Have you ever seen a show on TV where celebrities were singing praises for a product, or an expert was talking about how great their invention is? These shows are designed to be entertaining and draw your attention in, getting you hooked. Later on, you see the product in the supermarket or an ad online, and you tell yourself, "I've seen that on TV before!" More often than not, you’ll end up buying the product because of that sole reason.
It is human nature to think that because you’ve seen it on TV, it must be good. You would think, why would the showrunners or TV networks allow a product to be shown in their channel if it wasn’t good or if what it was saying wasn’t true?
This is precisely the psychological reaction that those who market their products “As Seen on TV” are betting on. If it has been seen on TV, then it is worth spending your money on. And guess what? Advertisers who use this technique are raking in the dough.
Table of Contents
What Is The “As Seen On TV” Concept?
“As Seen On TV” Strategies
How to Incorporate “As Seen On TV” on a Digital Marketing Campaign
As Seen On TV For Small Businesses
Digital Ads Examples Using the “As Seen on TV” Tactic
Generating demand using As Seen On TV ads is something that every marketer should be familiar with. Ads on TV are accessible to all – so As Seen On TV ads reach a larger audience… but how can these methods be applied online? How can we use this technique to encourage purchases? We’ll discuss all that and more.
What Is The “As Seen On TV” Concept?
Various factors affect the outcome of a marketing strategy, but not a lot of campaigns have ever come close to the tried and tested As Seen On TV. This strategy reached its peak in the 80s and the 90s, and although it might seem that its popularity has dwindled since, it could still teach us a thing or two about marketing. At a time when access to the Internet is limited, but televisions are in every home, it is no wonder that As Seen On TV ads became so popular.
As Seen on TV advertisements, often associated with infomercials, are a form of direct marketing. One crucial part of the infomercials back then is having people (either experts or celebrities) vouch for the product in order to build trust and convince you that this really does work. In other words, these commercials use Social Proof as one way they get your attention - it's like peer pressure but from an expert. As seen on TV ads teach us many things about psychology and marketing; it was also where ploys such as "limited-time offer" were born!
The history behind As Seen On TV advertising starts before there even was a television, because advertisers realized how effective using images could be if they were large and in a place where people would see them. As we entered the 20th century, advertisers were still using images to advertise their product, but now they had an even bigger platform - billboards that could be seen from miles away!
The next leap forward was when As Seen On TV ads started appearing on television sets. This is because there are two things that humans find irresistible: pleasurable experiences (in this case, watching advertisements) and being able to avoid pain or discomfort (by not having to get up off of the couch). Marketers used these concepts by playing attention-grabbing music as well as showing how quickly products could make life easier for you through demonstrations such as cooking meals in minutes with just one appliance rather than several different ones.
As Seen On TV ads are among the best examples of social proof. One important part of infomercials back then is having people (either experts or celebrities) vouch for the product. This way, potential buyers can feel more confident that they're buying a quality item and not wasting their money on something harmful or useless. It's also common to see celebrity endorsements as well as testimonials by doctors who endorse certain products such as antibiotics and antiseptics.
The psychology behind As Seen on TV is that people are more likely to buy products when they see others talking about them or using them because research has shown that we all want what other people want. This makes sense given our natural inclination toward social proof - in order to be accepted within society, one needs approval from those around themselves.
Nowadays though, you don't have to actually see the product on TV to believe that it will work as they claimed. Placing the words "As Seen on TV" can be enough to convince customers!
Proof of the power of As Seen on TV products to make a sale is Clickbank dedicating an entire category for such products. Clickbank is one of the most popular vendor-affiliate marketplaces in the world, selling anything from digital lessons to e-Commerce products.
Another popular marketplace that sells and promotes such products is none other than Amazon!
They even feature some of the products because they’ve seen how profitable they can be.
Using The “As Seen On TV” Concept
There are plenty of ways to present and use As Seen On TV ads, regardless of the medium you use. Here are some examples of how you can enhance your marketing campaign using the concept of As Seen On TV today.
Essentially, As Seen On TV ads can also be related to product placements we see on television shows or movies nowadays. Whilst we don’t see commercial models or actors doing a skit to show how to use the product or how it could benefit you, it has become popular for movies or television shows to display the name brands or logos of their sponsors and their respective products. From there, people will reference the movie or TV show that used this product – and that’s usually an immediate and long-lasting effect.
Movie and TV producers and advertisers have become a little more sophisticated in their marketing techniques, in that they have become a bit more discreet (as opposed to infomercials). Nevertheless, the purpose of As Seen On TV ads and these product placements are the same – to get your brand out there for everyone to see.
It’s no surprise that social media is the best way to market products nowadays, given that it can be accessed anywhere, any time. Smartphones to today’s audience are what televisions are to people back in the 90s. Although the platform has changed (from television to social media), advertisers are still using the same techniques on As Seen On TV ads in their campaigns.
For instance, there is a popular pair of leggings that have gone viral on TikTok that people are now trying to sell in every way imaginable. Try to get on Amazon and you’ll surely find this product just by typing “As Seen On TikTok leggings”. The marketing strategies used on those As Seen On TV ads are still being used today because of their effectiveness.
When dedicated infomercial channels were popular, so were products with “As Seen On TV” marks on print ads. The red “As Seen On TV” mark alludes to the logo of the popular TV Guide magazine which has been in circulation since 1953. Advertisers are now free to use this logo because it has become public domain, which is especially good for advertisers today because this logo is quite iconic.
People can easily recognize the logo, and in turn, makes the target audience “look” into the details of the products.
Speaking of the iconic logo, this “As Seen On TV” mark can also be used on every other platform available to advertisers. Even the TV Guide magazine and the As Seen On TV channels have transitioned into online channels, which also resulted in them being used on online marketplaces.
These changes in the marketing landscape have shown how much the customers’ buying patterns have changed through the years. With that, online advertisers using e-commerce platforms should also learn to adapt.
Fortunately, all online marketplaces allow the use of photos (sometimes even videos) of the products. It is even highly recommended to add multimedia on a product page because it assures the customers that the items are legitimate, and what better way to prove that your product is real than to take advantage of the As Seen On TV strategy. Slapping on that easily recognizable logo on your product photos could easily boost its popularity.
“As Seen On TV” Strategies
As mentioned above, applying the concept is not limited to just television ads. Even during the time when people rarely have access to the Internet, advertisers would slap on “As Seen On TV” on every other media they use.
If you are a digital marketer, As Seen On TV is a valuable tool to use in your campaigns. It has a range of applications, and the following are good places to start.
Find a Well Known Platform
The popularity of TV has the biggest impact on people in the past because everyone used it! While TV itself is not being used today like it was before, you can still utilize its popularity by selecting TV shows that are very popular among your target audience. If according to your data, your marketing persona watches Sex and the City, for example, then you can have your product placed in that show and then utilize the phrase “As Seen on Sex and the City”. Some products featured in the show actually did this, and boy, did their sales skyrocket.
When it comes to product placements on TV though, one of the biggest TV shows that influence purchases is Shark Tank. If you’ve been hiding in a cave for a dozen years now and don’t know what Shark Tank is, it’s a reality show that features up-and-coming businesses that are looking for investors. The business owners demonstrate their products, telling the potential investors what problem their product aims to solve.
The show is practically a melting pot of genius (and not so special) products. If your product has been featured in the show, whether or not you gain an investor, you can use this opportunity to promote your brand!
The As Seen On TV Logo
Attaching the “As Seen On TV” logo to your ads is not only free but also super convenient. You don’t have to design your own or pay for the logo because it is free to use. Slap that As Seen On TV logo on as many ads as possible because it will get your product noticed.
Products that have the "As Seen On TV" seal of approval make it a little easier for you to market your products. Not only does it already have a "Social Proof", but it is also highly likely that your target audience has actually seen it on TV (or other platforms) themselves. At the same time, the logo itself is easily recognizable.
If your product falls under the As Seen On TV category, then marketing it with the logo as much as you can should be a priority.
Combining As Seen On TV Ads
Like any other marketing strategy, As Seen On TV ads are best combined with existing alternative campaigns. It will not only increase the exposure of the item, but the As Seen On TV "stamp of approval" will also add to your business' credibility. If you sell a product or service that is shared widely in social media networks, then your content should all be aligned.
Be as specific as you can when using As Seen On TV ads. If the initial phase of your promotional strategy started on TikTok (like the example of the leggings above), then mention “As Seen On TikTok” in your tweets and Instagram post. It’s all about creating a cohesive marketing strategy that creates and adds value without having to repeat your content.
Tracking Your As Seen On TV Ads
What we're learning from digital advertising (and marketers) lately is that there are new opportunities everywhere, and sometimes, it gets very difficult to track. Some marketing teams, however, use the television ads as a baseline to track every other part of their campaign.
Campaign strategies using native advertising that are tagged as “As Seen On TV” can be easily tracked because you can categorize everything into that group. When using Brax with Google Analytics, for example, monitoring your marketing campaign becomes a breeze because it will automatically show you which campaigns are working or not, and you can easily compare them with other products or other parts of your campaign.
You can keep track of how much exposure your product has received through your specific channels and redesign your strategy as you go along.
One thing to remember in marketing is that there are no shortcuts when it comes down to allocating resources for advertising budgets. Fortunately, whilst actual As Seen On TV ad campaigns can be expensive, the concept can be used in other advertising strategies to cut costs and get the same effect.
For example, you don't need a celebrity endorser for As Seen On TV ads if you have no budget at all - just some compelling copy that makes people want what they see! This is exactly what is being done by content advertising works really well. Combine a really good copy with As Seen on TV logos and wording and you will see your leads double at the very least.
How to Incorporate “As Seen On TV” on a Digital Marketing Campaign
Creating content for As Seen On TV ads takes less effort than having to start from scratch. Even if you haven’t created advertisements for television (which, let’s be honest, is much more expensive than creating digital marketing campaigns), you can still take advantage of the power of the As Seen On TV concept.
Here are the ways to incorporate the As Seen On TV concept into a digital marketing campaign.
- Include As Seen on TV wording such as "Only seen here!" or "As featured in _____" at the end of your ad
- Provide a video preview of any products you are advertising with an As Seen On TV logo to grab people's attention and make them want it. You can do this by using social media, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
- Create landing pages that include videos for specific offers or deals. These ads will likely be more expensive, but they can help generate higher conversions if done right.
- Experiment with pricing. Notice that the price of products on As Seen on TV ads are not exact, whole numbers. Instead, they use the 99 cents "sale" technique. For example, instead of saying the product is only worth $50, you can say it's just $49.99.
Take a look at these products below. Even though they are pretty close to an exact amount, the brand owners made it look as if it’s cheaper than it really is. For instance, the knife sharpener is priced $19.75. Even though it’s almost $20, you would feel as if the item is cheaper as it’s less than $20!
- Include testimonials from celebrities or experts who have used your product and were happy with the results for their own marketing campaign. This is otherwise known as influencer marketing.
- Offer "As Seen on TV" coupons if you're running a promotion of some sort, such as discounts and deals. You can also use them to offer free shipping when customers spend certain amounts of money.
- Use As Seen On TV ads in order to promote products that are not usually seen on store shelves but only available online (Amazon etc.)
- Use infomercials (videos) to highlight how easy certain processes are and why customers should buy from you instead of other companies who offer the same thing. This is also known as selling benefits versus features.
Your own video must follow the same style as that of infomercials, such as adding an announcer and showing a person experiencing a specific problem, with your product coming to the rescue. Add a call to action and include all ways to purchase the product such as visit the website or call a hotline. And don't forget the ever-popular line, "But wait, there's more! Order now and get Item Y, absolutely free!"
As Seen On TV For Small Businesses
One of the best things about the As Seen On TV marketing strategy is that it is very easy to start small and then scale up, which makes it suitable for small businesses. There are no shortcuts when it comes down to allocating resources for advertising budgets, but let’s face it: small businesses usually do not have a huge budget (if any) to work with. However, this part of the business cannot be ignored – as they say, you have to spend money to make money.
Advertising campaigns are an investment you make in your business. This isn't limited solely to television ad campaigns either; new efforts must also include online promotion along with content creation opportunities on your own websites/apps. Even without a huge budget, you can start small by trying out some of the methods below.
Images For Your Business
As you may have noticed, using the As Seen On TV logo is one of the easiest way to apply this strategy. To do so, you will have to start with creating images for your business that highlight this part.
No Photoshop? No problem! Adobe also has Spark, a web application that you can access on your browser to edit photos. Pixlr, Befunky, Figma, or Canva are also good options. For editing on-the-go, you can use the mobile versions of these apps (and many other photo editing tools).
You are also not limited to using just the red As Seen On TV logo: you can simply create and design text that mentions it. You can even customize it based on wherever your product is popular (like the TikTok example above).
Home Videos And Tutorials
If you look at old As Seen On TV videos and compare them to the content of modern-day YouTubers, you’ll notice that the only main difference is that the advertisers today have a better platform. They can reach a much wider audience because of the Internet, and buying has become as simple as a click of a button.
Other than that, the way that they present the products are very similar: they tell you what the product is, how to use it, and what value it could add to your life. So, why not create your own videos at home for your own business? You can even create a tutorial (if applicable) to make it more interesting for your customers.
Content creator Kathryn Mueller
Even with just a smartphone, you can basically create engaging videos wherever you are in the world. To take full advantage of the As Seen On TV charm, make sure to mention it every once in a while, and provide examples that your audience can relate to.
Share these videos on all your social media platforms and you’ll be golden. Keep in mind that consistency is key, so spread out your posts throughout the day/week. Timing your posts well could make a huge difference, but of course, having consistent content keeps your audience engaged.
Doing a Live broadcast structured the same way as Home TV Shopping is a really good way to see how well it could work for your business. Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook are the go-to platforms, but even LinkedIn has a Live function now. Choose whichever platform is most convenient for you, but of course, the former 3 are the ones most popular for online retail.
Contrary to what it’s called, you don’t necessarily have to “be” in the video to show it “live” – you can record or create a video in advance, and just broadcast it on the Live platforms at a specific time.
Social Media Live Promotion
Here are some ideas you can play around with when creating your Live broadcast.
a) Set a good date/time
Wednesday (hump day) or Friday nights are usually the time when people are online to do some retail therapy. Of course, you can do this every day if you want to. Keep in mind that some days the Live might not be profitable enough, so consider weighing your efforts against your rate of return and decide a schedule from there.
b) Create content that is consistent
Infomercials are known to be quite repetitive, but this could also work to your advantage when doing a Live because you’ll never know when your audience will join in. Just make sure that you broadcast a video that allows for your customers to watch at any point and still understand what you’re offering.
c) Set a time limit
Do a 1-hour Live at least, but set a time limit until when they could place their orders. As you may already know, this creates a sense of urgency that is truly helpful to make your customers decide faster and make a purchase.
d) Reward your audience
To encourage more people to watch and continue watching, you can add perks for your audience who joins during the Live. Some retailers even give away free items that can only be availed if they are watching the Live broadcast. Remember the words, "but wait, there's more? Order NOW and..." you get the idea.
The good thing about this is that while you’re doing the Live, you can accept and process orders as you go. You can also easily track your campaign’s performance this way, because the sales are made right then and there. You can do your calculations right after the live (or at least, after the time limit you have set).
To measure the success of your campaign, the most obvious way is to compare the sales results against your initial investment. In the case of a Live broadcast, for example, your initial investment (apart from the base price of your product) is your time. Since the Live platforms are free to use, you simply have to check if the sales you made are worth the time and effort you spent on it.
In terms of your marketing success, it can be a simple model using current price and brand awareness, ad analytic figures like average CPC or CPM, purchase volume/monthly spend, among others.
Now that you’ve experienced how this strategy could work for your business, you can consider scaling up. Scaling up in this sense means boosting your advertising efforts in proportion to the size of your business. Once your ads have gained some traction, you have to improve your marketing strategy as your business grows.
a) Gather data
Based on how well your initial strategy performed, you can set up the next phase of your campaign. This will help you in deciding which platforms to stick to and which ones to drop, which video styles or image templates are more likely to be noticed, or which products need a little more “air time”.
b) Test other platforms or ad formats
If you’ve seen success in video advertising, for example, why not scale to other ad formats like native advertising and social media ads? You should also consider other forms of content; not just videos but written ad copy, such as advertorials.
You can also consider going vertical instead of horizontal when it comes to scaling. For example, if you are running native ads, you should also think about testing other native ad providers. There are dozens of them out there, and their quality, volume, and reach all vary.
c) Set a budget
When you’re starting out, you’re probably doing everything by yourself, so you wouldn’t need to spend too much at first. As your business grows bigger, though, you will have to delegate some of these tasks (such as creating images) – which you will have to pay for. You could also buy more ad space or ad credits on the platforms that you are using.
d) Adjust and adapt
Everything is a learning process, as they say, and that applies to creating marketing campaigns, too. However, everything happens so fast nowadays and trends change all the time. When you scale up your business, you will have to make changes to your campaigns that would be more suitable for the current market. Make sure to make changes based on what you see in your data (which is why it’s important to have a reliable tracking system for all your digital ads).
e) Plan your next move
As you learn to adjust and adapt, you should be able to gain enough market insight. This will help you plan for your next campaign and put all the lessons you’ve learned to good use.
Digital Ads Examples Using the “As Seen on TV” Tactic
To help you grasp the concept even better when applying it to your marketing, here are some examples of digital ads utilizing As Seen on TV marketing:
We’ve already mentioned Shark Tank above, and here is an example of an ad riding on the waves of the popular reality show.
This landing page looks like a page from a news site, making it seem as if the product is being featured. As you can see in its bold headline, it mentions the TV program. Right above the featured image are the words:
AS SEEN ON CNNHealth.com, ABC News, and Men’s Health.
So aside from Shark Tank, the product is said to be featured in other well-known news and lifestyle outfits. These are all social influences that can lead the customer to believe that the product is effective, and most of all, trustworth.
Hair Growth Serum
This is an example of an advertisement that follows the “As Seen on TV” fame, even though they’re not actually using the word TV, nor the popular red logo.
This hair growth serum offer instead implies that the product has been featured on TV. In fact, instead of mentioning an actual show, they just say something generic such as “Investor Reality Show”! This is a great way to avoid legal issues, while still riding on the waves of the popular marketing technique.
This is an example of a product that is actually pretty simple and common but is made more special by the appearance of the As Seen on TV logo. As you can see in the image, there is hardly anything else mentioned about the product, except that it has a money-back guarantee and that it includes a few accessories.
Weight Loss Product
Here is a good example of a promotion that uses every “As Seen on TV” strategy in the book:
- Mention a popular TV show that the product has been “featured” in (Shark Tank);
- Add supporting brands relevant to the target customer (The New York Times, Today Magazine, Oprah Show, StyleWatch, and Redbook) with the words AS SEEN IN;
- Include a video or image of a news report making it seem that the product was discussed there as well.
With all these combined, what do you get? A high-converting landing page, that’s what.
Do you know who else benefits from As Seen on TV products? Affiliate marketers who promote them! As we mentioned above, one of the cheapest ways for a small business to earn is to create its own content. Video content is fast being the go-to of most marketers nowadays, and if you can make really good content, you can earn a lot from it. If you have your own product, you can use the same technique.
Here’s an example of video content promoting As Seen on TV products. Notice that you will see the typical red logo in the video thumbnail, the phrase As Seen on TV on the title, and you will hear it mentioned over and over in the video. The video itself is like an infomercial, albeit using a different approach.
What To Look Forward To
As in any industry, sales and marketing will always be ever-evolving. Fortunately for us and thanks to technology, we have plenty of developments to look forward to. We already have Machine Learning/AI marketing tools, leveraging computing power to perform effective data mining analysis on websites or content online. Imagine what these technologies could be in the next few years!
As Seen On TV, ads may have evolved over the years because of our technological advancements, but it is still a good marketing strategy at its core. In fact, you would notice that even if the platforms have changed, the “As Seen on” concept is still present. At the very least, it provides a proven way to attract customers, be it online or otherwise. It has been around for decades, and it doesn't look like it's going away any time soon.
Would you like to incorporate As Seen on TV techniques in your native marketing strategies? It’s not just possible; it can be profitable! Go ahead and try it now. If managing too many native ad campaigns is proving too hard, use Brax. We’ll throw in a 15-day free trial for you, so sign up today or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.