How much does a TV Commercial Cost?

TV commercial cost

marketing plan templateThere are many factors for businesses to consider when developing a budget for TV commercial cost and production plan

As a business in the video production industry, one of the questions we hear most frequently is “How much does a TV commercial cost?”. The reality is that is a question that is almost impossible to answer in an instant given the number of factors and variables that must be considered in determining an approximate cost for such a production. The question is akin to someone asking “How much does a house cost?” when a house can cost anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars dependent on many different factors.

While you may not be able to guess the complete cost of a tv commercial there are some basic parameters that can help get your team up to speed on the expectations and considerations that must be made when deciding on several aspects of your production. By taking the time to consider all of the possible factors and variables that will be part of your tv commercial production you will be able to come up with a much more accurate estimate of the complete cost of a tv commercial.

These are several factors to take into account when creating a TV commercial budget:



Actors

Take a moment to think about the type and number of actors that you will need to execute your concept successfully. Celebrities, popular influencers, and lead roles will come at a much higher cost than other acting positions and the extra cost must be accounted for in your budget. In addition, your budget must include costs associated with casting, searching, hiring, and paying for actors which on average range from $2000 to $5000 per actor.

Production Locations

Think about the location concepts for your production. Will you require more than one location and will the location need to be reserved and rented out for your team. The hiring of a location liaison will facilitate the search, coordination, rental, and permitting of required locations but come at a cost of $5,000 – $10,000 in addition to the rental cost of your location. Location rental costs can vary widely depending on your needs or requirements but searching sites such as Airbnb and Peerspace can give you a quick estimate of what to expect.

Duration of Shooting

The norm for most film production days are 12+ hours long, and the reason is the expense associated with shooting days. Consider your requirements for the duration of filming for your production and take into account schedules as well as the need to change locations. A single production day will cost an average of $50,000 – $100,000. It is in your best interest to consolidate your shooting days to as few as possible and calculate your potential total cost for the duration of shooting.

Travel Needs

In addition to the costs associated with securing different locations, your team must also take into account the travel needs of the production as a whole when considering costs. If one part of your production will take place in the mountains and then another portion at the beach, you must consider the travel needs of the crew, gear, actors, and more. Traveling to different states or countries will add even higher costs to the total production budget.

Props & Wardrobe

Depending on your artistic concept and vision there can be many costs to consider when thinking of wardrobe and prop needs for your production. This category is often overlooked but depending on the intricacies and exotic needs of your commercial these costs can be significant and have a large impact and increase of cost for your overall production budget. The more simple the commercial the lower the costs for clothing and accessories but productions requiring many moving parts and wardrobe design will be exponentially more expensive.

Even when considering all of the factors delineated above there is a wide range for the total costs associated with any one tv commercial, but considering all of these elements will give you a better expectation of the costs associated with such a production. The best way to get a complete and accurate estimate is to consult with an experienced production company that can discuss your options and budget. A production company can help you hone in and refine your concept as well as help you fit your needs within a reasonable budget goal.




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Torrey Tayenaka founded his first production startup in high school. Today, he is CEO of Sparkhouse, which focuses on high-concept, branded video production. In addition to Sparkhouse, Torrey has also founded the companies Eva Smart Shower, Litehouse and Forge54.