Is an Infomercial Right for You? Pt 2

Services for Real Estate Pros with The Reel Estate Network



In the first part of this blog on infomercials, I mentioned the chart, outlining the costs involved in making an infomercial.  For 2007 the chart showed that a typical infomercial could cost $138,125.00 to $700,650.00.  Now that can be out of reach for a lot of businesses and companies, never mind the costs in just getting it aired, but the production costs can far outweigh the possible profits that you might have been anticipating.  To help keep costs down, a lot of our staff is located in the Philippines, the people who do research, write scripts, and do the necessary art work. These people are all highly educated with various degrees and awards in their fields. To give you a better idea on how we can do this for as little as $1200, I will break it down.

Primary Consumer Research. $10,000 to $40,000

This is something that should always be done before investing in an infomercial, as it should also be done as part of your original business plan.  We are relying on you to have already done this and have the information available.  Our staff still does research on the information that you provide, to help determine if it is even feasible to proceed, and also determine the best places to air your final infomercial.  This is included in the $!200 package.

Script and script consultation concept $11,500 to $32,000

This is where you sit down with the client for several hours and discuss the concept, the product or service, and come up with a winning concept.  Many times this requires a staff that can run costs up.  What we do is sit down at the clients place of business, and discuss the same concepts, then let our writers come up with the script.  The client, of course has final approval of the script before shooting.  This is also included in the $1200 package.

Location or Studio $10,000 to $70,000

This can be one of the largest expenses in producing the infomercial.  If you want to have a studio audience, you are going to have to require a studio with seating to do your production in.  There can be other costs involved such as set design, and construction.  There are advantages of using a studio, as a lot of the equipment needed is built in, such as lights, and audio.  In Seattle, we have a studio, but in California, where studios are everywhere, its usually rented.  What we do, is try and find a location, usually the client's location, and work there.  This eliminates the studio, and provides easy access to props, and products.  At times, we will find a outside location, and if this requires extra expenses, the client has to provide for this.  Another alternative is to use a "Virutual Studio".  This is where we shoot the whole production against a green screen and put the studio in during post-production.  We have a lot of Virutual Studios already constructed, and can even customize one just for you.  This of course is an extra expense, and the cost can vary, depending on the scope of the infomercial.  See examples below:

virtual sets


Infomercial Talent Selection and Testimonials Costs can vary depending on Talent.

Selecting the right talent for an infomercial is an important aspect of producing a successful show. Some companies such as Guthy-Renker always use celebrities in their infomercials and this formula has worked extremely well for them. However, there are many examples of profitable infomercial campaigns that utilized an unknown talent or the inventor of a product. If you use a celebrity talent in your infomercial don't make the talent the product expert. Position the celebrity talent as a satisfied customer of the infomercial product. Try to include authoritative product experts in your infomercial production. This lends credibility to the infomercial. Testimonials can be an important component of an infomercial production. Make sure the testimonials are believable and come from people that are reflective of the target audience you are trying to appeal to with your infomercial production. The testimonials need to be authentic and exciting. Dull testimonials can be a turn off to viewers watching your infomercial. We have several people who are experienced "on-camera talent" and work well with a spokesperson from the company.  This formula works extremely well, as who knows more about the product or the service, then the client.  The Talent guides the client through the process, asking the proper questions, and bringing excitement to the production.  Testimonials can be provided by some of the client's satisfied customers, many who love to do it for free, but usually are compensated in some way. One personality is included in the $1200 package.

Equipment and Crew $25,000 to $105.000

We include one camera, basic lighting kit, and audio for two people, in the $1200 package.  Ideally three cameras or more would be better, but the cost in equipment and the crew to run it can add up quickly.  A lot can be achieved with just using one camera, when you have everything pre-planned out.

Animation and Graphics $5000 to $45,000

Make sure before and after photos and infomercial product demonstrations are believable and represent what the product can actually help you achieve. Today's consumer is more sophisticated than ever and can detect deceptive product representations. In addition, eye popping graphics and animations can bring a lot of credibility to your production.  We include standard graphics in the $1200 package, but animation is extra.  Many products benefit from 3D animation, which can provide the viewer with a better explanation on how the product functions.  Because of our staff in Manila, we can produce some incredible 3D animation starting at $20 a second.

Selling and Entertaining the Infomercial
A key to successful infomercial production involves having the right balance of entertainment and selling. An entertaining infomercial production can be instrumental in gaining the consumer's attention and getting them to stop and watch your show. However, infomercial marketers need to make sure their infomercial production isn't too entertaining and doesn't do a good job of selling your product. A call-to-action (CTA) is the key-selling segment of an infomercial, during which the product benefits, offer and price are revealed to the consumer. Some infomercials do not reveal the price during the CTA and this type of offer relies on the telemarketing firm to reveal the price and sell the product. This is referred to as a soft offer. Recent research has shown that by including more CTA's in an infomercial production an infomercial marketer can generate a better level of consumer response. Since consumers have so many media options to choose from, they are likely watching infomercials for shorter periods of time, so that's why it's important to provide them with the ordering information contained in the CTA more often throughout the infomercial production.  A successful infomercial will not only keep the viewer entertained, and informed, but entice them to purchase your product or service to improve their lives.  If you feel that you have a product or service that can enrich a consumer's life, and want to let them know about what you have to offer, a infomercial may be the best way to go about this.  Give us a call and let's see if we can put something together.

The Reel Estate Network 909-240-6950 


Comments (2)

Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I still think this would be an awesome plan, I just can't justify the cost, even at $1200

Aug 12, 2009 02:07 AM
Wayne Clark
The Reel Estate Network - Lake Elsinore, CA

In today’s economy even spending a few additional dollars on advertising or marketing can be difficult when there are bills to be paid.  An Infomercial is not for everyone.  We just put together a team of people, and a plan to make it affordable for a lot of people who it would benefit, who would not normally have an opportunity to produce one.  We actually do turn down clients, when we see that they might be wasting their money, even if it is only $1200. If the infomercial is successful in their local market, we can tweek it, and expand the coverage to broaden their market, this way we both benefit. We get to produce a higher quality show, and the client gets more responses. Remember an infomercial is mass marketed to consumers, so unless you have a product or service that can be of interest to them, it will be a waste of time and money. 

Aug 12, 2009 02:47 AM