How Much Does It Cost to Film a Commercial
In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, New Evolution Video is featured as one of our Top Commercial Production Companies in the United States. Check out their profile here.
Are you wondering how much you’re going to have to dish out to film a good commercial? If so, then you’re in the right place!
In this post, I’m going to discuss the many factors that can affect your overall cost of filming a commercial.
The fast answer is, it depends. A less cryptic answer is that it depends on what kind of platform you plan on using, the budget, the length of the commercial, and local going rates for videographers. You’ll find that film production costs from commercials range from $1,500 to $150,000, with much in between!
So, let’s get into what factors can add up the most and what you need to consider to keep your budget on track.
1. Consider Your Platform
One of the first things you’ll want to do is consider just what kind of commercial platform you plan on using. I’ve put this one first on the list because it can really impact your overall budget, and you don’t want to have to donate a kidney to get your video on the wrong platform.
TV Advertising can range from $50-$80 for a 30-second air time to as much as $1500-$20,000, so you’ll want to choose wisely!
What are the factors in this drastic range of expenses, you might be wondering? It all comes down to where you target your commercial. Is it a regional or local market? Or is it national? Let’s go over the different advertising platforms in closer detail:
Local commercials are the most affordable, with 30-second spots costing less than $100 depending on the local TV advertising company.
If local television won’t reach the majority of your target audience, however, you might want to step it up a notch or two. That’s where national commercials come into play. This will be infinitely more costly, ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 for that 30-second spot.
Here’s an example of a commercial in the $25,000 range:
Here’s an example of a commercial in the $150,000 range:
The company that you work with also determines the costs. Expect to pay a good $4-5 million on a commercial spot on the Super Bowl, for example.
A third option that you can consider is using an online video marketing platform like YouTube or even Facebook to reach your audience. YouTube advertising costs are determined differently from traditional TV advertisements.
Instead of paying for a thirty-minute slot, for example, you pay per view or click. This means that you have more control over your budget and can cancel online marketing for your commercial if you’ve found yourself over budget.
The average cost of a YouTube commercial is around $0.10-$0.30 per click, so the more successful your commercial, the more it costs, but the more it costs, the more you make. In this way, you have more room to adjust your budget accordingly.
With that in mind, it’s time to really think about your budget.
If you’re a small business looking to get started, chances are your budget is small. There’s no problem with a small budget, however, as you can still come up with a commercial that helps your business increase its earnings.
For just $1,500-$3,500, you could have a commercial up and running that can compete with your competitors. Admittedly, it would be a more basic video, with text and graphics, and some royalty-free music, but it will do the job for where you’re at in your business.
Maybe you have a more flexible budget and can churn out a little more cash for the commercial you want. Maybe you’re a medium-sized business looking to get the upper hand in your field. Production costs, platform launching, planning, and fine-tuning for a more professional commercial can range from $20,000-$30,000 in total. This includes actors, makeup artists, studio rentals, professional equipment, and a director.
The Sky’s the Limit
Every business’s marketing dream involves a limitless budget. Say you have no problem investing as much money as needed into your commercial. That’s when you can hire a filming studio to do the work for you. Film producers have all of the equipment and can work with you to develop that dream commercial that will blow your competitors out of the water.
These kinds of commercials can range from $150,000 to millions of dollars, especially if you hire a famous director, renowned businessperson, celebrity, or athlete.
3. Commercial Length
Naturally, length matters when it comes to commercial costs. A thirty-second clip is far cheaper than a one-minute clip, for instance.
If you’re on a tight budget, opt for less air time to save on costs, but if you have an important message that needs more time than 30 seconds, consider investing in a longer segment.
4. Location Matters
Depending on where you film, your location can also drive prices up. If you plan on filming in a studio or at a rental site where you pay by the hour, this can really rack up costs, so plan accordingly.
If you want to save on money, you can film in a free location, but always take into account lighting, staging, backdrops, and any outside interferences.
5. Video Tech
This one may be obvious, but you definitely don’t want to neglect the importance of quality video technology. You need high-quality cameras, speakers, lighting, staging, and editing software to pull off a good video.
You really can’t skip these details, which is why you want to choose your battles wisely and go for more affordable options elsewhere when budgeting for your commercial. If you need to skip on that fancy location, national tv, or longer video to afford to produce a quality video, do it.
6. Additional Factors
With all that goes into filming a commercial, there are countless extra factors that need to be taken into account. From scriptwriters to crew members to makeup and special effects, sometimes it’s the little elements that add up in ways that you don’t expect.
Plan accordingly, and you’ll stay on budget and have an amazing commercial for your business!