The Return of the Infomercial
By Laura Blum
August 28, 2006
Long-form ads drove Drill Doctor's surprising success.
http://www.adweek.com/aw/search/arti..._id=1003053770NEW YORK If you've already seen the ads touting the Walt Disney Company's new cellular offering, Disney Mobile, you probably grasp that it's designed to rein in your kids' cell phone use and abuse. But you might not know about the many other parent-friendly features it offers. After all, you can only communicate so much in 30 seconds.
That's why Disney is producing a half-hour TV series about the branded mobile service and gadget that's expected to debut on ABC Family by November. But don't call it an infomercial.
Still in development, the "storymercial" will incorporate viewer-suggested storylines and "mix the rational and the entertainment to explain features that could make a difference in families keeping track of each other and of minutes," said Vince Engel, the show's co-producer and executive creative director, partner, BuderEngel and Friends, San Francisco. Engel estimates that 80 percent of the footage will also turn up in other media, including the Web, mall kiosk monitors, DVDs and 2-3 minute TV commercial breaks.
Thanks to a convergence of trendsóincluding the diverting of ad dollars from traditional TV, the rise of video sites like YouTube and the reduced costs of recycled contentólong form is enjoying a vogue that's enabling marketers to answer the call of engagement and roll out products through more in-depth sales messages than a traditional spot can contain.