What do Ginsu Knives, Pocket Fisherman, Power Juicers, Thighmaster, Woks and "Stop The Insanity" have in common? They are the "old school" of infomercials and short-forms, popular last century and, quite honestly, their late night country fair style of hawking has left a somewhat negative impression of our industry.Now, fast forward to the last five years. What do Western Union, Keurig, Intuit (QuickBooks and QuickenLoans), Humana, AARP, Rowenta and Kraft have in common? They represent the "new school" of DRTV, mainstream companies who have discovered how to generate online and offline sales and protect their brands using the same infomercial and short-form media. This crop of companies, using high production values with quality products, is setting a new standard for our industry.If I say "infomercial" and you think old school, it's time to change your mindset about DRTV.While there are plenty of DRTV ads for kitchen gadgets, beauty products and weight loss, there has been a distinct shift over the last decade to companies that are using DRTV in a different way than most of the $19.95 and under impulse product marketers do.Over the years, many DRTV marketers have found that while they were offering a product or service for sale direct-to-consumer, many consumers wanted it "now" or didn't want to pay for shipping, so they went to stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond and Target that are known to carry a lot of DRTV products. Marketers realized that combining direct sales with retail sales was a better way to analyze the effectiveness of DRTV campaigns. And today, they combine retail sales, phone order sales and web sales to get even a better snapshot of each media placement.So what are today's new breed of DRTV marketers doing? They..&#183; &#8230;are building into their DRTV models the accepted reality that for every DTC sale made, another 3 to 10 can occur at retail.&#183; &#8230;are demanding the highest possible production values in order to protect and enhance their brands, and at the same time get the selling value of DRTV as well.&#183; &#8230;are requiring that the DRTV campaigns include online multichannel components, such as paid search, because they understand that DRTV has the power to impact a lot of what takes place online.&#183; &#8230;are building microsites (which by the way, we pioneered way back in 1996!) for single products that have the same look and feel as the commercials, and leverage what we know about successful direct response.Are you a national manufacturer or service provider with extensive retail or dealer distribution, but you've shied away from even thinking about DRTV because of the old school memories of late night cheap schlock? It's time to take another look, for as Bob Dylan once wrote, "the times they are a-changin." Actually, they already have.Grab a PDF of this article: http://A96.acquirgy.netRelated story: "A Big Idea For Manufacturers That Sell Through Retailers or Dealers"Irv Brechner has written over 100 published direct marketing articles and 13 books on a variety of topics. He's been a pioneer in online customer acquisition since 1996 and offline for his 35-year career. He has developed Acquirgy.com's "Customer Acquisition Intel Center" (acquirgy.com/intel ) he evangelizes best-of-breed tactics to help companies acquire customers in the digital age. He can be reached at: email@example.com .Read all Irv's MediaBizBloggers commentaries at Customer Acquisition Intel.Check us out on Facebook at MediaBizBloggers.comFollow our Twitter updates @MediaBizBloggerThe opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaBizBloggers.com management or associated bloggers. MediaBizBloggers is an open thought leadership platform and readers may share their comments and opinions in response to all commentaries.