Operators Are Waiting For Your Call

Nov 12, 2002

By George Anderson

If you watch TV, you’ve seen them. Infomercials are running at all hours of the day and night selling products on as many channels as your satellite dish or digital cable can provide, says a Knight Ridder Newspapers report in the Providence Journal.

In fact, today nearly two-thirds of Americans over the age of 16 have seen an infomercial, according to research from Leisure Trends Group. That adds up to 136.2 million viewers and potential shoppers. Leisure Trends research also found that one in four viewers say that they bought a product featured on an infomercial.

Moderator’s Comment: Do infomercials make sense as
a marketing device for traditional brick and mortar retailers?

Sophistication in presentation and production values has
brought infomercials a long way from their hard sell beginnings. Today, this
medium offers a means of developing a personal connection between a brand and
the consumer.

Marty Kaplan, associate dean and director of the Center
for Entertainment Studies at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg
School says, “These infomercials have hosts who tap into a kind of epidemic
of loneliness in our country. They’re as much our imaginary friends as the people
who are on soap operas. You get to know who they are.”
Anderson – Moderator

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