How much does an Advert cost?

by Davey Miller

Hi, my name’s Davey Miller & I’m the Creative Director here at TVA.

Today we are talking about how much an advert costs. Before we get into the figures here are some factors you need to consider.

What has brought you to consider creating a commercial?

Have your online sales stalled? Are you looking to branch out into TV, because you have reached your PPC limit and you what to reach a new audience?

You’re advertising online with images to drive sales and they’re not reaching sales targets.

At TVA, consider ourselves advertising coaches. We will help and guide you with our inside knowledge ensuring the best path to go down. 

What type of adverts do we offer

You need to identify what you are looking for in an advert – what are you promoting and what does the outcome need to be? Sales? Online traffic etc.

Our speciality is animation and VFX. But, animation isn’t all we offer here and if you need a live-action shoot – no problem! We operate like any other agency, your desire is our command! Our trusted fleet of filmmakers, freelance professionals. Who under our guidance will help us produce your live-action commercial.

Saying that, if animation can tell your story or sell your product better, we will go down that route. Animation gives you more scope for creativity and flexibility. Create something unique to your brand or product.

Things to consider

What are your goals with the commercial? Is it to promote your brand or sell a product?

Promoting your brand

A brand lead commercial promotes your company and invites viewers to get to know your brand. These adverts have a strong emotional aspect to them, they make the viewer think, make then laugh or shed a tear. Good examples of brand lead commercials John Lewis Christmas adverts, Sony Bravia Bouncing Balls and the brilliant ‘Wassup’ Bud commercials!

Selling a product?

Sale focused adverts make up 99% of what our clients are looking for when advertising. Leading with a strong offer, potentials customers are more likely to buy your product. Make sure you have thought about what offer you are looking to promote. Or you are promoting a new to the market product. Which features do you want to stand out and be the focus of the commercial, how do you differ from the competition?

Let’s talk about costs

We have covered some of the different factors for creating an advert. Now you want to know the cost.

Let’s categorise our costs to help you get a better idea.


Making an advert for less than 5k can be limiting. Often social media videos fall into this category. You don’t want to spend a fortune on a video that might not get thousands of views. To make this budget go far we always tell our clients to give us any artwork or footage they may as possible or keep the idea very simple.

£5k – £10k

This is a great place to start for a 30-second animated production, with an all bases covered package. Covering everything you would expect from full production: 

• Idea Creation
• Full Creative
• Art Direction
• Scriptwriting
• Storyboarding
• Script Clearance
• Animation
• Film Crew

£10k – £30k

This is where the game changes, more money means more time and this gives the project more scope! The pre-production stage of any production is where the magic happens. The creative taken to the next level and more time can be spent on making sure your advert looks the business and this is where most advertisers want to be.

See below examples of projects which fall within this price bracket. 

How long does a production take

A production has three stages, pre-production, production & post-production. 


Where your production begins. Sitting down and having a creative meeting to make sure we’re all on the same page. Then we get to work. 

• Scriptwriting
• Script Clearance
• Storyboarding
• Art Direction
• Hiring Actors
• Voice Actors

Getting the mighty crew in place, all the key elements that are the foundation of your commercial. 


Now we’ve got the foundations in place we can now move on to filming/animating an advert or promo. If it is an animation. Assets created, backgrounds made, props modelled or illustrated and everything brought into life.


This is where all the finishing touches take place. Cutting, colour grading and editing, adding any extra effects. Giving your advert the final coat of polish making it look tip-top. 

So how long does this all take?

This is a hard one to answer. Every production can take anything from a few weeks to a few months. Longer depending on the production complexity. Script clearance can take time to. Clearance can take time due to claims or the type of product or service that is being advertised.

Important considerations for production costs

Voice actors are as important to the advert as the visuals themselves. You need to make sure you have a solid idea of what tone you want, the style of your reader and if they need a local accent. The cost can vary depending upon when and where your advert is broadcast and the talent hired. A national advert on ITV1 could cost several thousand for your voice over. But a regional campaign on Tyne Tees might only cost a few hundred pounds. You also need to consider whether to buy out a voice over for a short or long period. These same factors apply for music and actors. Meaning there isn’t a set price but instead it’s based on what we call “usage”.

Studio Hire

This is something you would consider for a shoot requiring a controlled environment. Where you can build sets, also if you want to control everything from lighting to sound, a studio is the only way to go. Limiting these variables is key to getting the most out of your shoots.

The size of the crew you need will also affect costs. Some clients can get away with a small crew, but others need a full team. 

• Lighting
• Make-up
• Wardrobe
• Set Design
• Production Assistant
• Camera operator
• Director
• Focus puller
• Dolly operator

The size of a crew is always determined by the complexity and the scope of a shoot. For most a small crew is enough, for those looking to create an ad on the scale of Nike or John Lewis, the only option is a full team.