Last week I sat on a panel at a digi-day conference on video.  Our topic was DRTV in the digital space.  

For those of you digi-rati that don't do TV, DRTV stands for Direct Response Television. In general awareness advertising, the spot usually gets your attention and answers "Why this product?".  A DRTV spot answers "Why this product right now?".  DRTV comes in a few flavors. It can be anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes long.  Most DRTV spots ask for the sale, give you a reasonable offer and then flash up a toll free number to redeem the offer.  It is a very effective way to sell products via television.

If you were born in the digital space, like me, the thought of a DRTV spot online seems like an epic waste of media space.  As a matter of fact it is an improper use of the digital medium.

This line of thought lead me to sit and draw up how I would take the power of video and combine digital direct response and social media.   Here is a prototype of a portable direct response video player.


A "how-to" or demonstration video may be a great way to show HOW your product or service can benefit the consumer.  This would work much better than the 15 & 30 second awareness pre-roll. You could also tie consumer comments and or ratings to the video.  The entire ad module could be shared in social networks.

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Within the video player you could put in 3D imagery with a written description along with a full up shopping cart.

Screen shot 2010-04-18 at 8.23.39 PMThe consumer could complete the entire purchase process in the video unit by using overlapping modal windows.

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A click to chat feature would let a customer service rep help you or even connect you to others who are using the product now.

The Big Idea Still Counts
As a true believer in the big insightful idea, I am especially keen on tailoring the message to the medium. You would not dare put a banner ad on TV. Why would you throw your 30 second ad on the web and then never ask for the click or the sale? 

No matter what your big advertising idea is, you must customize it to the medium for the best results.

ON: Direct Response Video via @jpenabickley