Infomercials find a Home

INFOMERCIALS are gaining acceptance as a credible marketing medium according to Ron Reddingius, executive producer of advertorial program, Home in WA.

Mr Reddingius is now in his fourth year of infomercial production. Home in WA was launched in 2001 and has for the first time this year received strong interest from advertising agencies wanting coverage for clients via the show, which screens on Channel Seven.

 For Channel Seven  the program is a win-win situation.

There are no production costs incurred by Channel Seven to screen the program, and the show helps the station promote itself as a local concern, even though much of its broadcasting has been centralised to Melbourne.  

“It’s taken four years to build it up to the point where today we have runs on the board without being on air yet,” Mr Reddingius said.

“Each year the program has had general stories because I haven’t been able to sell all the segments, but now people are ringing up wanting to get in.”

Mr Reddingius this year moved the production of Home in WA, which employs 14 people, into Channel 7’s building. He’s also upgrading to digital capacity.

Mr Reddingius said greater appreciation of niche marketing and targeting specific demographics was part of the attraction of booking a segment in the TV show.

“This expands on the 30-second commercial or press feature ad. We are explaining what a product is about and showing people how it’s used.”

But Mr Reddingius said this process wasn’t about buying TV airtime.

“You are not paying for a segment. What you are paying for is production costs, so no, you’re not buying three minutes of TV airspace. You are letting my production people make a story.”

But it’s a fine line between information and advertising, as clients have the final say on the script before shooting begins.

Mr Reddingius said a disclaimer on the closing credits was the only requirement he had to advise viewers that paying clients contributed to the show’s content.

“It rates really well in its time slot,” he said.

“We were up against replays of Burke’s Backyard one year and we beat them.

“That shows that people would rather watch a local program than something that comes from the east coast.”

Mr Reddingius hopes to generate further support for the program via the Federal Government’s Year of the Built Environment initiative.

Home in WA starts its 2004 season on March 13 at 4.30pm.


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