Our complete 8-step guide on how to get a commercial on TV

TV advertising is still one of the most effective marketing tools, especially­­ if you want to send a general message to a broad audience. It sells your products, raises brand awareness, builds brand trust and boosts online traffic. In addition, the digital channels have made it affordable for small businesses to use this outlet too. 

The average British person spends an incredible amount of time watching television. To be more specific, a recent Statista poll found that the typical British adult spends 5 hours and 16 minutes each day watching audiovisual content. And 144 minutes of that time is spent watching live television. In fact, according to recent research by Precision Reports, the Global TV Advertising market is poised for substantial growth between 2023 and 2031, reflecting a steady upward trajectory.

In recent years, the landscape of TV advertising has undergone significant transformations, driven by advancements in technology and shifts in consumer behaviour. One notable trend is the rise of addressable TV advertising, which enables advertisers to deliver personalised ads to specific households based on demographic, geographic, or behavioural data.

TV advert production workflow - recording

Additionally, the integration of digital and traditional TV advertising has become increasingly prevalent. With the proliferation of connected TV devices and streaming services, advertisers now have the opportunity to extend their reach across both linear TV and digital platforms seamlessly. This convergence allows for more holistic and coordinated advertising campaigns, where brands can engage audiences across multiple touchpoints and maximise their impact. As TV advertising continues to evolve, staying abreast of these technological innovations and trends is essential for advertisers looking to optimize their strategies and achieve meaningful results.

Getting a commercial on TV isn’t an easy task, that’s why we have decided to write a complete guide on how to get a commercial on TV.

Factors Driving the Growth of TV Advertising Market

But before starting with it, we must know there are certain industries that propel the expansion of the TV Advertising market, like: 

  • Food & Beverage Industry: With consumers constantly seeking new culinary experiences and products, the food and beverage sector stands as a primary driver of TV advertising.
  • Vehicles Industry: Automotive companies leverage TV commercials to showcase new models, highlight features, and capture the attention of potential buyers.
  • Health and Medical Industry: Health-related products and services, from pharmaceuticals to wellness clinics, utilize TV advertising to educate and inform consumers.
  • Commercial and Personal Services: From financial institutions to real estate agencies, businesses offering services benefit from the reach and impact of television advertising.
  • Consumer Goods: FMCG companies rely heavily on TV commercials to maintain brand visibility and drive sales of everyday products.

And as we promised, here’s a basic but complete rundown of the procedure of getting a TV Advert on television:

1. Evaluate your goals

Before you start creating your TV advert, make sure you take some time to evaluate your goals. What’s your message? Who is your target audience? Rarely, a generic message to a broad audience is not the way to go if you’re thinking about TV advertising. However, if you have a specific target audience, there are better ways to spend your marketing budget.

For example, if your main marketing goal is to increase brand awareness among a specific demographic, let’s say 50-year-olds, your TV ad should focus on crafting a message and selecting channels that resonate with them.

2. Planning for the TV commercial

Creating a compelling TV commercial involves careful planning to ensure that it effectively communicates your message and resonates with your target audience. Here’s how you can plan for a successful TV commercial:

Create a storyboard. Making decisions in the actual shoot can be very expensive. Thus, draw all the scenes of the commercial and include some notes below with all the details. It’s more than just sketching scenes; it’s crafting a visual narrative that captures the essence of your brand and message. The length of the storyborad will depend upon the legth of your advert. The legth, is another important consideration, as depending on your budget and aim, you will need to produce one format or another:

  • 20 seconds: Concise yet impactful, 20-second TV adverts deliver key messages efficiently, ideal for capturing audience attention amidst programming breaks.
  • 60 seconds: Although more expensive, this format offers more time for storytelling and brand immersion, so they provide ample opportunity to engage viewers on a deeper level.
  • > 60 seconds: For campaigns requiring extensive narrative or detailed product demonstrations, longer-format commercials exceeding 60 seconds offer flexibility and creativity.

Write a script. Crafting a compelling script is essential for bringing your story to life on screen. Beyond simply outlining dialogue, a well-crafted script incorporates emotive language, persuasive messaging, and clear calls to action. It sets the tone for the entire commercial, guiding the performances of actors and the direction of the camera. Detailed camera directions, such as “close-ups” and “wide-angle shots,” help convey the intended mood and emphasize key elements of your narrative.

Location scouting and Casting: Selecting the right locations and talent can significantly impact the success of your commercial. Scout potential filming locations  and people that align with your brand and message, ensuring they provide the appropriate added value for your story.

Clearcast. Once the script is finished, you should send it to Clearcast, an organisation that pre-approves all British TV Adverts. No TV channel will broadcast your TV advert unless it is Clearcast approved. By obtaining approval upfront, you can avoid setbacks and maintain the integrity of your creative vision throughout the production process. But remember that you can’t change it after approval. Any further change requires a new approval.

Pre-Production Logistics: As production day approaches, focus on optimizing logistics to streamline the filming process. This includes securing necessary permits, scheduling equipment rentals, and coordinating with the production crew. Clear communication and efficient planning are essential for ensuring a smooth production day.


3. Creating the ad

When deciding how to create a TV commercial, there are three basic options:

  • Do it yourself: If you want to go the DIY way, you’ll need to buy or rent professional audio and video equipment, as well as employ a production crew and actors. If you have prior experience, you might save money by using this option. However, unless you have prior manufacturing expertise, we do not suggest this alternative.
  • Work with your local broadcast or cable company: Working with your local broadcast or cable company is an excellent alternative for small business owners, since your local station should have a production crew on hand to assist you with your advertisement.
  • Work with a video production company. By working with a director, you will benefit from having their experience as a guide. What is more, companies like Impress Video are able to quickly translate the idea into a TV commercial. Remember to set your budget and deadlines before you start the production process. Location and casting are also decided at this stage.

Furthermore, apart from the video production process, it’s essential to create your ad concept around an important insight, tapping into those subtle yet universally relatable moments that we often overlook but deeply resonate with consumers. These insights, often referred to as “truths” in advertising, capture the essence of human behaviour and emotions. For instance, who hasn’t absent-mindedly read the shampoo bottle label in the shower or bathroom? By acknowledging and incorporating these insights into your ad concept, you can create campaigns that feel authentic and resonate with your audience on a personal level, ultimately driving stronger engagement and brand loyalty.

4. Production day

production crew jobs in a movie

The production day is when your creative dreams hit the ground running. The idea you’ve been working on, finally comes to life. To make the most of this exciting time, here are some practical tips:

First off, nail down your schedule. Think of it as your blueprint for the day. By mapping out each step, from setup to wrap, you ensure that everything stays on track. Be flexible, but having a solid plan in place minimises downtime and keeps everyone focused.

Communication is key. Make sure everyone knows their role and feels comfortable speaking up if something isn’t working. Assign someone to keep the lines of communication open and address any hiccups that come up along the way.

Take advantage of the latest gear and techniques. Whether it’s using drones for epic aerial shots or experimenting with new lighting setups, embracing innovation can take your project to the next level. Stay open to new ideas and be willing to try something different.

Finally, but probably the most important tip, don’t forget to back up your work. Accidents happen, so make sure you have a plan in place to protect your footage and equipment. It’s a small step that can save you a lot of headaches down the road.

5. Post-production day

Here the editor selects the best clips, edits them and adds some music and voiceovers. Depending on your budget, you will use composed or library music. Regardless of the type of music used, you’ll have to listen to many tracks until you find one that works.

This stage not only refines the visual appeal but also strengthens the storytelling aspect of the advert. Editors meticulously select the best clips, weave them together seamlessly, and enhance them with compelling music and voiceovers.

6. Final TV commercial to ClearCast

Sending the final TV commercial to ClearCast marks a pivotal moment in the advertising journey. ClearCast serves as the gatekeeper, ensuring that all commercials adhere to industry standards and regulations.

It can take up to 3 working days or more if you send it during busy periods. . Common challenges during the approval process include ensuring compliance with advertising guidelines, addressing potential objections or concerns raised by ClearCast, and navigating any legal or regulatory hurdles. By understanding these challenges and proactively addressing them, advertisers can expedite the approval process and ensure the smooth airing of their TV commercial.

7. Find the right TV channel and buy air-time

Once Clearcast has approved the commercial, you have to figure out where and when you would like to air your TV advert, as finding the optimal TV channel and timing for airing your commercial is crucial for its success. Effective media planning and targeting ensure that your message reaches the right audience at the right time, maximising its impact. Here are some tips to enhance your TV advertising strategy:

  • Know Your Audience: Conduct thorough research to understand your target audience’s viewing habits, preferences, and demographics. This knowledge will guide your choice of TV channels and time slots.
  • Consider Reach and Relevance: Select TV channels that align with your target audience’s interests and demographics. Look for channels that have high viewership among your target demographic to maximize reach.
  • Negotiate Airtime Rates: Negotiating airtime rates can significantly impact your advertising budget. Approach TV networks with a clear understanding of your budget and objectives, and be prepared to negotiate for favorable rates.
  • Optimise Placement: Consider factors such as program content, viewer demographics, and competition when deciding on the placement of your commercial within TV schedules. Aim for high-visibility slots that attract your target audience, and remember that to get better results, air it at least 2–3 weeks.

8. Social media marketing

At the beginning of this blog, we have said that TV advertising is one of the most effective marketing tools. But, the best practice is to combine both TV and online advertising. By using both, you will reach larger audiences and boost conversions. Thus, invest in TV advertising production and maximise your investment, sharing it on as many platforms as possible.

Basically, combining TV and online advertising creates a seamless brand experience, generating awareness and interaction. Leveraging both channels reaches diverse demographics, ensuring maximum exposure. Successful integrated campaigns use TV to spark social media conversations, engaging audiences further. Investing in both TV production and social media extends reach and drives conversions, maximising your marketing budget.



After reading this blog, you may have a better understanding on how to get a commercial on TV. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch

Thank you for reading,



Contact Impress Video now

If you would like to do a TV Advert with video production and marketing professionals, or any other type of video, we can help you at Impress Video. We make video production for businesses, the ones that impress. Don’t hesitate to contact us here!