How a Good TV Advertising Agency can help you maximise your ROI

How People Use TV Advertising Agencies

People enlist the help of a specialist TV advertising agency like ourselves because they want their TV advert to achieve something. They may want to increase their sales, heighten brand awareness or generate a response.

A client will often seek help because whatever stage of the process they’re at, they’re looking to maximise their ROI and justify their spend.

A good agency will work with their clients to plan and manage their campaign, and the airtime. I’d say the value in paying for the service is that you’re getting specialist industry knowledge from the experts.

It’s the assurance that adverts are reaching their intended audience by airing on the right channel at the right time. It’s the peace of mind that the best possible deal can be negotiated on your behalf.

The confidence that you’re securing the best airtime package from an impartial perspective. It’s being able to follow up what you create with bespoke analysis and tracking to check you’re on the right track.

If I don’t use a TV Advertising Agency, what are my other options?

If you choose not to enlist the services of a TV advertising agency, you have the alternative option of buying airtime direct from the media house.

In my experience, this limits what deals you can find. Going direct to one house means you’re dealing with them and them only. You’re not getting access to the whole of the market and they’re not impartial.

A TV advertising agency will search across all media to get the best deal for you because they’re not tied to any one particular channel. They can offer deals from Sky, Channel 4, ITV and so on, because they’re completely independent.

A good analogy is to think of a TV advertising agency as a broker, working on your behalf to secure the best package.

In the past, I have seen larger media agencies tie in their clients leaving them ‘stuck’ with a contract that’s no longer suitable for them. Some also trade in value across lower spending accounts to support larger clients. It begs the question, ‘Are they working with your best interests in mind?’

How to get your advert onto TV

I’ll be honest. Getting your advert to the point of broadcast can be both lengthy and challenging. With multiple components to factor in and a stringent process to be followed, it really is something best left to the expertise of an agency.

I’d say without doubt, the most important question you need to ask yourself before you embark on anything, is, ‘What does success look like for your business?’ Really take the time to figure this out.

The more specific you can be in setting out your goals clearly, the better the chance of creating a successful campaign. Think about what you want your TV advert to do.

Perhaps you want to generate sales, invite customers to respond to an offer, or raise brand awareness. It’s great to create an advert with huge creative and visual appeal, but if it’s missing the mark in terms of reaching your objectives, it’s ultimately falling short.

Secondly, it’s worth noting that the process is rigorous and rightly so. Think ahead; your advert is potentially going to be viewed by thousands of people. It must be watertight in terms of its legality and integrity.

Your claims about goods or services must have any facts checked against them. For example, if you claim your product is the UK’s biggest selling moisturiser, that claim needs to be substantiated.

Are you offering a discount as an incentive? If so, that too will need verification. Is the discount true and being given in good faith? At The TV Agency we can guide you through these initial steps, because without them in place, you’re going to face hurdles later on.

Just see this example feedback we recently received from Clearcast for a client making a video for digital use.

“Hi Anthony,

There is a lot of information attached, but I’d like responses to these specifically.

Claims to be substantiated:

1) Can they demonstrate that consumers would save hundreds of pounds
2) Can this really be termed clean? How so?
3) see if you qualify – what are the exceptions?
4) free – using the cap note on the ‘use of free’, can they explain why ‘free’ is acceptable here?
5) worth ten thousand pounds
6) Works with – any exceptions to this?
7) how does this work?
8) This is a government backed scheme
9) that’s open on a first come, first served basis – how is this limited?

Kind regards,”

The TV Advert Process – Creating an Advert Ready for TV

Once you have determined your campaign objectives, it’s time to come up with a concept that fits with what you’re trying to achieve. Thoughts and ideas may come from your own creative team or we can steer you in the right direction. Armed with your vision, you’re now ready to dive in.

Firstly, the creative team will draft scripts, creating any wording and language to be included in your TV advert. These scripts are checked and vetted through Clearcast, (who act on behalf of broadcasters), which gives pre-clearance that all content is truthful and meets any legal requirements.

If you have your own in-house legal team, they may have their own set of regulations to be adhered to, in addition. At this point, Clearcast will either provide approval of the intended advert, or request that some changes are made, to ensure its suitability prior to broadcast.

Pre – Production of the TV Advert

  • Before any of the fun stuff can commence, I’d suggest your pre -production plan should include some of the following considerations:
  • Will this advert be animated or live action?
  • Will this advert require a casting process to find actors, models or voice over artists?
  • Will there be a need for any 3D material?
  • Which music are we going to use and how can we source that?
  • Is there any imagery we would like to include in our campaign?
  • Filming Locations, to names few.

Production of the TV Advert

If you plump for a live action advert, production is likely to be made up of filming actors or models, on location. Lighting, sound and camera equipment will be required to capture your video. If you decide upon animation, then our specialist animation team will begin to draw and bring the advert to life.

This process can take days, weeks or even months, as I’ve witnessed firsthand. Things just get in the way sometimes, especially during live action filming: weather, noisy traffic, unreliable actors, technology malfunctions. Nothing surprises me after nearly twenty years in the game!

Hopefully by now you’ll have a rough draft in place, often called the roughcut. Although not the finished product, it should be nearly there giving you an idea of how the completed advert will look and an opportunity to make any last minute changes.

If you do want to make changes at this stage, anything live action based can be a little trickier to adjust than an animation. Imagine if you require a re-shoot in an alternative location, or on a day with better lighting or clearer weather.

Sometimes It can’t be helped and it’s our job as a TV agency to suggest alternative ways of working, maybe using a studio instead of a film location.

Ok! The hard work’s done! Let’s say you’ve made an advert you love. Now it needs to go back for final clearance (remember Clearcast?) and once it’s signed off, you’ve got yourself an ad ready for delivery to the TV stations to be broadcast which you normally have to do five working days before broadcast.

How a TV Advertising Agency can help with production

I know. There’s a lot to take in there. I’m tired just writing it. But what I want you to know is that, by using a specialist TV advertising agency, like ourselves, you’re getting a team of experts to hold your hand through it all. Their role is to help you with creative guidance, production and clearance.

It’s worth mentioning that TV advertising agencies are also familiar with the costs of the production process; they use these services in their everyday work. Do you know what the going rate is for a voice over artist?

Depending who and what you require, the fee can range from £100 right up to £50,000! Crazy. But that’s why using an TV advertising agency will keep you in the right ballpark.

How a good TV Advertising Agency can maximise your ROI

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Before you can maximise your ROI, you need to ask yourself the question, ‘What does success look like for us?’ Once that’s established, you can start to work towards your goals.

For some advertisers, they have a target number of sales in mind or a target spend per customer in order to be viable. Other clients are interested in the cost per lead figures in their analysis.

Some advertisers are looking to generate an action, such as downloading an app. They’re all good ways to measure your ROI and you know yourself what’s best for your business. If you’re not sure, an agency can help you figure this out.

I’m always happy to talk at length about the benefits of using a TV advertising agency because there are so many!

Here are my 5 main advantages:

We are industry experts

There’s very little we don’t know about the world of TV advertising. We have built up years of expertise in production, media buying and analysis. A specialist TV advertising agency can help navigate the waters to see a project through from beginning to end.
Having that cohesion and a designated point of contact allows for a more seamless process.

TV advertising agencies are able to see the bigger picture of the industry. They are experts in brand fame, response metrics and raising awareness. Brought together in the right way to maximise your ROI, they should be helping you gain the true value of advertising on TV.

An agency operating in the TV advertising industry is usually well connected. They should utilise their contacts and whole of market reach to secure you the best available package. While conducting research on where your ad should be placed to reach your target audience. That’s their job.

We will make best use of your advertising spend

It’s the job of a TV advertising agency to manage the value of your campaign. A good agency should always be looking to make sure all your value is delivered.

Let’s assume you had a campaign which has under delivered; the viewing figures dropped slightly at the end of the campaign. An agency will make you aware of that value and build it in for your next campaign with the broadcaster.

In comparison, I’ve seen broadcasters over deliver too. It’s not a bad thing as such, but what you don’t want to happen is where you end up in a situation where you owe them value. It’s not that they’re going to ask for any cash, but they may make up the difference by under delivering on your future campaigns.

We operate on an advertiser by advertiser basis

By dealing individually with each advertiser, we can craft a more bespoke service for our clients.

During my time in London, I became disillusioned with how larger agencies buy their airtime. They lump their clients together and use their economies of scale to negotiate a bulk price for the year ahead. Along the way, smaller clients can get lost in the process as value is traded across lower spend accounts. My experience is that, unfortunately, some agencies are only interested in their own targets and not necessarily the clients.

Choosing to focus on one client at a time means we can buy the ebay deal for you, meaning a better ROI for you.

We know which slots perform well

After serving my time in the industry, I’ve gained the knowledge to recognise which slots perform well. With all the best will in the world, a great advert is only as good as it’s placement.

Only recently, I saw an advert which ticked all the boxes in terms of branding, yet went out to broadcast on the wrong channel. Another advertiser stumped up roughly £35,000 for a single spot, hoping for a lucrative return.

Indeed, there’s maximum exposure to the right audience, but this business had a low target cost per sale or say £10. If I’ve done my maths right, that means over three and a half thousand units need to be sold within that 30 second period before they could break even, let alone see any positive ROI.

It’s largely a numbers game. Using specialist know-how, a TV advertising agency can get the very best out of your budget. Let’s look at the example of choosing a zero rated spot, which can cost as little as £3 per advert. If you have a target cost per acquisition of £9 and 3 adverts generates 1 response, then it’s paid for itself.

By stacking the odds in your favour, we can maximise your ROI.

If you’re not sure about then pierce of actually buying airtime, check out our guide to TV advertising costs

We minimise mistakes and offer advice

Mistakes are expensive and many of us have learned the hard way, myself included. I champion the use of a specialist TV advertising agency here, such as ourselves because we know what to avoid and why.

We talked a little bit earlier about how an advert can look the part but despite that, it’s not doing what you expect it to do. It may not be generating the sales or enquiries forecasted and in the blink of an eye, you’ve lost £50, 000. Not good.

Similarly, a specialist agency can advise upon the content and timings of your advert, to make sure it’s hitting the mark.

My main bugbear is seeing adverts, which don’t mention their business name right up until the end of the advert. It’s akin to throwing 25 seconds of time, effort and cash down the drain.

The TV Agency can help you keep things running smoothly and if you do come up against obstacles, show you a way to get around them.

Starting your TV advertising journey

I hope I’ve helped you explore some of the ways in which a good TV advertising agency can maximise your ROI. I’m always happy to share my knowledge and be an advocate for the services of an independent agency, such as ourselves.

Above all else, you should be able to trust your agency and develop a mutually beneficial relationship to reach your goals.

Remember – once you know what success looks like, we can help you get there.

Are you ready to start your TV advertising journey?

How is Animation Used in Advertising? (An In-Depth Guide)

How is animation used in advertising? Good question!

I’d like to share some of my thoughts with you in this blog, to highlight how animation in advertising is used and how it may benefit you in future projects.

With over ten years in the TV advertising industry, I’ve worked on both animation and live action videos adverts. I hope to help you reach a decision whether animation is the best route for you and your business, or at the very least give some inside information.

Along the way, I’ll try to include some examples of why animation is a good choice and examine what happens when it’s used rightly or wrongly.

Animation vs Live Action Advertising

Consider all of the elements needed to make a live action video. There’s a lot, stay with me:

  • the filming location and location scouting
  • the weather
  • noise pollution – often overlooked and can be a nightmare to film around
  • lighting at location, additional lighting equipment needed
  • Presenter, actors, models and the casting or audition process that comes with them
  • technical equipment such as cameras, lighting, sound
  • then a crew to operate them, and their availability
  • a studio for indoor filming,
  • a voice over artist, and audition process
  • make up
  • set design or props
  • music licensing

The list goes on. And with that comes the need for some rigid organisation, to bond all of these things to come together for the day you shoot.

Ok, it’s a bad day. Let’s say that it’s pouring rain, the presenter doesn’t sound as you had hoped and your make up artist is sick. Production has to stop for whatever reason.

Your project is now at a standstill, whilst the others involved all still need paying. It’s costing you both time and money. Frustrating right? Especially considering how much you’ll be spending on your TV campaign (see our blog on TV advertising costs), keeping your budget tight is a must!

Throw in something like a Covid-19 pandemic to disrupt proceedings and all of a sudden it’s becoming a virtual impossibility.

Animation is a way to minimise the external variable influences often experienced when live action filming. In fact, pretty much everything about it is within your control. They both follow the same process, but animated projects are undoubtedly easier to organise and manage.

In the event that you need to make alterations, an animator can adjust content digitally and quickly.

Think back to live action. If you’re running a special offer in your advert and that offer changes, you’ll need to re-shoot the scene with the new offer. More filming, location issues, technical equipment and crew, make-up and so on.

An animation team, on the other hand, has the ability to renew it in no time. And that’s the biggie. Animation allows you a HUGE AMOUNT of flexibility. I can’t emphasise it enough.

Costs and Timings of Animation

An animated advert can be shaped to fit your budget. I’ve seen big campaign spends of over £100,000 and smaller ones around the £5,000 mark. Of course, you get what you pay for but honestly? Animation is a very affordable medium. It’s a great choice if you’re starting out and need tighter control over your budget.

The costs of live action and animation are on a par in some respects, because when you choose animation, you are paying for the time and expertise of the animator and the creative design process.

In terms of timescales, a fast working animation team can deliver the goods in as little as 2 weeks! A little longer depending on the concept, but either way, efficient and cost effective.

Is animation more suitable for some advertisers than others?

It’s fair to say that yes; some advertisers and their products or services do fit better with an animated campaign. I talk a little bit about branding later on in this blog and certainly, for some businesses animation probably isn’t the right path to go down.

From experience, I’ve noticed it can be difficult to establish a human connection through animation. Some particularly sensitive or emotional themes are best portrayed using real life scenarios.

Although sometimes this can be an opportunity to be creative to find a way around this problem. Animation doesn’t just have to mean cartoons and bright pictures. Animation can be subtle, and even challenging. This advert from the NSPCC won a huge amount of awards for the creative way they portrayed child abuse using a mix of animation and live action to deliver an amazing emotive advert

Does animation fit your brand?

I think a good way for you to assess whether animation is the right choice for your brand is to ask yourself, ‘Who do I want to target?’ and ‘Is animation the right way to reach them?’

It’s largely dependent on your key brand messages and the suitability of your product or service. Let’s say you need to create a TV campaign for funeral services. Traditionally, we tend to think of darker, muted colours, a slower paced tone and a formal style attributed to the advertising.

Animation, then doesn’t seem to match up to the key messages in this instance. Funeral Directors are providing an emotional and humanistic service. To animate that for the purposes of advertising doesn’t seem appropriate.

Although again their are brands that will find creative ways to use this to their advantage, such as this video from Dead Happy life insurance:

Let’s compare it to an ecommerce business, such as Amazon. Bright, vibrant content works here. Introducing a character as a way of delivering your branding messages is one option.

One strong creative idea can be transformed into animation and then used as a series of adverts, changing the audio, the visual, or even the brand messages as your campaign objectives shift along the way.

One of the great things about choosing an animated campaign, is that a large amount of content can be produced in a relatively short space of time.

Once you have that content, it’s interchangeable across all mediums. So, you may have come up with a really strong branding message and it can be tweaked as needed to fit the purposes of social media, TV and so on.

A good animation should create synergy between your branding styles to allow for brand cohesion. For example, we made these TV ads for Winn Solicitors, which we then adapted for Radio and then out of home.

When is animation a good choice?

The recent pandemic is a great way to illustrate why animation is a good choice. With the increase in home working due to the Covid situation, shooting live action videos has been near on impossible.

I say near on, because some agencies have indeed managed it. Clever little souls. They’re been forward thinking in their approach and have created zoom type adverts, featuring actors during lockdown. Hats off to them.

Imagine organising a live video shoot under recent social distancing guidelines. Finding a location that’s not out of bounds, one that’s not too noisy, keeping everyone apart, mask wearing where applicable, cleaning and sterilising all technical equipment, involving self isolating crew and cast members at suitable times.

My brain hurts just thinking about it! Working from home is not a barrier as to what can be produced with animation; it can be crafted from anywhere.

If you have plumped for an animated video, any further follow on videos required can be easily generated.

Once you’ve created the initial content you can think of it as akin to cut, copy and pasting the content for use in a new or alternative way. In doing this, the branding themes remain continual and you get more use out of your created assets.

Animation is also a good choice, particularly if you’re new to TV advertising. When you first start your advertising journey, it’s difficult to know what will and won’t work.

It’s almost a process of trial and error until you see what is instrumental in helping you reach your goals. Choosing an animated style for your adverts comes with a huge amount of flexibility.

It gives you the option of making changes quickly and efficiently. Don’t like the way a character looks? We can alter her. Want to change the gender of the character from female to male? Actionable at the touch of a button (or a few buttons to keep my animators happy)!

If you had chosen to shoot a live action commercial however, think for a moment how inflexible it is in comparison. Don’t like the way a character looks? You have to find a new real life actor, most probably through an audition or casting process.

Then you have time and cost implications of reshooting, to implement your changes. All the work that went before is, in effect, wasted.

Stylistically, there’s no limit as to what you can create within the realms of animation. It really does offer a wealth of possibilities allowing you to create any style you like, budget permitting of course…

And also showcase locations or features that wouldn’t be possible with live action. For example this product demo video for Ebac which focuses in on particular product features.

Are there limitations when using animation?

Whilst I’m happy to sing the praises of animation, like anything, it has its limitations. I’d say that often clients come to our TV agency before starting the process, finding it difficult to visualise what the end result will be.

Using a mood board can help determine the direction of the video. A fusion of creative ideas combined with brand messaging is a good starting point to try and envisage what that advert will look like in the flesh.

My advice would be; that if you need to check you’re on the right track before ploughing ahead, ask your animator to compose a little snapshot for you. They’re quite easily able to give you a sneak peak to allow you a glimpse of what’s in the making.

Secondly, there’s a large element of trust which comes in to play between the client and the animation team. In the past, I’ve witnessed all singing, all dancing animations being sold to the client promising, ‘We can create these amazing campaigns for you!’ and unfortunately, what is delivered doesn’t always live up to the expectation.

The challenge from an animator’s point of view is to deliver exactly what is being asked and not to oversell what they are able to create, at the time of pitching. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve been asked to remake an advert because the client wasn’t happy with what another agency had produced.

So if possible ask for demo shots. Here’s an example of our Terraclean advert which showed the client the level of Photo realism that could be achieved within their budget before even making the ad.

If you’re unsure as to what you should be looking out for, my suggestion would be to go along and chat to your animator about what they’re working on at the moment and what they have created in the past.

Ask to see their portfolio to check that what they offer ties in with the kind of thing you’re after. A good agency will be willing to share this, along with being transparent about what they can and can’t do. Or you could just make life easier for yourself and contact us here at The TV Agency.

Who should use animation?

Whilst I’d love to say that animation is for everyone, there are certainly groups of people it suits over and above others. Take the example of an ecommerce advertiser. It’s likely they don’t have a physical element to their business.
They may not even have a tangible product if their company is service driven. Without a location to film at, I’d be inclined to suggest choosing the animation route, explaining to my clients that an agency can create all these material things in visual form.

Recently we developed some explainer videos for Ebac, a white goods manufacturer. Animation allowed us to isolate certain parts of the video, to zone in and discuss specific features and benefits at length as we’ve already shown earlier in this post.

Are you new to the TV advertising industry? Again, animation is a great starting point, the flexible nature of it meaning you can learn as you go, rectifying mistakes with relative ease along the way.

Is there a right and wrong way to use animation?

Animation is most successful when it’s clear to recognise who the advert is aimed at and what exactly it is they’re trying to encourage their audience to do adn this is true of any advert, not just animation. Perhaps advertisers are looking for viewers to make a sale, download an app or respond to an offer.

Clear goals and objectives from the outset keep the animation on the right track. From my experience, those advertisers who are unable to define what success looks like to them in the first instance struggle down the line.

It’s a bugbear of mine to see adverts which don’t show a logo or display their brand name until the closing seconds. It’s wasted time in my opinion and every second could be utilised better during the animation.

Something to keep in mind, is that no matter how strong a creative idea may be, it might not always translate well into what action you want your viewers to take. The two don’t always go hand in hand. Consideration needs to be given to the goal of the campaign.

For example, look at this TV advert for Royale Life although live action it makes the mistakes we’ve just discussed because they don’t use animation as well as they could of

It’s been shot really well, includes a celeb presenter! The logo starts on the screen but fades out? I don’t know why you would do this? Because now you have several shots and the majority of your ad with no branding and then that basic mistake of including the web and phone number for the last few seconds of the end frame.

If they’re measuring the success of this campaign on response it won’t perform as well as it could have if they’d included the web address and phone number throughout. That’s not to say it won’t work, it’s just a more difficult journey for a viewer if they’re not sure what and who the advert is for.

Compare that to this TV advert for Seascapes promoting the same product which does utilise animation throughout, it’s quite clear what action they want viewers to take and who they are.

Is animation for me?

You’ve probably noticed a recurring theme of flexibility throughout my blog, but the flexibility that animation offers really is worth shouting about. When you have produced content you are happy with, that’s yours to keep. It’s reusable. It’s easily changeable.

As your brand grows in a new direction, animation can reflect that, with minimal effort. It eliminates the need for expensive, time consuming and logistically challenging live action re-shoots.

Budget wise, animation can be adjusted to suit any budget. Whatever your spend, there’s scope to build something. Figures as low as £5,000 or even £2,000 in some cases have proven sufficient enough to get an animated video produced.

By choosing animation, you’ll avoid some of the pitfalls of making live action videos, usually turning out to be costly mistakes. Therefore, it stands out as a more budget friendly option and certainly a way to regain control.

Finally, I love animation because it’s something you really can have fun with. There’s no limit to the creative ability during production. I see my animators using various types of animation to get a great end result: 2D, 3D, CGI and so on.

We have some great technical wizards who can whip you up something fabulous, sometimes in a little as two weeks. What’s not to love?

Are you ready to use animation in your advertising? Let’s have a chat, call us at The TV Agency on +44191 432 5333!

The Advantages of TV Advertising

TV Advertising has two core benefits. Brand awareness and response. You can reach new customers and increase your brand loyalty with existing customers. And, it drives sales or responses. But you could argue that most advertising has at least one of these core benefits.

What Makes TV Advertising Different?

So why’s TV different? I’d say it’s down to the power of the message, its well proven that video, a combination of vision and sound creates the best advertising messages. And then impact! A single TV advert can reach millions of people within that 30” time frame. I don’t even think Google or Facebook could deliver 8 million views in the UK in 30 seconds.

Now you may think, yeah but isn’t it really expensive? Well you’d be wrong! Yes, you can spend millions on TV advertising but you can spend far smaller amounts of money. Just read our post on TV advertising costs.

What is TV Advertising’s Biggest Benefit?

I’d say it’s biggest benefit is its low cost. The avg cost per view of a TV advert is less than half a penny, 0.5p! To put that into context, most digital video starts at around 2p per view, 4x as much!

Because TV has such a huge daily, weekly, monthly audience it makes it more affordable. TV advertising costs are based on supply (your total number of viewers watching TV on a channel or region by the audience) vs demand (the total budgets of advertisers wanting to advertise on that channel or region and audience).

Supply vs Demand

For example, 600 million viewers/ 30 million ad spend = £10 CPT or cost per thousand viewers.

Supply vs demand = cost

The more people watching TV the cheaper it is to advertise, although if viewing drops that increase’s the cost.

If demand is high, such as around the lead up to Christmas, this increases the cost. But if demand is low, such as in the summer months or due to external factors such as COVID the price drops.

The Effect of COVID

Because of COVID, the TV market has automatically reduced its cost, you don’t need huge discounts to save money. The fact that there is less demand means the price has dropped by upto 50% in some months YOY.

This can be a big advantage to advertisers by choosing to advertise more when it’s cheaper, you can get more value for money.

TV Advertising Gives You Lots of Choice!

Another big advantage is choice! Channel choice to advertise around. SKY Media represents over 150 different channels, ITV1 Has various regional options as well as its own digital channels, Channel 4 has a mix of digital channels and some macro targeting options.

With Sky having so many different channels there are a lot that have quite small viewing figures, this means the entry level cost per advert can be as low as £3 per 30 second advert. At the same time you can buy a national advert in Coronation St on ITV and reach close to 8 million viewers, costing thousands of pounds for just one advert.

With ITV1 you have geo-targeting options, where you can advertise in the northeast of England only or in London only or a mix of regions, reflecting your store locations.

TV Advertising is Trackable!

TV responses can be tracked, it’s probably the best offline medium for response tracking, and that’s due to the impact of the ads and size of audience you can reach. If you have an advert in a big peak spot in the daytime, then you’ll see a response to your website or phone number within a few minutes. If you know the cost of that advert and then how many responses you received it’s easy enough to work out your cost per response.

TV Advertising Delivers Fame & Trust

We all know when we see an ad on TV that it must be true, you can’t make claims that aren’t. So when we see an offer or a saving we know it’s genuine. Being seen on TV also gives that impression that your business is doing well as it’s perceived as being expensive. This can really help advertisers and is one of the reasons why you should advertise even in a downturn. Viewers will have more trust that your business is in a good position even when the economy isn’t.

What are the Disadvantages of TV Advertising?

One of the main disadvantages of TV advertising is, I think production time of a TV advert can be slow. For most first time advertisers the legal clearance process can be off-putting, especially if your production company doesn’t have a lot of experience of clearing a TV commercial.

It can be confusing, there are a lot of technical terms that an advertiser may not have heard before. We trade in TVR’s or television ratings. It’s an industry standard and its simple enough to explain but again it can feel too technical for some.

Costs can soon increase massively. Yes you can buy ads for as low as £3 but you can also spend 50k on a single advert. So how do you know you’re getting a good deal or paying the right price? Are you spending too much or not enough? Really it’s an agencies job to manage this for you.

What Most TV Advertisers Don’t Realise!

What you spend is not necessarily what you get. TV broadcasters don’t know how many people will see your advert tonight until after its gone out, so they work to an estimate and as a result, they can overestimate or underestimate your delivery.

You won’t know until after the campaign has finished. If I spent 20k on a TV campaign I may get 22k of value or I might only get 18k. The value isn’t actually gained or lost, it becomes a trade credit or debt. If it comes in short I can request more value on a future campaign. If it comes in over I may have to under deliver on a future campaign.

The Job of a Good Agency

Is to try and always keep it so value is as even as possible. Some agencies will purposely try to over deliver so that they can audit against higher discounts than what they buy at, and so this can become a very grey area. Are you really getting the discount you were promised?

Is TV Advertising for Everyone?

It depends. I often ask are you ready to advertise on TV? Does your website convert really efficiently? Have you got a strong digital presence and campaigns? A retargeting campaign combined with TV or PPC campaigns can deliver brilliant results, often halving the cost of your PPC.

Are you targeting B2B rather than B2C? Believe it or not but there are TV options even for B2B but B2C business will often see the most benefit.

Does your brand need a refresh? Maybe this could be tied in with new TV creative and messages?

Cost is obviously important but as I’ve shown previously there are very cheap options for TV but if you want to advertise across several ITV1 regions to promote different retail locations then it can very quickly go up into six figures.

So for us, it’s more of a checklist, are you in the right position to do TV to get the best benefits from it.

Why Do Some People Write Off TV Advertising?

TV advertising is often written off as being too expensive without thought and this is probably my biggest pet hate. Most advertisers I speak to when we discuss how affordable TV advertising can be realise it very much should be a consideration in their marketing plan.

What Sort of Return or ROI Will I Get From TV advertising?

Probably the number one question that most new advertisers want to know is this one. There are quite a few case studies on the Thinkbox website but it culminates in showing TV advertising as the highest performing offline marketing channel at an ROI of around £1.75. But I don’t think this is really what advertisers are looking for.

What I say to advertisers is to work it out backwards, based on your planned spend, what would you need in terms of response/ sales to hit your target? And then look at how realistic that is, for example if you’re spending 50k, and getting 40 million views, and you need 4,000 in sales, then you need to convert 0.01% of viewers, which doesn’t sound too difficult to achieve. You can even go on to say if you have a conversion rate of 0.02 then you’ve doubled your target.

Find out how The TV Agency can help you maximise your ROI here.

What Does Success Look Like?

By having a minimum target for conversions needed, you can identify what success looks like and what it doesn’t and if it looks achievable. But bear in mind there are lots of other factors to take into consideration. Your creative, does it have a strong call to action or offer? The channel choice, the time of day you advertise, the length of your advert, to name just a few.

Who Does TV Advertising Benefit the Most?

Across the thousands of TV campaigns I’ve worked on I don’t think there is one type or category of advertiser that gets the most benefit. I’ve worked across Motor, Retail, home Improvement, Entertainment, gambling, Financial services, travel to name a few and they’ve all done exceptionally well out of TV.

What Success Looks Like to Us!

For me, I tend to be response/ sales driven. Because ultimately this is how most advertisers measure success. And as an agency I like to be able to show data, we did X, it generated Y. This doesn’t show the whole effect of TV advertising but it does give you a measure of how you’re performing.

I often say to clients that the best approach is to take an overview, realistically all your marketing should be working together in tangent and complimenting each other so that you can see what business has been generated vs your marketing spend, and this gives you a very top view of your performance.

Which is important because with something like TV advertising, not everyone will respond to your ads within a set time frame. At least half will respond when it’s convenient to them and when they feel they need your service or product and part of that process is them being exposed to your advert several times.

Yes, with TV, you can see instant responses but that is only part of the picture.

The TV Agency

And so this is where we come in, as an agency, to help you navigate the minefield which is TV advertising. We’ll take all of the above into consideration and tonne more to help our clients get the best results from TV advertising as well as an open and honest relationship to build trust. Ultimately, although it sounds like a cliche, our success is based on our clients success.

We want to work with clients that we have chemistry with and have an amazing business proposition, if that’s you, get in touch!

Advertising on ITV Border

I worked at ITV Border for nearly 5 years selling TV advertising. Having come from the ITV London office, where I’d only worked with national advertisers, spending millions of pounds every month. ITV Border was a bit of an oddity to me, here was this region where you could buy a spot in Coronation Street for less than £300! Where I’d previously been negotiating deals for over 50k for a national spot in the same programme. It didn’t seem real, but it was and this is still the case!

TV advertising costs are based on how many people see your TV adverts and traded off a cost per thousand. There are factors that can affect the CPT, but in ITV Border its very cheap compared to other regions. However, that’s not why its so cheap for an advert. It’s so cheap because the population is so small, yet geographically its massive.

Why is ITV Border so cheap?

We used to say there’s more sheep than people in ITV Border and it’s probably true. But this means that in terms of TV advertising, you can only reach half a million potential viewers, not including Sheep. That might sound like a lot, but it’s not when you compare it to other regions, for example Granada, whose potential audience is more like 5.5 million, which is more than 10 times the population size. This is why it’s so cheap to advertise on ITV Border because it reaches less viewers.

Does this mean it doesn’t work though? No, ITV Border is the one region where you will see lots of local advertisers on TV, from retailers to local wedding shops. In fact, I remember hearing once that a local man sold his house using a TV advert. Can you imagine it? This is why I love TV advertising, because when you look at it regionally, something that shouldn’t be possible actually is and not only that, it has great results for those advertisers.

With all of that in mind, here are some example TV advertising costs for ITV Border.

TV COsts

Here are the factors you need to be aware of when planning your advertising campaign spend:

We can also supply costs for SKY, Channel 4 and Five etc, but costing isn’t as simple as it is with ITV. This is mainly because you would normally run a combination of channels for an effective campaign, whereas ITV1 delivers much higher viewing figures and can be bought across micro-regions to deliver a high impact in small areas. Viewing figures are smaller across digital channels and you can only advertise nationally, meaning low impact, UK coverage that requires a longer campaign. This can be very effective for campaigns where cost per response is very important.

If you would like to see maps for each region are or would like further information please contact us.

At The TV Agency, we generally work 1-2 months in advance, although you can book later (sometimes as late as on the day) if you have an advert ready to transmit and are willing to pay premiums, as charged by the broadcaster.

We also have a system for booking TV campaigns to monitor ROI. We use this data and generate reports twice weekly, to ensure you get the highest return on your investment. Please keep in mind that this is only a short guide to TV advertising costs. In fact, it’s only the tip of the iceberg!

You can also find more useful information on each broadcaster here,

And for leading research on TV advertising visit