Counting the Costs: How Much Does an Infomercial Really Cost?

An infomercial is a form of long-form advertising that is designed to promote a product or service through a lengthy television commercial. These commercials can range in length from 30 minutes to an hour or more, and are often accompanied by a toll-free phone number or website for viewers to order the product. But how much does it actually cost to produce an infomercial? In this blog post, we’ll explore the various factors that can impact the cost of an infomercial and look at some real-world examples to get a sense of the typical costs involved.

Factors that Impact the Cost of an Infomercial

There are several factors that can impact the cost of producing an infomercial. These include:

  1. Length: The longer the infomercial, the more it will cost to produce. A half-hour infomercial will generally cost less than an hour-long infomercial.
  2. Production Values: The more elaborate the production values, the more expensive the infomercial will be. High-quality video, special effects, and celebrity endorsements can all drive up the cost.
  3. Airtime: In addition to the cost of producing the infomercial, there is also the cost of airing it on television. The cost of airtime can vary depending on the time of day, the channel, and the popularity of the show.
  4. Call Center: If the infomercial includes a toll-free phone number for viewers to order the product, there will be additional costs involved in staffing and operating a call center.

Examples of Infomercial Costs

Let’s take a look at some real-world examples to get a sense of how much infomercials can cost. Keep in mind that these costs are just estimates and can vary depending on the factors outlined above.

  1. The Magic Bullet: The Magic Bullet is a popular kitchen appliance that has been advertised through infomercials. According to an article in Entrepreneur magazine, the cost to produce a half-hour infomercial for the Magic Bullet was around $500,000. This included the cost of filming, editing, and post-production.
  2. Proactiv: Proactiv is a popular acne treatment that has been advertised through infomercials featuring celebrity endorsers like Jessica Simpson and Katy Perry. According to a report in Ad Age, the cost to produce a 30-minute infomercial for Proactiv was around $1.8 million. This included the cost of filming, editing, and post-production.
  3. The Total Gym: The Total Gym is a home fitness product that has been advertised through infomercials featuring celebrity endorsers like Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley. According to a report in Forbes, the cost to produce a 30-minute infomercial for the Total Gym was around $400,000. This included the cost of filming, editing, and post-production.
  4. The Snuggie: The Snuggie is a popular blanket with sleeves that has been advertised through infomercials. According to a report in The New York Times, the cost to produce a half-hour infomercial for the Snuggie was around $350,000. This included the cost of filming, editing, and post-production.

Conclusion

Infomercials can be an effective way to promote a product or service, but they can also be expensive to produce. The cost of an infomercial can vary depending on factors like length, production values, airtime, and call center staffing. As the examples above illustrate, infomercial costs can range from hundreds of thousands of dollars to over a million dollars. However, for products that are successful, the return on investment can be significant, making infomercials a viable marketing strategy for many companies.

Author

  • Jim Warren

    Jim Warren began his professional career in the television and production industry working in Southern California where he discovered that he had a natural sales talent. Combining this talent with his love of film and video production, he built (and eventually sold) the largest infomercial production company of its day. Jim learned how the direct-response industry is an effective training ground for an analytical thinker who loves measured marketing and business metrics. With today’s focus on accountable marketing and online media, those lessons provided him with the advanced insight and skills needed for today’s online metric-driven business model. Connect with Jim Warren on LinkedIn

    jwarren@infomercial.com Warren Jim
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