Cheeps from Hunter-McMain

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The Cost of a TV Commercial


So how much does a television ad really cost? To price a TV commercial you need to weigh the costs of two things: The cost to produce the commercial and the cost to air the commercial. Production costs to create a commercial range in little to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some independent television stations will produce your ad for free if you sign up for a minimum of three months of commercial spots, but we don’t recommend that. The average cost for producing a 30-second commercial is nearly $350,000.  The standard half hour of TV contains 22 minutes of program and 8 minutes of commercials, 6 minutes for national advertising and 2 minutes for local.

Depending on the time of day aired (or viewers estimated), will determine the cost of the commercial. Obviously commercials during less-watched programs are more affordable, yet they may still run in excess of $100,000 per 30-seconds. These days, a prime-time 30-second TV commercial for a low-watched show will run you over $200,000. This past year’s Super Bowl commercials hit an all time high price of a 30-second spot costing $4 million to air, CBS reported.

Most small- to medium-sized businesses find that local advertising can be purchased for as little as $5 per 1,000 viewers, meaning that you could easily expect to pay less than $100 per commercial slot. The best way to cut costs is to make sure you know the programs your target market is most likely to watch. We suggest using a media- placement or ad agency to negotiate the best spot prices for you.

Author: The Cheeps

"The Cheeps" are the chick designers that run Cheep Cheep Postcards and Cheep Cheep Websites, two divisions of Hunter-McMain, Inc. We're here to provide fun information on advertising design, business tips, and holidays--sometimes random--we would like to celebrate with you.

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