Call within the next 60 seconds...

You know those commercials selling crap “not available in stores”?

Every so often, one of them will promise a deal like and extra bottle of floor wax, or a free mini-duster if you call within the next five minutes or sixty seconds.

Is this total crap? Do people get denied the extra Bedazzler refills in they call 5 minutes and ten seconds after the commercial airs? Is someone really keepking track of the time after every commercial airs on every channel? Or is it a cheezy gimmick?

Gypsy: Tom, I don’t get you.
Tom Servo: Nobody does. I’m the wind, baby.

I’ve wondered that myself. My guess is, that’s there’s really no way they can keep track of when the commercials are airing. I’d go with cheap gimmick.

Just a gimmick. By pretending there’s a deadline, they hope to spur you to action.

“What we have here is failure to communicate.” – Strother Martin, anticipating the Internet.

it does serve some use…by having people call in and sometimes telling them what station they were watching, the marketers can find out what stations to advertise on, what time works best for them, etc…

Ditto all the above.

Often the cheapest way to buy TV time is to say, “Give me any open time.” So it is difficult to keep track of when and where your ad ran. Orders coming in “…in the next 60 seconds” are proof that the ad ran.

One of the lamest attempts at this gimmick I saw was actually placing a timer on the screen toward the end of the commercial, further conveying the “urgency” that you must call within the next 5 minutes to receive two of X item instead of one.

“The urgency of Time” is one of the points of an advertising campaign. In most cases this means–SALE ENDS SUNDAY.
The commercials you’re talking about sound a lot like PI’s, which stands for “per inquiry.”
The commercials appear where ever the broadcast station has unused inventory and the station is paid…per inquiry.
The 1-800 number will be unique to your station. Each time someone calls it you get a “hit” in your column. It doesn’t matter if anything is sold.
As you might guess advertising like this is scheduled after all the “paying customers” have been satisfied. This is one reason you see or hear pitches like this at less than prime times.

Now a personal opinion. I believe if something is a good purchase today it will still be a good purchase next week. When someone starts shouting in my face that I will lose out if I don’t buy it right now the red flags should go up.

Jois, things may have changed, but when my wife got out of college in 1967, her first job was with a local radio station where her primary role was to “type continuity” – i.e., to maintain a log of what the station aired other than songs and patter, with particular reference to what commercials were to be broadcast when. Part of the reason for this was a F.C.C. rule; a second part was to have evidence of scheduled broadcast in case of questions from advertisers about bills; and a third part was to keep commitments to advertisers, so that the Ford dealership did not get an ad immediately after the Pontiac dealership, two competing chains of drugstores did not have their ads back to back, and so on.