Nontent. Where DRTV Thrives

What is nontent? Nontent is what you watch on television when you're not really watching anything. Your fifth consecutive House Hunters International or another History Channel retrospective on an obscure general. Or a mindless game show. Or a Leave It To Beaver marathon. This is nontent. The DRTV advertiser's dream.

Everybody does it (or they're lying). As much as people love their favorite shows, their appointment television, their must see TV, many, MANY viewers use TV just to unwind, relax, zone out, like a salve after a hectic day or an escape from responsibilities and obligations. If content is what people are yearning to watch, nontent is what people are using to check out. And that's where you'll find your greatest opportunity to sell.

The propensity for a viewer to become a buyer goes up to the degree that their involvement in what they're watching goes down. There's an inverse relationship between program involvement and response. In other words, if you're bored, you're more likely to buy. This is tried and true. It's been working for DRTV advertisers for years. In fact it was one of the principals that Alvin Eicoff used to build his DRTV agency.

The big question is this: as the tablet and mobile phenomenon continues to expand, as the device of choice evolves, what's the level of involvement for these tech savvy content consumers? How does "involved viewing" breakout across the multiple screens that are an ever-increasing part of the media landscape? How much nontent is making its way to those screens?

Jury's out. But you can count on the fact that DRTV agencies are already testing these propositions. And you can also count on the fact that whether it's a mobile device, a tablet, a computer, or some new version of the good old TV set, there are bound to be plenty of nontent viewers.

Mike Powell is the SVP/Executive Creative Director at A. Eicoff & Co., one of North America’s largest DRTV agencies.