April 2007 - That's A Wrap!

The Peak of Production

By Rick Cesari

In June 2006, I achieved one of my personal goals by climbing to the 20,320-foot summit of Alaska’s Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America. I love the exhilaration of mountaineering, as well as the tremendous sense of accomplishment it provides. My success in the mountains can be attributed to many of the same principles that are utilized to achieve success in DRTV production.

Utilize expertise. I hired a guide service for my expedition to Alaska. I knew that utilizing a company that has been outfitting successful expeditions to Mount McKinley for more than 20 years dramatically increased my chances for success. The same is true for hiring a production company for an infomercial-you can leverage its years of experience and dramatically increase your likelihood of success.

Preparation. My preparation for the expedition was intensive. I knew my success on the mountain was directly proportional to my physical readiness and my equipment organization. I had a precise checklist that I worked through to make sure everything was in order. This also applies to creating a successful production. Your preparation checklist should include (but not be limited to): 1) Making sure your product/service has the right appeal for the DRTV environment; 2) Preparing a financial model of the campaign to ensure profitability; 3) Investing the time to find the right host for the show; and 4) Developing a comprehensive production schedule so that everyone can track and evaluate progress.

Focus. The view from the base of Mount McKinley and up to the summit was one of the most intimidating I’ve ever seen. I had to mentally focus on the climbing required for each day, not the cumulative effort needed to reach the summit. Do the same with your infomercial production process. Focus on the specific objectives of each day. Continually refer to the production schedule to monitor your progress toward the launch of the campaign.

In DRTV, my greatest sense of accomplishment is the day I receive positive results from the media test of a new campaign. It’s exhilarating to produce high-quality, compelling shows that motivate viewers to take action by ordering. Afterward, I think back to all of the preparation, focus and resolve it took to make that show successful. One of the greatest, albeit toughest, days of my life was when I took the final steps to the summit of Mount McKinley. Six months of training, focus and resolve led me to the top. The end result is the payoff for all the upfront work we do. Good luck on your next show!

Rick Cesari is founder and CEO of Cesari Direct, a full service direct response advertising agency in Seattle, Wash. A DRTV pioneer with a long track record of success, Cesari’s many successful infomercial campaigns include: Juiceman Juicer, Sonicare Toothbrush, George Foreman Grill, OxiClean and Rug Doctor Mighty Pro. He can be reached at (206) 281-7975, x301, or via e-mail at [email protected].


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