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n our ongoing effort to enlighten and empower small business owners, we’ve set out to provide some general knowledge about the cost of video production in hopes of making your marketing efforts a bit easier to plan. Previously, we’ve spoken about the costs associated with Local TV Commercials. But what about the big dogs? The heavy hitters? The national brands running national television spots? What about the cost of TV commercial advertising for them?
For starters, the answer is not something the average small business needs to concern itself with- chances are, the cost of national TV advertising is far, far out of reach. If your business has the funds to run a national TV commercial, then chances are you aren’t very “small” anymore (nor do you need the advice of this blog, we’re sure!). But still, a little perspective can be helpful and understanding the costs associated with national television spots can provide an appreciation for the format- or more likely, for the alternatives!
The National TV Commercial
The average production cost for a national TV commercial is extremely high- from $300,000 to $500,000 (and well beyond into the millions for Superbowl ads and the like). Many national spots are shot with the same production value as you might find in a Hollywood movie, and often employ many of the same elements- Hollywood actors, Hollywood technology and more, sending the budgets soaring through the clouds.
The media cost for national spots is a bit stickier business. Airtime costs vary in wide arcs depending on the day, time, and network the spot will air. We’ve all heard about the outrageous costs associated with Superbowl ads (averaging about $4 Million for a 30 second spot), but Primetime network time is nothing to sneeze at either… especially when it airs during popular programs (the average cost for a 30 second spot during American Idol is $750,000!). Media on less popular primetime programs can cost a fraction of that- but at $2,000- $3,000 for a single spot, it’s still a costly exercise. Daytime, late night and cable networks are where you’ll find the most value for national TV commercials, and a good media buyer can probably help you air several times for as “little” as $4,000 a day.
Local Business, National Reach
Luckily for local businesses, national advertising may be unaffordable but it’s also unnecessary- there’s no reason to advertise your dry cleaning service in Aberdeen, NJ to other counties, let alone other states. But not all small businesses are regional… Being located in New Jersey does not confine you to a set radius of business, does it? What about small businesses looking for national reach? For online retailers, consultants, buyers, and many others, national customers are as easily serviced as those in Point Pleasant, Marlboro, or South Orange. For those businesses however, there are other, more economic solutions that probably make more sense than a national TV commercial. Web video, specifically pre-roll video and profiles can be targeted to specific demographics on the web and help boost SEO significantly- something that is far more effective and affordable for small businesses (more on these products in the weeks to come).
National TV commercials are certainly the most effective in gaining exposure to the masses, but as you can see, it is not something easily affordable for most small businesses. If a national spot does make sense for your business, or if you are looking for alternative solution for national advertising, contact a video production company like Spear & Magic Productions, who can fulfill your production needs and connect you with the right kind of media agent.