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 best 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?

Written By


  • TV Advertising