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Short Form vs. Long Form

In direct response TV, there are two ways in which to mount a campaign. Each has its place in a marketing effort that's designed to promote a product or service directly to viewing prospects via a TV offer, driving them to a website for more information and ordering, generating qualified leads, and working to build the kind of product and brand awareness that pays off in retail distribution and bringing even more sales success.

In direct response TV, marketers either use long form or short form advertising. Don't be led astray by suggestions that run counter to Zephyr Media Group's experience and common sense. Here's what we mean by each and how each is used…

Long Form advertising…this is what is commonly known as the infomercial. Long form infomercials are those half-hour programs seen primarily on national cable networks and local TV stations, especially (but not exclusively) in the overnight and early to mid morning hours of the day, especially weekends. Additionally there are more channels on cable and satellite systems that are dedicated to airing half-hour infomercial blocks of programming.

Zephyr Media Group recommends you consider a long form campaign if you….

  • Have a product or service that is not a low cost item: items in excess of $50 often are long form
  • Have a complicated story or message to convey
  • Have a need to provide in-depth set of demonstrations
  • Have a series of user testimonials or category experts who are vital to the selling process

Short Form Advertising…that is commonly referred to as the direct response TV or DRTV spot or commercial. Short form spots air just about anywhere in traditional network or station commercial breaks at all hours of the day and night.

Zephyr Media Group recommends short form campaigns when…

  • The product or service is lower cost and impulse in nature: the classic $19.99+ item or offer
  • The idea can be conveyed fast and easy: an “I get it” kind of offer
  • The message can be demonstrated quickly and easily
  • The experts or testimonial givers can make their point quickly

As you might expect, there are cost differences and implications in mounting a long form versus short form campaign. Let us help you make the smart and fiscally prudent decision that helps you avoid costly mistakes. There's more information on that trade-off in our FAQ section.