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PhiNotPi's avatar

Why do so many commercials seem to follow this same format (see details)

Asked by PhiNotPi (12282 points ) November 24th, 2011

Where I live, there seem to be many commercials airing with this same format: (I have probably over-analyzed this, so I will say the most important steps are numbers 1, 2, 4, 6, and 10)

1. It shows a video of life before the product. In my opinion, the people featured seem to be acting very stupid. The video is sometimes in monochrome.
2. Shows off all of the features of the product
3. Repeats the previous 2 steps
4. Tells how much the most expensive products in this area are. Sometimes they doen’t use the prices of the competition, but just say some arbitrary large amount and say that that is not the price of their product
5. Tells the price of their product (much less the expensive but still way overpriced)
6. Doubles the offer (twice the product for the same price)
7. Adds in a “free gift”
8. Lists off the “total value” of all of these items
9. Tells actual price, the same exact price as before. It seems like a good deal, but only for a limited time.
10. Goes to a still image with the picture of the product inset in the upper left hand corner, the price in the upper right, and their phone number and website address written across the bottom.

So why are there so many commercials that follow this format? The products featured in each one have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Who is responsible or this?

Note: I have put this in social because while I do want to know the answer, a main part of the reason for this question is becuase I am annoyed by the commercials.

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10 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

Probably marketing analyses have determined that it is a successful formula. It may be annoying, but it catches your attention, which is the primary objective.

john65pennington's avatar

Same applies to the audio of the commercials. Turn down the volume for the loud commericlas and turn up the volume for the regular show.

I am wearing my channel selector volume control…....out.

Directv will give me another, I am sure.

marinelife's avatar

Because these things work.

ETpro's avatar

That’s the formula for made for TV product ads. The almost always dounle the offer at the end. And I am sitting there thinking, “If I don’t want one of those for the amazing low proce of $19,95, what the Hell am I supposed to do with two?”

dappled_leaves's avatar

Classic K-Tel marketing. People have been emulating them for decades.

Edit: Though, it looks like the American company Ronco preceded them.

Kraigmo's avatar

If you have animals, have you noticed that though they are unique, there are certain behaviors they all seem to engage in?

Humans are the same way. This marketing formula will be used until the well is dry and it doesn’t work any more. But we’re nowhere near that point yet.

ETpro's avatar

@Kraigmo A solid measure on the stupidity of the TV viewing audience.

Kraigmo's avatar

It’s been proven that American consumers respond to the price of $19.95 as “low” for a convenience item, thus the majority of chachke sold on the teevee will be priced at $19.95.

ETpro's avatar

@Kraigmo Ergo it has to be made so cheaply that even selling it that “cheaply” and paying for an extremely expensive add campaign to drive sales, it it still highly profitable. That’s why so many products in this genre are not available in stores. It’s too easy for the dupes to return it to a nearby store. Between the egregious return policies and the time it takes the dupe to figure out that (wonder of wonders) this made for TV product is just as crappy as the last 20 they bought, the made-for-tv format keeps the return rate to a dull roar.

Kraigmo's avatar

The sellers of these things would do themselves well to sell optional higher quality versions. Take the Slap Chop, for instance. It’s a wonderful concept. And if the thing was made of glass and steel, it would work amazingly well. But instead, its made of cheap office resin plastic, and the little plastic chunks that the blade scrapes will inevitably get in the food. I’ll never buy anything like this, ever again, at the fair, or on TV, or anywhere. Unless they make a lifetime guaranteed high quality version. Like Ginsus used to be. But are no more. People still use the Ginsu sales technique, though. It’s exactly the formula laid out in the Question.

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