now
16 January 2018 • tvsquared
Jayne Fairchild,
UK Marketing Manager

When you think of the term “direct response TV” (DRTV), what comes to mind? For me, it’s the “classics” like ShamWow, Thigh Master or the George Foreman Grill. DRTV is closely associated with infomercial-based brands. But it’s time for us to think differently about it because, in many ways, every brand is a DRTV advertiser today. Here’s why:

The Active-Participation Viewer

As we’ve mentioned many times before on this blog, about 90% of people have second-screen devices in-hand or nearby when watching TV. They are active-participation viewers, immediately engaging when they see ads that interest them.

Whether we realize it or not, we all digitally interact with TV every day.

The Changing CTA

Not so long ago, calls-to-action (CTAs) were phone numbers, promo codes or vanity URLs. They all suffered from different “ailments” – interruption of content to talk to an operator (how many times did you lose interest while waiting on a call queue?) or easily shared codes that had no content relevance.

Today, the touch of a smartphone is all it takes for consumers to respond. There’s no interruption and responses can be directly connected to the content generating them. Because of this, CTAs have been relaxed. They can be as simple as “search now,” which, in turn, have made certain ads feel more branded.

Branding and Response

TV has become an even more powerful tool to reach target audiences by making smartphones, tablets and laptops an ally for TV-driven response. Consumers can directly respond with measurable actions, such as site visits or mobile orders.

Increasingly, TV initiatives are about both immediate impact AND long-term branding. It’s not either/or anymore.

In 2018, the savviest advertisers will realize that they are all a little “DRTV.”


To learn more about this, download TVSquared’s “2018 TV Ad Trends” ebook. Next week, we’ll explore artificial intelligence and its growing role in TV advertising.