While global ad spend has softened in many sectors, one format, the direct response ad, or infomercial, has seen a remarkable 18% growth in total units in the U.S. since 2007 according to Nielsen. In total, direct response comprises 14% of all TV advertising, a figure that may continue to grow as blankets with sleeves, super absorbent towels and language learning CDs gain a mixture of mainstream awareness and web virality.
An analysis of a single week of all direct response national TV advertising shows that 88% of all U.S. TV Homes (or 101 million homes) tuned to at least one national direct response ad — on average those homes saw 32 such ads during the week tracked. Over 15,500 DR commercials units aired across national TV for the week we reviewed.
“One factor that makes direct response so attractive to advertisers is the ability to get that direct, and almost immediate feedback of how well the ad performed,” said Kevin Svenningsen, SVP Media Tracking Services, The Nielsen Company. “When we overlay our media tracking services on top of that, we give advertisers verification that the campaign aired as planned as well as access to critical performance metrics.”