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Mini Dragon Group (ages 6-7)

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Beau Ramirez
Beau Ramirez

Buying Tv Commercial Spots

Getting a commercial on TV is an effective way to get brand recognition and generate sales, especially for local businesses looking to reach location and demographic-based audiences. Even more so now, as you can target your audience with ads on local channels or through a wide range of interest-based streaming networks. Keep reading to learn how to make a TV commercial, plus tips on how to get a commercial on TV to promote your business.

buying tv commercial spots

The first step in how to get a commercial on TV is choosing a production method. There are three main ways to produce commercials: create it yourself, work with a local broadcast or cable company, or hire a media agency. Each choice offers a different production process and fits different budgets.

Just as production methods determine the cost of producing TV ads, the cost to actually get a commercial on TV depends on a number of factors. Find out more about TV advertising costs and all the factors that go into it.

The cost of TV advertising comprises two main components: ad production and distribution. Producing an ad can be anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars to over $50,000. The average cost is around $105,000 to get a commercial on TV, but it varies widely depending on factors like time slot, TV network, and TV show. Learn more about TV advertising costs.

TV advertising involves running a 15- to 60-second branded video that airs during scheduled breaks in programming. It often showcases products and services and tells viewers how to learn more or take advantage of an offer. To create a TV ad, businesses must determine the ad type and placement that align with their audiences, message, branding, and budget. Then, they create ads, buy ad spots, and monitor performance.

Now that you know how to get a commercial on TV, get started by brainstorming an idea and message that best resonates with your target audience. Then bring your vision to life by working with affordable production professionals on Fiverr. You can hire professionals for anything from scriptwriting and voice acting to video filming and editing at a low cost.

Any small business owners who have viewed the slick, expensively produced ads that air during the Super Bowl -- or even the commercials that air nationwide on network daytime TV -- might think TV advertising is out of their financial reach. However, local advertising that is targeted to your choice demographic -- the age, gender and income level -- may be more affordable than you think. Buying TV advertising requires knowing your customer and researching your advertising placement options.

Contact two or three local stations to start the process. Talk to broadcast stations affiliated with a network (ABC, NBC, CBS or Fox) or to independent local stations. Network affiliate advertising costs more, as even viewers who lack cable or satellite service can access these stations. The greater the "reach," or number of households your ad will play to, the higher the advertising rates. Independent TV stations charge lower rates, and much of their programming is targeted to a certain demographic, such as ages 18 to 24. If you find an independent station that attracts the demographic you want, consider advertising and discuss options with a salesperson. Formerly restricted from accepting commercial revenues, community and public-access stations are now free to accept advertising, but only to cover equipment and facilities costs, which vary by station. Community access stations may not broadcast 24 hours, seven days a week. Viewership may be quite low compared with network affiliates or independent stations. Consult the local sales rep to determine if the station's viewership and target market suit your business. With this information, you can better predict if the expenditure will raise your company's visibility and advance your marketing objectives.

Get rate information for the programs and the times of day they're broadcast. Television advertising is sold either by program or in "dayparts." Times of day are termed "dayparts" in television parlance; examples are early morning (5 a.m. to 9 a.m.), daytime (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and prime time (8 p.m. to 11 p.m.). Rather than tie your commercial to a specific show, you may wish to choose a time of day when the demographic data suggests you'll reach your target audience. Aside from the number of viewers, time of year is another factor that determines advertising rates, with prices fluctuating by quarter according to the demand for air time by other advertisers. For example, in certain markets, first-quarter rates are low, but in the second and third quarters of the year, auto makers begin buying up ad time; this pushes the rates higher, according to Brad Seitter, vice president of marketing at the Television Bureau of Advertising. The length of an ad (15, 30 or 60 seconds, for example) and the frequency with which you want it to air also impact the rate. Seitter likens TV air time to a commodity. Naturally, the more airtime your spot requires or the more frequently it airs, the more it costs.

View commercials that the station has produced. It's usually cost effective to let local TV station produce an ad for you. Typically, the production cost is included in the package, or advertising deal, the station offers. Ask to see video samples of previous work, especially in your industry, if available. For example, if you own a floral shop and the station has produced ads for similar businesses, look at those spots to evaluate their professional quality and effectiveness.

Choose a station and purchase the ad space. Unless you pay cash in advance, if you've never bought an ad from a station, you must undergo credit approval, which typically consists of a credit check and credit reference check. Once you're approved, the station can begin airing your spots, sending you an invoice each month.

In addition to show/daypart and number of times your spot airs, as a business owner, consider which days of the week will support your objectives. For example, if you own a landscaping business, you might want to air your commercial on Thursdays and Fridays, to keep your business prominent as the weekend approaches.

Review the station's affidavit of performance. Once your commercials have begun to air, every broadcast station will deliver to you an affidavit of performance. Typically included with your invoice, this is a complete listing of the times and dates your ad appeared. Examine this report carefully. From time to time, you may find that one of your ads appeared in the wrong time slot or didn't air when it should have. If this happens, the station is required to air the ad at least once free of charge. Often, to encourage goodwill, stations that have made such an error offer to air the spot twice for no charge. Agreeing to re-air a TV spot after a scheduling error is called a "make-good."

Spot TV advertising refers to the common advertising approach of buying 30 or 60 second ad placements on a particular station. Before an advertiser buys spots, it must produce one or more commercials. Then, the company or its ad agency buys a package of spots through a network or station.

TV advertising normally is purchased as part of a concentrated or assorted media mix within an ad campaign. Campaigns have prescribed lengths, such as a month, six weeks, three months or six months. The advertiser determines how much of its budget to allocate to TV, and then works with a sales representative for the network or station. The goal is to prepare a package of spots that appear during the times and on the shows that reach the intended audience.

Spot rotations - Spots ranging from 30 to 60 seconds are purchased for a particular time of day, such as morning, afternoon, primetime and late night. An advertiser may concentrate all of its spots during particular days or times of day, or spread its spots out throughout the week and day parts. The media sales rep prepares a programming schedule for review after discussing goals and target market details with the advertiser.

Relative to other media, TV has several key advantages. It offers the most creative potential of any medium because of its multi-sensory appeal. Creative directors can use dialogue, copy, sounds, movement, scenery, lighting and action to deliver a compelling message or story. TV spots are especially useful form companies with visually-appealing products that need to show them off, according to Inc. Wide reach in a local, regional or national market, as well as emotional appeals in messages, are other core benefits of TV ads.

Anna Tuchman, an associate professor of marketing at Kellogg, and her collaborators analyzed the effect of TV commercials on sales for more than 200 consumer packaged goods, including food, drinks, and basic household products. The researchers found that the ads had a much smaller impact on sales than previous studies had estimated. For many products, the return on investment (ROI) was negative: the companies had spent more on commercials than they earned back in additional sales.

Companies might advertise more during seasons when sales tend to be higher anyway; for instance, a sunscreen firm might air more commercials in the summer. And perhaps firms were more likely to run ads in areas where their product was already popular.

The team also examined customers who lived near the borders of TV ad markets. Commercials are aired within geographic zones called designated market areas (DMAs); the country is split into about 200 DMAs. People who live on opposite sides of a DMA border tend to be similar in terms of product preferences and other factors that may affect demand. So if a firm ran a commercial in one DMA but not the neighboring DMA, the researchers could check whether sales in the ad-exposed side of the border rose.

To overcome these hurdles, firms could set up an independent data-science team to analyze ad effectiveness, Tuchman suggests. And companies should consider cutting TV commercial budgets in favor of other marketing strategies. 041b061a72


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