how much does a tv ad cost
Advertising & Display

Cutting Down Television Advertising Costs: Is It Still Worth It in 2023?

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It is a widespread opinion that, similar to radio advertising, print ads, billboards, and other types of traditional advertising, TV advertising is nearing its extinction.

But this opinion is anything but the truth. In fact, in recent years, TV has redefined its importance to advertisers and audiences alike. TV ads’ massive reach and familiarity still make them a trustworthy source of news, entertainment, and information. 

Turner Broadcasting recently used marketing mix studies conducted by IRI to better comprehend and quantify the impact of TV advertising. Their findings concluded that –

Knowing that TV commercials are still relevant today you may be asking yourself questions such as how much is a TV advert, the factors affecting TV advertising costs, and more in this blog. 

How Much Does a TV Commercial Cost?

Television ads fall on the costlier side. This is one of the reasons why small businesses or brands do not broadcast their services and offerings on TV. 

Television ads are typically priced on a CPM or (cost per thousand) basis. This means the charges are levied on every 1000 people viewing the ad. 

Remember that CPM can vary significantly, given there are several other factors that impact the final cost. Hence, it is challenging to determine the average or fixed cost of TV commercials.

Here is an average cost estimated by various sources –

  • Skyworks Marketing states that the cost of broadcasting a 30-second ad on a local TV can cost $15-$25 per 1,000 viewers.
  • Statista, on the other hand, claims that airing a 30-second commercial during TV programming costs an average of 115,000 U.S dollars.
  • TV advertising on popular streaming platforms like Hulu and YouTube costs $30 CPM and $10 CPM, respectively. 
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Factors That Affect TV Advertising Costs

As mentioned earlier, CPM varies significantly due to a variety of reasons. Let’s take a look at those factors below –

Location

Unless your products and services are a nationwide brand, there may be better ways of spending the advertising budget than on a national ad campaign. In the US, there are 210 media markets. Each of these markets is ranked by the percentage of the US population they reach. 

Every media market listed here has local affiliates of major broadcast channels. Some of them even have additional stations that comprise local programming. 

TV advertising gives you the option to select from national TV, local or geo-targeted locations so you can target your audience successfully. However, your choice can impact the TV advertising cost. The more precise your requirement, the higher the TV advertising costs will be. 

Length

The length of your TV commercial will also play a key role in the final TV advertising costs. The rate card used by media agencies formulates their price plans based on the industry-standard ad lengths of 30-seconds.

However, you can run the ad for 10, 20, 40, and even 60-second commercial-length spots between daytime shows.

A 10-second TV ad pricing will be half of the 30-second ad price and double if you choose a 60-second ad. 

Hour of visualization 

The CPM of your TV ad also gets impacted due to the hour of visualization. For instance, prime time for commercial ads is between 8 p.m and 11 p.m or between 7 p.m and 10 p.m in certain regions. This is the time when most people are watching TV

Since the viewership expands at this time, the broadcasting costs of the ad during this period increase, too. 

Your requirement to air the TV commercial between peak hours will cost you more than airing it at off-peak hours. 

Audience size

The more specific your targeted audience is, the higher will be the broadcasting costs of the ad. By choosing to air the commercial in a large audience of an urban area, you can reach more viewers with just a single commercial. But, this will result in added TV advertising costs.

When compared with airing the ad in a more rural region, your cost to advertise the ad in an urban area like New York City will lead to high TV ad pricing. 

Day of the week

You may not realize this, but the day of the week you choose can impact the cost of TV commercials, too. For instance, choosing to advertise the brand throughout the weekend or Sunday night football can cost you 45% more than choosing to air the same ad through the weekdays

The reason here is again the same. There are more people glued to the TV on weekends than on weekdays, thereby increasing the cost of airing. 

Supply and demand

A half-hour of television program airs eight minutes of commercial ads. Based on the commercial spot’s length and quantity of commercials the station is required to air, the availability of ads during certain programs may be limited. 

This is why commercial spots between popular programs are more desired by the advertiser. As a result, these spots become more expensive. 

Cable or broadcast TV

Broadcast typically means the local TV station affiliates of national TV advertising networks, including CBS, NBC, and ABC. Cable, on the other hand, is a wide range of stations found in satellite and cable television programs as well as streaming applications like VH1, CNN, TLC, and MTV. 

The CPM to air the ad on a local TV broadcast station is quite less than cable because it ends up targeting wealthier viewer demographics. 

Networks and TV shows

A TV network that airs popular TV shows will prove costly to purchase the TV advertising slots. For instance, airing the commercial during “This Is Us” can cost you around $300,000.

Cost of Television Ad Production

When it comes to TV ad production, you can produce it in multiple ways based on your budget and your and your team’s creative capabilities. You can either decide to do things in-house or outsource it to a specialized agency.

However, if you choose to outsource the ad requirements to a media planning agency, then the production costs of professionally producing the TV commercial might range between $10,000 and $20,000.

This range can even exceed the production costs of $50,000 if you hire a celebrity to appear in the ad or to offer voice-over services. 

Keep in mind the length of the commercial video will have an impact on the post-production costs, too. A shorter, 10 to 15-second commercial will cost you less, and a longer, 30 to 60-second will result in added TV ad costs.

Is It Worth Advertising on TV Anymore?

We did share a few stats above to help you fathom the worthiness of TV commercials. However, if they weren’t able to convince you, then perhaps these reasons might –

TV ads have the strongest influence 

Irrespective of how potent other mediums are, nothing can beat the impact and longevity of television ads. When compared with another source of information, people are likely to gather information about something (latest products, services, etc.) just because they viewed it first on television. 

Television ads feature a perfect combination of audio and visual elements that reach the viewers without a miss. This is one of the reasons why big and established brands don’t think twice before creating TV commercials. They know they will reach new customers, attract new supporters, and even grab enough market share. 

TV ads equal action

No matter what the age group, whether it’s a toddler, teenager, young adult, or adult, people tend to develop an interest in a certain item after they first see it on TV. Similarly, TV programs persuade people to buy or obtain something. 

Even though the digital world is both popular and high in demand, people still love spending time watching. In fact, many marketing wizards have started cross-pollinating between the TV and digital world to generate convincing and effective marketing strategies. 

Cost-effective choice

Not the upfront TV advertising costs, but the ROI from the TV ad make it a cost-effective choice of advertising

By comprehending and analyzing the target market and developing potent and efficient networks, you can easily determine the cost-effectiveness of TV commercials. 

No matter how powerful contemporary marketing mediums get, television will never go out of style. Your creativity, choice of agency, and ability to take alternatives can help you make the most out of your TV advertising costs. 

Captivates the audience 

Have you noticed how YouTube ads are getting shorter and wittier with every passing day? Well, it is because of the 5-second skip mark.

Human’s short attention span has forced most advertisers to create the shortest ads possible to convey the relevant message before the audience decides to skip the ad completely.

When it comes to television, people don’t necessarily have the option to skip the ad; they just change the channel. In most cases, no matter how long the ad is, people tend to sit through it. This not only captivates the viewers but also leads to the effective delivery of the message or information.

Generates trustworthiness 

When compared with social media ads, TV advertisements are deemed more trustworthy. This is because, on the internet, there is no way or a barrier to distinguish true advertisers from fake ones. 

The accessibility and lower budget of internet marketing makes it easy for anyone and everyone to create and place an ad. But, when it comes to TV commercials, they require a lot of effort and cost. 

And as we all know, audiences prefer professionalism in the form of added efforts. By choosing to market your brand through a TV ad, you display your brand’s authenticity and ability to afford the commercial spot on TV. 

Benefits of Working With a TV Advertising Agency

When it comes to producing a TV commercial for your business, you have two choices. You can either do it in-house and save a few bucks or choose to hire an expert agency to experience myriad benefits, including –

Eliminate software subscription cost

For data-driven advertising and marketing, marketers utilize at least 12 tools. Some companies go above and beyond by using more than 30 tools. These tools might include –

  • Video production software
  • Ad management design tool
  • Keyword research software
  • Email finder
  • Outreach software, and so on. 

The point is these types of software come with a price tag. While some software makes limited tools available for free, to access all the features, you might need to pay. 

By choosing to work with an ad agency, you save yourself from paying even a single penny on acquiring tools, software, or license for them.  


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Save on salaries plus benefits 

When you hire an in-house TV advertising team, you are immediately bombarded with added expenses in the form of salaries plus benefits. 

But that isn’t the case with hiring an ad agency. You pay only for the services you obtain. Plus, you won’t have to deal with unplanned leaves that might impact your ad campaign.

Similarly, you will not have to undergo the hiring, onboarding, and training process either. 

Access to a team of experts 

Every business owner hires an in-house professional team in the hopes of obtaining suggestions from newly hired individuals. But that isn’t the case most of the time.

It is simply impossible for junior or mid-level ad specialists to create ad strategies for the company. They may be cheaper to hire but lack knowledge and hands-on experience. 

But that isn’t the case with hiring an ad production agency. Large agencies have the aim of delivering satisfactory services. Hence, they hire only the best experts. They even offer relevant training to the staff members before they are ready to deploy sound strategies. 

Besides, agencies must have worked with multiple clients in the past. They have adequate experience to offer complete value for your money. 

In the TV advertising world, new tools and trends emerge on a regular basis. How many of these are you aware of? A handful, perhaps! Well, that won’t be enough to create a highly effective TV ad. 

With an expert agency at your disposal, you will not require learning anything about new trends or tools; the agency experts will do it for you. 

Because agencies work with dozens of clients, they know what it takes to help you gain a competitive edge over your competitors. 

Effective communication and reporting

If you think that working with an off-shore team might impact your working process, then you are mistaken.

The recent shift in work culture due to the pandemic showed us that people do not have to be under one roof to work productively. Just an agreed-upon communication is enough, too. 

You can hire an agency and let them know your expectations in terms of communication, reporting, and more to make the most out of outsourcing the services.  

Bottom Line

While TV advertising may not be the most budget-friendly way of promoting the business, it still is one of the most prevalent, popular, and effective ways of increasing brand awareness, delivering a relevant message to a large crowd, and staying on the top of customers’ minds. 

Besides, we have already laid out factors that influence the cost of television ads in front of you. By choosing the right alternatives, like reducing the length of the commercial, airing the commercial during off-peak hours, etc., you can lower the cost of TV advertising significantly. 

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