In the day of social media and selling on the Internet, inventors should keep in mind that infomercials, and short form commercials produced by also called DRTV companies, still take submissions from inventors and if they take an inventor’s product on they pay for the costs of bringing the inventor’s product to market. They take care of sourcing, purchasing, producing buying ads, operating call centers and fulfillment and all other costs. The inventor normally gets a small royalty, but they get big exposure for the product and potentially large sales.
DRTV companies are looking for products that are unique and can’t be found anywhere on the Internet, they need a product with a high wow factor, that demonstrates well and that people can understand immediately. They also like a big market, but your product doesn’t have to appeal to everyone. It just has to appeal to a big enough group that can be targeted. For example food preparation products for the person who loves to cook can be sold on the Food Network, the costs of ads are lower, but the audience is ideal. Having Facebook groups or other Internet groups that will be interested in your product also helps DRTV companies succeed with a new product.
Steps to Success
- Have a prototype that really works and looks great. You can’t go in with anything less as the companies are not going to prove your design.
- Make a demonstration video that really wows people. Consider getting a local actor to enhance the video.
- Include some testimonials, ideally in a video with the user demonstrating the product, or at least with written copy.
- Have a short presentation, very short, five minutes is best.
- Be prepared to let your contact use the product. Bring all the supplies you need so that the person can use the product themselves.
- Be flexible, contacts are not going to sign Confidentiality or Non-Disclosure agreements, they are going to offer you a low royalty, and their contracts will greatly favor the DRTV company. If you want to negotiate items be prepared for the company to walk away.
- Be willing to accept losing all control of the product, the DRTV company is going to invest a lot of money in your product and they are going to change it if they want. This is alarming to most inventors, but if you want to insist you probably won’t have a deal.
DRTV can be very good for inventors. Your presentation to a DRTV company will be hard work, and I recommend people approach DRTV even if doesn’t work out because your effort in preparing the invention for a presentation will be useful to you when approaching other non DRTV companies.
Don’t get discouraged if a DRTV company turns you down, it doesn’t mean that you have a bad product. They might not feel there are target markets where you product will succeed, they may feel the manufacturing complexities are too much for their team, or they may feel the product is too hard to demonstrate. Take what you learn and use that in future presentations.
DRTV companies looking for inventor product submissions
Guthy-Renker | The Industry Leader in Direct Marketing (guthy-renker.com)
Note_ Guthy-Renkers submission process goes through All Star Innovations
Chesed Direct – Submit your Product Idea
Inventor Submissions | Tristar Products, Inc. www.tristarproductsinc.com/submit-idea.php
Inventors – Telebrands www.telebrands.com/inventors/
As seen on TV
As Seen On Tv Invention Submission | Submit Your Product Or Service
All Star Innovations – note they do products other than Guthy-Renkers