Cost to Advertise on TV in 2023
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Even though people are switching from traditional broadcast channels to streaming services, there are still millions turning on their TVs every day. This means TV advertising can still be effective, despite the cost.
Although some people tend to view TV advertising as expensive compared to the cost to have a website, it might be much more affordable than you may think. In fact, reaching your target audience with a TV advert may be cheaper than ever before. In this post, we are going to explore the cost to advertise, including the factors that influence television advert pricing. By the end, you should realise that a TV campaign may not blow a hole in your advertising budget.
What Is TV Advertising and Why Is It Important For Brands?
Television advertising, or TV advertising for short, is an effective marketing strategy that involves promoting a product or service on television. This will normally be during the ad breaks; however, big brands may opt to sponsor television shows instead, although the TV advert cost for show sponsorship is often sky-high.
Any business with dreams of being successful needs to get its brand out there as much as possible. They need to make their brand recognisable, and a TV advertising campaign is one of the best methods for accomplishing this.
Although advertising on social media has many advantages, mainly being the cheapest, people will quickly glance over adverts online, while many people only pay attention to adverts they see on television. In fact, there are many TV advert campaigns that people regularly mention, e.g., people know Christmas is on the way when the Coca-Cola advert is on TV.
TV ads are also a great way to show the strength of a brand. While TV ad costs are not as high as you may think, a lot of people see TV adverts as being expensive. So, when they see a company advertising itself on TV, they tend to view it as a trustworthy and established brand. That’s why, some individuals may prefer to buy from a company that they have seen advertised on television, rather than one they discovered online by chance.
Of course, TV advertising also allows you to reach audiences that you may have struggled to reach otherwise. This can be a great boost for any brand. In fact, a decent digital marketing agency may even suggest utilising TV advertising.
Factors That Affects The Cost of TV Advertising
Television advertising is much cheaper than you may think. In fact, when targeting certain markets, TV advertising may be on par with radio advertising in terms of cost, particularly on some of the digital channels that don’t attract a massive viewership.
Of course, the only way to find out the true cost of TV advertising is to reach out to a TV network. Still, we want to take a look at the factors that can impact a TV advert cost.
Demographics of the Target Audience
TV networks spend a lot of time working out who is watching their TV networks and when. They want to build up a profile of their viewers. It is this ‘profile’ they are selling to advertisers.
If your target audience is professionals in their mid-30s, then you will probably spend more on TV advertising than if you were catering to single mums that are watching daytime shows in the middle of the afternoon. Basically, the more money your target demographic is likely to have access to, the more TV advertising is likely to cost. It isn’t a hard and fast rule, but that is generally how it pans out.
Time of Day and Day of the Week
TV advertising in a prime time slot is going to be much more expensive than an advert broadcast in the dead of night. For example, only the big brands could even contemplate advertising on TV during Coronation Street or Big Brother, both of which attract millions of viewers.
Of course, most businesses don’t need those peak time slots. While most companies dream that they could run huge ads during the Super Bowl, many businesses would be fine advertising on smaller networks, or during times of the day when not a lot of people are watching TV. You still reach some people, and you save a lot of money doing so.
Not every business needs to advertise on a national or international level. Sometimes, you just need to target local viewers. Most broadcasters (but not all of them) will have some advertising slots open for local broadcasting; e.g., ITV and Channel 4 on UK TV will allow for local advertising. It is always going to be cheaper because the potential number of viewers is substantially lower.
This same concept applies on an international level too. US TV advertising is much more expensive than advertising on UK TV, mostly because there are more viewers. Advertising in Bulgaria would be cheaper than in the UK due to lower average incomes.
This is why it is so important that potential advertisers really drill down to who they want to target. The more specific their market, the cheaper advertising becomes. You always should be targeting a specific audience.
Length & Frequency of the Ad
When it comes to TV advertising, the cost of a commercial is often determined by the length of the ad slot. Typically, TV networks sell advertising time in 30-second increments, but 15-second and 10-second slots are also common. The longer the ad slot, the higher the cost. Therefore, a 10-second ad slot is likely to be more affordable than a 30-second ad slot.
The frequency of the ad is another factor that affects the cost to advertise on TV. Frequent ads may, in some cases, cost more money. For example, if the purpose of advertising is to push a brand, a network may charge more to have that ad run multiple times within a certain period of time. But, there may be discounts available for those that are regularly purchasing TV advertising. For example, it may work out costing less per ad by purchasing a block of ten ads. Many TV networks love regular advertisers, so they are always happy to negotiate a discount on bulk purchasing.
Any estimated costs for an advert should also factor in production costs. After all, adverts aren’t just pulled out of thin air. Costs can vary greatly, with some ad production costs stretching into the millions of pounds. However, most ads for smaller brands can often be shot for more affordable prices.
Some TV networks may require that any TV adverts have a certain level of production quality. This is to prevent them from showing a clearly low-quality advert on their network. Remember, better production often leads to better responses when it comes to TV advertising and gaining new customers. It looks much more professional.
Examples of TV Advertising Costs for Different Types of Businesses
As mentioned previously, there are a variety of factors that can influence how much a TV ad may cost a company. Therefore, it is impossible for us to give exact figures here. The perfect way to find out exactly how much your TV advertising could cost is to reach out to one of the TV channels or work with a marketing company that can reach out to the TV channels on your behalf.
However, we do want to give you a broad overview of general TV advertising costs so you can know what to expect.
Local TV Advertising Cost
Many of the major local TV channels have disappeared, or been consolidated under larger networks, which has made local TV advertising increasingly rare in some countries, such as the UK. However, it is still a popular advertising option in the United States. In the UK, local TV advertising could cost anywhere from £60 for a 30-second slot (on one of the basic digital channels), all the way up to several thousand pounds if broadcast on one of the prime slots, particularly during major daytime TV shows.
In the US, local TV advertising could cost anywhere from $5 to $1,000 per 1,000 viewers that could be watching that channel at a time. As we’ve previously mentioned, it depends on the target market and the demographics of your target audience.
National TV Advertising Costs
National TV advertising is a marketing strategy that involves airing TV commercials on national networks or channels to reach a broad and diverse audience across the entire country. It provides businesses with the opportunity to connect with viewers in different regions and time zones, creating a broader reach and exposure for their brand. In fact, during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, UK advertisers increased their TV advertising spending as many businesses sought to capitalise on the increased viewership of TV programs during the pandemic. This is an ideal approach for businesses with a national or international presence, as it allows them to reach a large audience and increase brand awareness on a massive scale.
The cost can vary, with cheaper national TV advertising costing as little as £70-£80 for some of the less-watched digital channels, or in the middle of the night. However, if you want to get major viewing figures for your advert i.e. advertising during a major show, then an advert could easily cost £20,000+.
Cable TV Advertising Costs
In the UK, any channel broadcast only on Sky will be classed as cable TV. So, this is anything outside of the standard channels (BBC through Channel 4) or anything that appears on Freeview. Outside of the UK, anything that requires a cable subscription would be classified as cable TV.
These channels tend to have the lowest viewership, and the cost of the advertising will reflect that. The price will vary greatly depending on the type of channel, the average viewer, etc. However, costs could start at £70 per 30-second advert, with major Sky channels demanding £1,000+.
Direct Response TV Advertising Campaign Costs
Direct response TV is when an advert demands a response from a person right away, e.g., visiting a website, making a phone call, etc. These adverts often result in an instant boost in business for a company. They aren’t just about boosting a brand.
You can find out how the internet affects direct and digital marketing. In fact, these ads will often tie in heavily with digital marketing campaigns, with the aim of pushing people towards a particular website. Learn more about different types of copywriting, and how you might use them in your TV and digital marketing campaigns to increase conversions.
The price of direct response TV advertising is much the same as standard TV advertising, which is anywhere from £100 to £20,000+ per 30-second advert. This cost may change if each direct response ad is intended to have a different link, phone number, etc.
Advantages & Disadvantages of TV Advertising
While a TV advert can be a great idea for most businesses, they are not suited to every company. In this section, we are going to quickly go through the advantages and disadvantages of TV advertising to help you decide whether this is the right option for you.
In summary, as a powerful marketing strategy, television commercials offer a unique opportunity to connect with audiences on an emotional level, showcasing a brand’s products or services in a way that resonates with viewers. However, it’s worth noting that advertising on big channels during prime time can be expensive, and may not be affordable for all businesses. In such cases, businesses can still benefit from TV advertising by targeting their audience during off-peak hours, or by exploring other local TV channels that offer more affordable rates.
Alternatively, businesses can take advantage of digital marketing campaigns to boost their brand awareness and reach a wider audience more affordably. If your business is looking to expand its marketing efforts but is discouraged by the high-cost of TV, why not work with an experienced digital agency?
Revpanda is an award-winning digital agency that provides expert copywriting and SEO services to rank higher in search engine results. Contact us to learn how we can help you grow your brand’s reach!
This will depend on the channel. Smaller channels may charge as little as £70, and major channels could easily charge £20,000 or more per 30-second ad.
TV advertising is mostly determined by the number of potential eyes on the advert. The more people watching the channel at that time, the more expensive the advert will be.
Yes. While a small business is unlikely to be able to advertise on major channels during prime time, there are plenty of smaller digital channels that are screaming for advertisers.
The most expensive type of TV advertising will be anything that airs during prime time on major channels. Lengthy adverts i.e., those more than 30 seconds long, are likely to command the highest price.