How Much Does a TV Advert Cost?

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

If you’re wondering ‘how much does a TV advert cost?’, there are a number of factors to consider which we’ll explore in this post. But before we get into TV advertising costs and the figures, here are some factors you need to think about:

  • 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 want to reach a new audience?

Maybe you’re currently advertising online but you’re using static designs to drive the sale and they’re not engaging the customer.

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

Let’s dive in.

What Type of Adverts Do TVA Offer?

You need to identify what you are looking for in an advert, what you are promoting, and what you want the outcome to be. Is this sales, online traffic, or something else?

At TVA, our speciality is animation and VFX. However, animation isn’t all we offer, and if you need a live-action shoot then that’s no problem either.

We operate like any other agency, your desire is our command! We’ll call on our trusted fleet of filmmakers and 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 instead. Animation gives you more scope for creativity and the flexibility to change things up and create something truly unique to your brand or product.

We provide a range of services at TVA, from 2D animation, to 3D animation, to corporate video. To find out more, take a look at our complete animation offering under our rebrand Lulu Animation!

It’s about weighing up the different options and identifying what would work best.

TV Advertising Key Considerations

You need to start by asking yourself ‘What are my goals with the commercial?’

It may be that you want to promote your brand and maximise your brand exposure or maybe you want to sell a product.

Let’s explore each of these further to help you decide which type of advert you need.

Promoting your brand

A brand lead commercial promotes your company and lets viewers know who you are and what your brand is about.

These adverts have a strong emotional aspect to them, they’re either thought-provoking, make you laugh or shed a tear. Good examples of a brand lead commercials are the likes of the John Lewis Christmas adverts, Sony Bravia Bouncing Balls and the brilliant ‘Wassup’ from the Bud commercials!

Selling a product

Sales lead commercials make up 99% of what our clients are looking for when they’re diving into advertising. A strong offer is key here. People love a deal and if they’re getting one, they’re more inclined to buy your product. Therefore, you need to make sure you have thought about what offer you are looking to promote.

On the flip side, if this is a product which is new to the market, consider what makes it unique and what features you want to be the focus of the commercial.

TV Advertising Costs

It’s time to talk TV advertising costs.

Now we have covered some of the different factors for creating an advert, it’s time to answer this all-important question.

Let’s categorise our costs to give you a better idea of what you can expect. This will influence your decision making and will help you plan your marketing budget.


You can make an advert for less than 5k but you are often limited by what existing assets you have available. Social media videos will usually fall into this category as you don’t necessarily want to spend a fortune on a video that might not be seen by a lot of people. But a basic graphic advert or simple stock footage advert can be made within this budget.

To get the most out of this budget you will need to supply as much artwork or footage as possible or keep the idea very simple.

£5k – £10k

This is a great place to start for a 30-second animated production, with us looking after the creative, art direction, scriptwriting and script clearance. These elements are often overlooked yet they are so important when developing a new commercial!

£10k – £30k

This is where the game is upped as more money means more time and this ultimately gives the project more scope!

As discussed earlier, the pre-production stage of any production is where the magic happens. The creative is fleshed out and more time can be spent on making sure your advert looks the business, and ultimately, 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.

  • Pre-production is the start of your production, scriptwriting, script clearance, storyboarding, art direction, hiring actors, voice-overs, getting the crew assembled, all the key elements that are the foundation of your commercial.
  • Production – now we’ve got the foundations in place we can now move on to filming/animating your advert or promo. If it’s an animation, then this is when assets would be created, background, props and everything would be animated and brought to life.
  • Post-Production is where all the magic is put together to produce the final advert, cutting, colour grading and editing, also adding any extra effects – adding the final polish to make your advert look tip-top.

So you might be asking, ‘How long does this all take?’

Well, it’s a hard one to answer since productions can take anything from a few weeks up to a few months, depending on the production complexity or script clearance.

At times, it can take longer due to the legal claims being made in teh advert or the product/service you’re advertising, especially if it’s your first advert. For your first advert we’d always allow at least 2 weeks for Clearcast legal clearance.

Important Considerations for TV Production Costs

TV advertising costs can greatly vary depending on what is required to make your advert effective. This goes beyond the production and editing process, as there are lots of things to take into account before you can even start recording.

Let’s take a look at some other factors which can affect TV advertising costs.

Voice Actors

These individuals are as important to the commercial as the visuals and you need to make sure you have a solid idea of what tone you want from the read, the style of your readers and if they need a local accent. The cost can vary considerably depending upon when and where your advert will transmit.

A national advert on ITV1 could cost several thousand just for your voiceover but a regional campaign on Tyne Tees might only cost a few hundred. You also need to consider whether to buy out a voice over for a short or long period. These same factors apply to you for music and using actors, meaning there isn’t a set price but instead, it’s based on what we call “usage”.

Studio Hire

This is traditionally 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.

Size of Crew You Require

This will also affect costs as it can greatly vary depending on the project. Some clients can get away with a small crew of a DOP or camera operator and camera assistant plus a sound recordist which is relatively affordable, but others require a full team.

Lighting, make-up, wardrobe, set design, production assistant, Camera operator, Director, Focus puller, dolly operator etc. The size of your crew will be determined by the complexity of your shoot.

For most a small crew is enough but for those looking to create an ad on the scale of Nike or John Lewis then your only option is for a full team.

What is the Scope of Your Production?

What is your key objective for your advert – is it to promote your brand, sell a product that is so important as the creative treatment will need to reflect these objectives.

The more detailed you can be here the better, as scope also gives someone like the TVA a better idea of what you’re looking for, and how best to move forward.

How Much Does a TV Advert Cost?

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of TV advertising costs and what considerations need to be made before moving the project into the creation stage.

Looking for a helping hand in the creation stage? If so, know that we’ve got you covered.

At TVA, we help you plan an advertising campaign in line with your budget. From concept to completion, our team is on hand to act as your go-to guide.

For more information, get in touch with our friendly team! Let’s start something amazing.

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