How Much Does it Cost to Run a Television Ad?
There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding television advertising. Foremost, people assume it’s only for the “big brands” or businesses who are willing to spent the majority of their advertising budget on a single commercial. Neither of these assumptions are fully accurate.
Just as with any type of advertising, you can really scale your strategy to fit almost any budget. That being said, there are certainly some best practices that should be understood to be sure you’re using your ad dollars wisely, and getting the most for your efforts. Take a look at the basic truths behind what it costs to run a television ad!
What impacts the cost of a TV ad?
Pricing typically starts with a value based on audience (cost per point), but ultimately supply and demand (i.e. availability of inventory) sets the cost. For local television stations, advertisers should expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $1,500 for a 30-second commercial. A 30-second spot broadcasted nationally averages around $123,000 (as of 2016).
There are other factors that may also impact the cost of any particular advertising spot. Some of these include the amount of 18-49 year-old viewers. This is largely considered the “sweet spot” for advertisers because viewers in this age range are likely to make purchases from commercials they see – which is the end goal of all advertising. Also, the reach of affluent viewers tends to increase the cost per point for obvious reasons. Finally, advertising time for scripted shows is considered more valuable than reality TV. If you want to advertise during primetime, scripted shows, expect to pay a little more.
Do I need a certain size budget?
There are many factors to running an effective TV advertising campaign. Foremost, something of value needs to be offered to the right audience with the right message. There is no minimum (or even maximum) amount that needs to be spent, instead much depends on what you hope to achieve.
Also, much of your budget will depend upon whether you’re looking to run a long-term branding campaign or one that aims to get immediate results. If you are beginning with a smaller budget, consider concentrating your resources on one program that has a solid core audience that matches your target demographic. As your budget grows, so can the programs on which you advertise. This slow and strategic growth will conserve resources while giving you the most effective results.
What frequency and duration is most effective?
This all comes down to balance – and knowing what works best for the type of product or service you’re trying to promote. A great offer may only need to be seen once by a prospective customer looking for that item or service at that time. But let’s face it, that’s a small percentage of the total audience. Others may need to see the same offer multiple times because they weren’t necessarily in the market, but the ad convinced them it was a good time to buy.
There is a point where frequency alone starts to offer diminishing returns because the same people are seeing an ad over and over. While you want to stay top of mind, you don’t want to annoy your potential customers! There must be reach as well which is where broadcast TV has a huge benefit over cable. An on-going campaign will give your business top of mind awareness for when a prospect is ready to buy or when a new customer comes into the market.
What’s the general price range for producing a good quality TV ad?
You should be prepared to invest $5,000 and up to produce a good quality television ad that will effectively promote your brand. If you try to cut corners on ad production, you’ll end up with a less than professional looking ad that may hurt your brand more than help it. TV advertising is not cheap, so if it doesn’t work in your budget right now, don’t get discouraged. Wait until you have the funds to fully invest in this type of advertising before you rush in too soon.
Will a TV ad be effective for my business?
Broadcast television is the best medium for any business that wants to reach the most people at one time with the greatest impact. Unlike other mediums that only offer one or two benefits, television has the power of sight, sound, motion, emotion and the attention of the viewer actively involved in the TV screen.
If you have an extremely narrow target market and/or you sell a very low profit item, TV advertising may not be the best medium to fit your needs. And there are plenty of other advertising options to achieve what you desire. However, keep in mind that reaching influencers in a target market’s life can also be an effective reason for using TV!
Whether you are a seasoned professional or just getting started with running television advertisements for your business, we want to hear from you! Share your advice – or your question and let’s start a conversation!