Cost of making a TV Advert

20th March 2020

Cost of making a TV Advert

The cost of making a TV advert can vary. It depends on a number of factors to do in the making of the ad as well as on the advert’s idea.

In this blog we will help you decide on:

  • The approach you want to take for your advert.
  • The production team you choose to make it.
  • The distribution of the advert on the media.

Where does the investment for a TV Advert go?

You may have an idea of how you want your 30sec advert to look and feel, sound and come across. However, a professional production team will know exactly how to produce it on time and to budget.

Through our research we have found that a TV advert can cost anywhere between £5000 to well skies the limit. In fact, some adverts have gone into the millions in their budgets. By the contrary, modest adverts for TV broadcast sit anywhere between £15,000 to £50,000 depending on the product or service. But the question is: Where does all this money go? Here it comes explained.

The Pitch 

Before an idea is produced, it needs to be pitched. To tailor the pitch accordingly, the production company or creative agency will spend time researching your key target audience and your demographic audience.

Then, the pitch or pitches created will be presented to you and you will choose your favourite one based on taste, preference, knowledge of your sector, timeline and budget.

The next step is for the production company to make that pitch a reality through the use of storyboards and visual aids. In that way, you can see how the tv advert plays out within 30secs. Here, colour pallets, look tone and feel via mood boards, music styles and actor and location types will be presented. You will be able to choose, tweak and select accordingly.

Although it may surprise you, by now you have possibly spent a few thousand pounds in the ‘development’ stage. However, this stage is vital as it will ensure that the advert looks EXACTLY how you envisioned it in the planning stages.

Production – Filming 

Once all the above has been signed off you will be ready to shoot. Now it depends on how hands on you want to be with your advert, but as marketing manager/director/advisor, I would advise you to be very hands on. In this phase,  you will be informed at all stages of sign off. What’s more, you will have your own production chair on set and you will see everything played out as it was pitched to you.

Moreover, you may offer a few directional notes to the director. He/she may decide to ignore them. However, he/she shouldn’t as you are the paying client and your comments should be taken into account. Some typical examples are: I thought we were filming it like it was pitched or how about if we hold the product in this way?. (More on your input as a client will be included in another blog)

At this stage, you might have been on set for 1/2 days. In addition, you might have seen the filming playing out in different locations with one or more actors.

Post Production – Editing 

Finally, we find the editing stage. Here, all the clips filmed on set will be pieced together along with:

  • Special effects – if any
  • Animation
  • Your logo animation and tag-line
  • Music
  • Jingle
  • Colour grading
  • Exporting for review
  • Additional edits
  • Exporting for final review
  • Exporting for final delivery

It is also worth mentioning that throughout the advert making process all the aspects of the advert need to be signed off via ClearCast. All the stages- pitch and script, advert and final advert delivery- need to be presented in the right format to ClearCast.

Concretely, ClearCast is an independent company which ensures that all TV adverts fit the purpose and meet the quality and delivery criteria for broadcast. More on Clearcast can be found here.

After these stages, your tv advert is ready and has been given the go ahead to be broadcasted. You will need to partner with a distribution agency that will send it to all the channels you want to advertise on. Here, the production company will ensure the advert is in the right format.

By now you should have an appreciation as to how and why adverts cost on average anything between £15,000 to £50,000.

It is our hope that after reading this blog you will be more informed about the cost of making a TV advert. Should you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Best of luck!



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