Resources

Industry Terms, Buzz Words and Acronyms…

A
Allowable: The budget per sale or lead; how much you can afford on a cost-per-order or cost-per-lead basis. The max you can pay to create a sale or lead, expressed as dollars per unit sold or lead generated.
Affidavit: Created by the TV station or cable network documenting their allotted commercial run times and specific prices paid. The official “proof of performance” of what the media ran and what you agreed to pay.
Airing: The broadcast of an infomercial or DR spot in a specific time slot.
Airtime: Media time slots a network or broadcast station has slated for the placement of infomercial programs.
Area of Dominant Influence (ADI): A television marketing area defined by Arbitron. Each county in the U.S. is assigned to only one market according to where the majority of household viewing hours are directed.
Audience Composition: The classifications of a program’s audience into specific demographic categories.
Avails: Commercial inventory (time) on a station or network available for sale.
Average Take: Term used by continuity marketers to describe the average number of orders a consumer will make once entering a continuity program. For example, a music club member may take an average of 6 CD’s before canceling their membership.

B
Broadcast Day: Start date and time to begin airing infomercial.
Back-end Sales: Product transactions occurring after the initial direct television sale generated by a long or short form DRTV infomercial.
Bonus: An attractive extra product or service added to the key infomercial product or service.
B-roll: Footage shot expressly to “cover” narration or interview copy. The audio from these shots is generally used as background audio or “sound under” (same at “cover footage”).

C
Call to Action (CTA): The segments of an infomercial program that are created to motivate the customer to call or visit a website and order the product or service.
Campaign: Term used to describe a product’s advertising plan and execution, from development, through production and media placement.
Clearance: A term used by short-form media buyers to indicate which part of their media order or campaign, in any given day or week, was actually broadcast.
Clutter: All non-programming content, which includes network and local commercial time, public service announcements (PSAs), public service promotions (PSPs), promotions aired by broadcast and cable networks, program credits not run over continuing program action, and “other” unidentified gaps within a commercial pod.
Continuity Program: An infomercial/DRTV campaign which offers the first in a series of products, often for a lower-than-normal price. The consumer is then encouraged to continue purchasing the rest of the series at a higher price. Extensively used for music and book series, as well as health, diet, beauty and self-developmental products.
Copy: Term used by advertisers and agencies to specify the written or spoken words in a commercial.
Cost of Goods (COG): The direct cost involved with the manufacture and packaging of a specific product.
Cost per Lead (CPL): The average cost of television media to generate one lead or telephone call requesting more information on the product or service.
Cost per Order (CPO): The average cost of television media to generate one product order, determined by dividing the cost of a specific infomercial telecast by the total number of orders generated from it.
Coverage Area: A geographic area where a broadcast signal can be received.
Cumulative Audience (CUME): The non-duplicated audience for one or more programs or spots, which can be expressed in ratings or thousands.
Cut-In: A commercial on a station substituted for a network commercial during a nationally televised program. Used for copy testing.

D
Daypart: Refers to the various multiple hour slots of television’s 24-hour broadcast day. Dayparts are typically segmented as follows:
• 6a-9a: Early Morning
• 9a-12n: Morning
• 12n-4p: Daytime
• 4p-6p: Early Fringe
• 6p-7p: Early News
• 7p-8p: Prime Access
• 8p-11p: Prime
• 11p-11:30p: Late News
• 11:30p-1a: Late Fringe
• 1a-6a: Late Night/Overnight
Designated Market Area (DMA): The Nielsen Ratings company term to describe a specific TV market area. Nielsen has determined that there are 211 distinct markets in the US.
Direct Response (DR): The marketing and sales methodology of bypassing standard retail stores to make a product sale or service offering directly to the consumer.
Direct Response Television (DRTV): An all-inclusive term describing anything sold or offered directly over television, most often bypassing traditional retail stores. DRTV is divided into three primary marketing subgroups: short form, long form (infomercials) and live home shopping.
Dubs/Dubbing: the video duplication of a DRTV commercial for distribution to TV stations and cable networks for airing.

E
Electronic Marketing: The direct response marketing and sales methodology that uses electronic media such as: TV, radio, online, CD ROM or electronic kiosks.
Electronic Media: The media of television, radio, fax, phone, kiosks, CD ROM and computers/internet. It is distinguished from print (newspapers, magazines, catalogs or letters) and outdoor media.
Erosion: The “diminishing effect” on viewers, media buy and response volume. After a specific infomercial has aired for a number of weeks/months, order response levels begin to drop.

F
Firesale: The term to describe the last minute sudden dumping of infomercial media into the media buying marketplace. It usually occurs because some agency has just cancelled the same media time.
Flight: A term used by short form media buyers to describe a specific number of spots airing during a one week, or more, period on a specific TV station or cable network.
Frequency: The number of times an infomercial will air in a specific TV market over a specified time period, and the number of times the average individual will see the same commercial.
Fulfillment: The warehousing, packaging, labeling, shipping and tracking information related to an infomercial product.

G
Gross impressions: Total number of people (in thousands) in any demographic category delivered by an advertiser’s schedule.
Gross Rating Points (GRP): Total number of rating points, either by household or demo, delivered by an advertiser’s schedule.

H
Homes Using Television (HUT): The percentage of homes watching television at any particular time.
Household: Term used by media buyers to refer to a home with one or more televisions.
Households/Subscriber Base: Number of households that have access to view a particular cable program.

I
IMS: Infomercial monitoring service.
Inbound Telemarketer: Telephone service companies that have multiple WATTS lines and operators to answer inquiries and take orders from DRTV commercials. Payment to these companies is either by the call or by the second for connect time.
Inbound Marketing: The service provided to infomercial marketers; involves setting up and maintaining a phone bank for customer inbound calls wanting to order or request more information about a product or service.
Independent Broadcast Station: Any television station which is not affiliated with a network (i.e. ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, etc.)
Inquiry: A telephone response or web visit generated by a DRTV commercial which does not result in an order.
Interconnect: The connecting of two or more local cable systems (by wire or microwave) in order to telecast shared commercials or programs simultaneously.

L
Lead-in: The program which immediately precedes the infomercial.
Lead-out: The program which immediately follows the infomercial.
Local Cable: One of more than 11,000 local cable systems serving communities of all sizes, and are most often owned by large MSO’s. Because they are locally operated, it is possible to buy infomercial media time on a local, community-by-community basis.
Long Form: Any television commercial longer than two minutes, typically 30 minutes.

M
Make Good (Bonus): An infomercial telecast provided by a station or network, often at reduced or no cost, to compensate for a station error or poor performance from a previous media purchase.
Market: A distinct geographic area surrounding a city or cities that is the area of dominant influence for that city’s broadcast TV stations.
Master: The original, final edit version of a completed infomercial.
Master Dub: The dub of the master with the specified 800# and/or url included. From this other dubs with the same 800#/url will be made for other TV markets.
Media Agency: An infomercial agency which provides only media buying and analysis services.
Media Cost: The price paid for a specific time slot, or flight (group) of spots on cable or broadcast stations.
Media Efficiency Ratio (MER): The total number that decides an infomercial’s overall success or failure. Dividing total sales/leads by the media cost derives the ratio. Example, if you buy a half hour of time for $1000 and it generates $3000 in sales, the MER is 3. Sales/Media Cost = MER.
Merchant Account: A contracted agreement between a merchant or business owner selling a product and the credit card company responsible for collecting the sale proceeds. The most common types involve the “big three”: VISA, MasterCard and/or AMEX.

N
National Cable: Cable network that broadcasts its signal via satellite to numerous local cable systems nationwide. There are more than 50 national cable networks with new additions coming on the air all the time.

O
One-step Offer: A DRTV offer that requests the viewer to call the 800# (or visit a website) to purchase the featured product with his/her credit card.

P
Per Inquiry (PI): A broadcast station or cable network’s policy of accepting payments for an infomercial’s broadcast in the form of a percentage of sales.
Post Production: Final integration of audio, video, and graphic elements to create a finished production.
Preemption: An abrupt removal of a previously scheduled infomercial (or any broadcast). It happens most often for a breaking news story.
Production: The actual shooting of film or videotape of the infomercial script elements.

R
Roll-out: The stage of an infomercial campaign where, through a media test, it has been determined that the infomercial is a success and ready for regional or national distribution. Typical national distribution is reached through a gradual release over 2 to 4 months.
Run of Station (ROS): The discount purchase of short-form commercial media time stipulating run times at the station’s discretion.

S
Share: The percentage of household using television who are watching a specific program (rating X share = HUT).
Shipping & Handling: The consumer’s cost, which is stated on the billboard, and is additional to the stated product price.
Short Form: Any DRTV commercial that is two minutes or under in length. 30’s, 60’s, 90’s and 120;s (seconds) are the most common.
Spill-In: The percentage of viewers in a specific market that is directed to TV stations originating outside of the market.
Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS): a widely used publication which details information about broadcast TV stations’ management, personnel, county coverage and commercial rates.
Sweeps: a 4-week period, held 4 times per year by Nielsen, in which all U.S. TV stations are measured for viewer levels and demographic breakdown.

T
Target Audience: A specific demographic category an advertiser wants to reach with its commercials.
Turnover: Audience “tune-in” and “tune-out”. The departure of part of an audience (households or persons) during the course of a program or schedule, and the arrival of new audience not tuned-in earlier.
Telemarketing: Inbound and Outbound telephone calls used to generate sales and/or leads.

U
Universe: An estimated number of households or people within a survey area.
Upsell: The sale of an additional product or service offered to an infomercial product purchaser at the time of their initial order.

V
Voiceover: The voice in the background heard as a narrator.