Our recent work with Thinkbox, TV Response: New Rules, New Roles uncovered a game changing insight into direct response TV (DRTV). Analysing how consumers respond to a DRTV ad across a substantial number of DRTV advertisers, we identified that typically, 95% of the impact is achieved within a consumer being exposed to the ad twice. This means that any exposures after this would be wastage. However, for the last 25 years, since its inception, DRTV has worked on a purchase model whereby typically daytime TV spots are packaged up and sold at a discount rate compared to peak airtime. This drives frequency, ensuring the target audience are exposed to the ad a significant number of times. 

While DRTV is already one of the most efficient response channels, holding its own against many of the digital channels, we believe that it can be planned to deliver even more efficient response. By moving some of the DRTV investment into peak airtime and smaller TV spots, we can drive coverage rather than frequency and still improve efficiency despite the increased cost of the airtime. 

To achieve this we need a change in DRTV trading and response planning. 

Our Head of Business Science, Jane Christian, wrote an article for Admap,  the monthly magazine for effectiveness in marketing communications. The article provides an overview of the study, its findings and the implications for DRTV. It has been published on WARC.