What is an Infomercial?

Infomercial Product
Example of an Infomercial Product

In the vast world of advertising, there’s a unique format that has stood the test of time, evolving with technological advancements and changing consumer behaviors: the infomercial. But what exactly is an infomercial, and why has it remained a staple in the advertising industry for so long?

Defining the Infomercial

At its core, an infomercial is a form of video advertisement designed not just to promote, but to educate. Unlike the fleeting glimpses of products or services we get from standard commercials, infomercials delve deeper. They aim to inform the viewer about a product or service in a comprehensive manner, often highlighting its features, benefits, and usage in real-world scenarios.

The Duration Factor

One of the defining characteristics of an infomercial is its length. While regular advertisements on television might last a mere 30 seconds to a minute, infomercials take their time. There are:

  • Short-form infomercials: These are concise, ranging from 30 to 120 seconds. They offer a quick overview, perfect for products or services that don’t require extensive demonstrations or explanations.
  • Long-form infomercials: These can extend up to a full hour. They’re more detailed, often featuring testimonials, in-depth demonstrations, and sometimes even interviews with experts or creators.

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Infomercials in the 90s

If you were to switch on your television late at night or in the early hours of the morning during the 1990s, you’d likely come across an infomercial. This decade saw a surge in these long-form ads, especially for convenience products. From kitchen gadgets to fitness equipment, these infomercials showcased products that promised to make life easier, healthier, or more enjoyable.