Tag Archives: Advertising

Legendary TV pitchman an infomercial icon Billy Mays will be deeply missed

Billy Mays

TV Pitchman and Legendary Infomercial Billy Mays

With his unexpected and recent passing, legendary TV pitchman an infomercial icon Billy Mays will be deeply missed.

I was a big fan of Billy and was deeply saddened to learn about his death on Sunday. It was just recently that I got hooked on his new TV show on Discovery channel called Pitchmen and have been telling everyone to watch the show, because they can learn a lot about marketing consumer products and get an inside look at the infomercial industry and the major players involved in the industry including Billy Mays and Anthony “Sully” Sullivan.

Billy and Sully were together for the last time this past Tuesday night during an interview on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien to promote the season finale of Pitchmen, which is scheduled to premiere July 1.

For those we have yet to see the show or want to see what I have been talking about can now get their chance to tune in, because this Wednesday, the Discovery channel is running a Pitchmen marathon starting at 11 AM EST through 10 PM EST leading up to the never-before-seen season finale at 10 p.m.

So program your TIVO, DVR, or change your schedule so that you can tune in to the show and don’t miss out.

$2.6 Million for Not So Super-Ads!

Wow, I don’t know about you, but what the hell were advertisers thinking this year with their ads for the Super-Bowl?!

The ad agencies and the marketing departments at some of the biggest companies in the world have either run out of all of their creative ideas or they have truly lost sight of the purpose of marketing and advertising.

It is absolutely amazing how much money corporations spend on advertising that is not based on direct response marketing principles. At this year’s 2007 Super Bowl, CBS got on average of $2.6 million for a 30-second spot.

Knowing what kind of actually sales emanate from the types of ads you saw during this year’s Super Bowl would be very interesting to know and I bet it would not be as much as most people might think.

If you are going to spend your hard earned capital on advertising, you should do so not to win fancy awards for humor and creativity, but make your advertising guide the viewer or reader to take some sort of action towards buying your products or services.

The worst part about this year’s ads was that most of the ads were some of the worst Super Bowl ads of all time. The media coverage about how awful the ads were has been all over the TV, in the newspapers, and all over the internet.

Does all of this buzz about the ads still help the advertisers get more sales?!

It may get them more mileage out of their advertising failures, but very few, if any of the ads this year were that persuasive and probably won’t lead to windfall profits and sales.

Case in point, did you feel compelled at all to run out and buy any of the products and services that you saw advertised?

Some people argue that it doesn’t matter that the ads generate lots of extra sales because it is good branding strategy for the various advertisers.

That is a lame excuse for poor advertising and marketing! Try going to the bank and depositing “branding” into your account and see what happens.

Don’t ever spend money on advertising and marketing that is NOT focused on direct response marketing principles! ALWAYS HAVE A CALL TO ACTION!!!

Robert Collier summarized it best in his book, The Robert Collier Letter Book:

“What is persuasion? Nothing but finding the motive that will impel your reader to do as you wish, then stirring it to the point where it is stronger than his inertia, or his economical tendencies.”

“Summed up, arousing the right motive comes down to making the reader want what you have to offer, whether that be merchandise or money or credit or merely a clean bill of health—not merely for what it is, but for what it will do for him!”

–Robert Collier (The Robert Collier Letter Book)

Take this as an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of big companies, so you don’t have to break your bank in the process of growing your business. And since you will always be focusing on ads that generate profits, you can sit back and laugh at next year’s Super Bowl while watching them on your new 52-inch flat screen TV!

Damian Petrini