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Direct Response Marketing

1Q Short-Form DRTV Media Billings Hold Steady

1 Aug, 2012 By: Thomas Haire Response

Total spending falls less than 1 percent, while average campaign spending jumps more than 18 percent.


First-quarter 2012 short-form DRTV media billings results provided by Kantar Media were nearly identical to 1Q 2011 results, totaling $1,061,044,900. The decrease of $8.9 million dollars registers as just a 0.8-percent loss, and the total spend is the second-highest in the past five first quarters.

Fig. 1

First-quarter 2012 also reflected a rise of $23 million when compared to 4Q 2011, a 2.2-percent increase from the final quarter of last year.

Comeback for Collectibles

Just seven of the 17 categories claimed gains this quarter when compared to the same period from 2011. “Drug and Toiletry” showed the highest dollar gain with an astounding $79 million increase (18.1 percent). This came on the heels of the category’s 1Q 2011 performance that saw it gain $40.7 million. In complete contrast to 1Q 2011 when it suffered a weighty 72.6-percent dip, “Multiple Category Ad” made a complete comeback in the first quarter of this year, earning top percentage-gainer honors by far — boasting a 90-percent increase of about $800,000, bringing its first-quarter 2012 total to more than $1.6 million. The “Home and Building” category finished second in both total dollar ($12.5 million) and percentage (77.4) gains in 1Q 2012.

Fig. 2

The “General” category did not fare as well, suffering the greatest dollar loss (and second greatest percentage loss) in 1Q 2012, dipping $41.6 million (30.1 percent). “Collectibles and Art” saw the greatest percentage loss — 69.5 percent — a dollar loss of $3.7 million. The “Crafts, Hobbies, Sporting Goods and Toys” category also suffered through a dismal quarter, losing 26.4 percent, or $21.9 million.

Network, Hispanic Make Solid Gains

Network TV and Hispanic Network TV fared far better in first-quarter 2012 than they did during the same time period the prior year, becoming the only two outlets to enjoy gains. While cable TV remained the dominant media outlet this quarter (boasting 77.2 percent of market share), it lost $16.6 million when compared to 1Q 2011 spending. However, Network TV’s $12.6 million rise helped it gain back a percentage point of market share, as did Hispanic Network TV’s $8.4 million jump.

Faltering after a solid first quarter a year ago, Syndication lost $11.5 million in spending (nearly 20 percent) in 1Q 2012. Spot TV’s 7.4-percent decrease left it floundering in fifth place among TV outlets.

Fig. 3Proactiv Outspends Others to Claim No. 1 Spot

The total number of short-form DRTV campaigns aired in first-quarter 2012 — 1,138 — signified a 16.3-percent decrease when compared to the same period in 2011. Subsequently, the average money spent on a campaign based on the total this quarter jumped 18.5 percent to $932,377, while the average money spent on a campaign outside the top 40 followed suit, rising 24 percent to $436,193. Both of these figures were the highest since the pre-recession first quarter of 2008.

Fig. 4

At $582.1 million, the top 40 campaigns accounted for 54.9 percent of total 1Q 2012 short-form DRTV media billings. The top 10 campaigns totaled $354.8 million — or 33.4 percent of the quarter’s total spending.

The top three campaigns in 1Q 2012 remained the same as a year ago, with Proactiv Solution ($93.2 million), Nutrisystem Inc. ($77.7 million) and 1-800-CONTACTS ($31.6 million) leading the way. The top 40 campaigns of 1Q 2012 included an impressive 21 new campaigns compared to first-quarter 2011, with the Concha Nacar enjoying the highest debut at No. 9. 

Fig. 5

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About the Author: Thomas Haire

Thomas Haire

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