The cost of TV advertising has declined dramatically over recent years, primarily because of the wide choice that viewers now have with the introduction of satellite channels. These satellite channels have also had targeting benefits as niche audiences now exist.
There was once a time when you’d be hard pressed to carry out a TV advertising campaign with a budget of £100,000. However, costs have fallen so dramatically that some agencies can work on budgets as small as £10,000.
The cost of advertising on TV depends primarily on seven factors:
- Time of Year – airtime tends to be most expensive in the run up to Christmas, and least expensive during the months of January, February and August.
- Time of Day – advertising during the day on weekdays is slightly more affordable, and rates are cheapest during the early hours of the morning. However, don’t choose your airing time based on the rates – if you can only reach your target audience during peak times and can’t afford this you’d be better off avoiding advertising on television until you can afford it.
- The Channel – terrestrial channels are generally used for building brand awareness quickly and the cost usually puts it out of reach for smaller businesses. However, there are many small digital channels where highly targeted audiences can be reached at a fraction of the cost of a terrestrial channel.
- The Target Audience – the agency that you deal with will also plan your campaign against your target audience. For example, if your target audience is men between 35 and 54 you buy advertising based on the channel’s figures. A highly selective target audience can be more expensive to reach on a ‘per person’ basis.
- Type of Commercial – the two main types of commercials are branding and immediate response. Immediate response commercials attempt to encourage the viewer to act immediately through calling a number or visiting a website, whereas branding commercials work through trying to associate a brand with a certain feeling. Branding commercials are more expensive to produce and must be shown more frequently to work well. As a general rule the commercial should cost in the region of 10-20% of the total cost of the campaign to produce.
- Length of the Commercial – the industry standard length is 30 seconds but commercials can be as short as 10 seconds. In general, 10 second commercials will be approximately half the cost of a 30 second commercial.
- Additional Aspects – many TV advertising campaigns are supported with online advertising and even a competition to encourage a response. These additional complementary items can increase the cost of the campaign as a whole.
Although the cost of TV advertising has fallen greatly it is worth noting that this form of advertising is still a huge gamble. For some industry sectors it works extremely well, such as travel, loans and insurance companies, but for other sectors it is a gamble. The advice is not to expect instant results so only advertise using this medium if you can afford to carry out a sustained campaign and absorb the losses if it’s a compete failure.