Warning! Are You Paying Too Much to Produce Your TV Spots?

October 24, 2016 at 4:46 PM / by Todd Rickenbach

Todd Rickenbach

This information is for anyone that has created a TV commercial or thought about making one.  Let’s focus on the three main steps, and how they’ve changed.



The Production:

The Standard Way: Traditionally, companies will hire a producer, write a script, create a storyboard, source music beds, rent tons of equipment, hire actors, and shoot the video, among other activities. Typically, this procedure is done each time a new commercial is needed, which requires a large advertising budget.  All this is to be handed off to another party for editing and post-production.

Now Trending: Companies are more cognizant of time and budget, and having the ability to decrease both is now feasible while still reaching high-quality standards.  Instead of hiring a director and production crew several times a year, why not have a film company take B-Roll of your establishment’s premises and amenities with the company’s employees acting as patrons for the filming.  The director will film specific scenes and portions of the premise, including action shots, that would transcend to many different themed commercials while focusing on imagery that clearly resonates the company’s brand identity.  With this option, there is no need to take repeated shots of a scene over different periods of time.  The company’s marketing or advertising department will keep this B-Roll footage on file and give it to their creative agency to use select shots, incorporate moving text, motion graphics, 3D animation, voiceover and music beds to create the TV spots for each promotion.


The Editing:

The Standard Way: After the director has finished with the filming, he hands off the footage to the editor who pieces together the storyline, sifting through the footage to find the best takes.  The editor will also source any graphics, text and audio that needs to be included in the video.  Finally, after the editor has stitched together the graphics and footage and added the audio, it needs to be approved by the editor then sent to the company for final approval.

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Now Trending: The company’s marketing department realizes that they need to market a new service, amenity or event at their establishment, and want to make a television ad promoting it.  The company sends the B-Roll that was taken earlier in the year along with a storyboard and graphic art files to the creative agency. Their creative agency uses the existing B-Roll footage, adds a voiceover and music bed, and then synchronizes motion graphics and 3D animation to create the TV spot according to the storyboard.  The company’s marketing department is able to have more control of the final product and interaction through the entire process.  This shortens the turnaround time, the amount of time spent on the project and significantly decreases the cost of production.



The Air Time:

The Standard Way: The company must decide whether to buy space on a broadcast channel or on a cable channel, then either approach the specific broadcast channel’s representative or the cable system’s representative and ask for pricing if they don’t have a media buyer.  The options available to them will depend on what that company’s advertising department wants to spend. It is a costly endeavor, as can be expected.

Now Trending:  Targeted television advertising now allows you to precisely target your desired demographic, giving you the most impact from your advertising dollars. Cable television allows you to insert your message or product into specific programs that match the lifestyle, interests, demographics or geographic region of your key target group. Furthermore, many channels and cable systems now afford companies the opportunity to buy piece-meal plans that do not force them into draining their entire budget.




Topics: General, T.V. Spots, Motion Graphics

Todd Rickenbach

Written by Todd Rickenbach