What Do Online Video and Direct-Response TV Have in Common?

Direct-response television (TV ads that have a “call to action”) aren’t new. But I did have a chance to hear about best-practices on DR-TV and they struck me as awfully similar to some of the online-video entertainment best practices.


  • Immediate Appearance of Response Mechanism (start your video with a compelling clip)
  • Response Mechanism Duration on Screen (if asking for views/subs, raise it at the right time)
  • Quick, Visual Display of Product (again- lead with something visceral)
  • Multiple Response Mechanisms (e.g., phone/URL) (like, favorite, subscribe)
  • Large Font Size of Response Mechanism (hmmm)
  • Strong Offer Repeated Throughout Spot (repetition of comedy)
  • Voice-Over of Response Mechanism and Offer (okay this doesn’t apply)

You know what? They’ve got nothing in common. DR-TV is sleazy infomercials, and online video is a new high art form. Never mind.

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