Ever been sucked into a late night infomercial (or two, or three…)? Those sweet super speed blender demos or the miracle cleaning solution that will take years of muck off your favorite penny?
Infomercials and long form sales pitches have been around since people started selling stuff to each other and in many different forms. Raw, unabashed salesmanship is just a beautiful, mesmerizing thing sometimes. Infomercial marketing has been a successful platform for so many CPG brands, especially with the Silent and Baby Boomer generations.
QVC and HSN have struggled to stay relevant with millennials, especially as mobile shopping has developed. Mobile commerce now represents 30% of all e-commerce and it continues to grow. However, millennials still have a need for the long form sales pitch, just in a different way.
Cue the new QVCs. These new media brands are going mobile and millennial first with the long form sales pitch.
MikMak is a new app that combines humor with the utility of the Home Shopping Network, all from your phone. The videos on the app are just like infomercials, but shorter, funnier, and much more “millennial” focused. MikMak knew that infomercials were the most cost-effective way to push a product, but they had to be packaged differently if they wanted to sell products to the social media generation.
So their fresh idea is to bring in comedians and other entertainers to host 30-second videos that really bring entertainment value to a product pitch. Hosts find entertaining and funny ways to sell anything from shower speakers to Sriracha 2 Go. Also by hiring mostly from the improv comedy community, MikMak is able to make compelling videos without expensive talent, sets, props, or huge productions. The humor is self aware and the level of kitsch almost makes it that much more genuine. The brand makes its money by producing content in exchange for retail-style margins from sales made through the app.
Brands should really be taking advantage of platforms like this. When users get on MikMak they can browse by products, watch videos, and buy merchandise right from the app. So users are already in a buying state of mind, which means content can influence a purchasing decision immediately.
MikMak isn’t alone in this digital infomercial endeavor, I Am 8 also makes creating videos about your favorite products fun and easy. It lets everyone and anyone become an influencer with the opportunity to drive revenue with content. Download the app, scan a product’s barcode, and start creating your own direct sales video content. I am 8 essentially democratizes the infomercial. Anyone can become a QVC star and pitch their favorite products to earn money through Amazon affiliate links. This platform, unlike MikMak, opens the door for any product to be showcased by anyone with a smartphone (are we still calling them that?). If you’re a brand looking to sell in a unique way on mobile or through influencers then I am 8 maybe a good way to go.
Platforms like MikMak and I Am 8 are the next frontier in the way products are sold digitally. Influencer marketing is in a weird swing state right now and these are some of the safest bets. They’re hot, new, and users are in the buying mindset versus audiences browsing Instagram or Snapchat where a lot of current influencers are pushing their sponsored content.