Saturday, August 4, 2007


A while back, when I took the Warner Bros. backlot tour, I got a lesson in commercials.

A network (or show producers, I can't even remember which) doesn't sell commercials show by show.  They package them.  So, like, while everyone might want to buy commercial time in Grey's Anatomy, they won't be allowed to unless they also buy commercials in The Nine or whatever else bottoms out the ratings list.

This ran through my head last night, while I was watching ESPN.  Because, if it weren't for packaging, I can't imagine why I saw a commercial for "The Scooter Store" (geared toward mobility-impaired seniors on Medicare) during the X Games.

1 comment:

quinnbritt said...

As the Marketing Director responsible for TV advertising at The SCOOTER Store, I found your comment about our commercial that aired in the X Games interesting.  While you would be surprised at which programs are most effective for our products, you would be correct in assuming the average X Games viewer isn't our typical target, so the airing of our ad in this program would seem a bit odd.

I could provide a lengthy—and probably boring—explanation of how this could happen, but I’ll try not to. Suffice it to say 1) purchasing commercial time isn’t quite as cut-and-dried as your Warner Bros. tour guide indicated, and 2) advertisers like us buy time very differently from most of the advertisers you see.  

Direct Response ads—like ours and many others that have a toll-free number and encourage the viewer to take immediate action—are purchased under different business models than most :30 brand ads you are accustomed to seeing.   We give stations/cable operators much greater flexibility about when and where they can run our ads, and in return, we get greater flexibility in how we compensate them for the air time.

As a result, you may see direct response ads—ours and other companies’—pop up in unexpected places.  If the ads work, then you’ll see more; if not, then you won’t see them again in that program or time period.

(Side note:  I don't see how those X Games athletes do what they do without getting hurt worse, more often!!  It is truly amazing what they can do with their boards, bikes, etc.!  It's also amazing that they are able to get up from some of their wipeouts.  Godspeed to all of them--they are incredible!)

Quinn Britt
Marketing Director--DRTV