Depending on the length of the ad, who produces the ad, the markets in which it airs — as well as how many times it has been aired — all decide how much television advertising costs. Commercials aired in local markets range anywhere from a few hundred dollars per ad, up to several thousand dollars, if the ad airs nationally. A 30-second ad airing during the 2017 Super Bowl averaged a cost of $5 million! Luckily for most, TV ads are not nearly that expensive, once you know how to price them.
Creating the Ad
Local television stations usually have an in-house production company that can write and produce advertisements with its own marketing team. The local stations can also strategize how to figure out which demographic would benefit most from your ad — and from there — the number of times your ad should air. Often, they will create the ad for a nominal fee or even for free — the catch is that you have to sign a commitment to pay to air the ad for a certain amount of weeks or months. But if you were already planning on a marketing blitz, this may be cost effective for you.
The length of the ad also matters a lot. A quick, 10-to-15 second ad will be less expensive than a 30- or a 60-second ad. Most stations are offered shorter commercials to follow a faster-paced society with a greater number of ads during a show than were shown several decades ago.
Prime time is TV’s sweet spot — it’s after dinner but before bed, and people are most available and willing to watch television. It’s loosely defined as between 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm, Central Time. Prime time can run earlier or later, depending on your local market numbers for its 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. news shows. This is when running TV ads is the most expensive. Ads during the early evening run from around $200 to $2,000 per time. The price drops dramatically during the day to a low of $100 up to a few hundred. Airing during highly rated syndicated shows will put you at the higher end of the going rate.
The Time of Year
If you are looking to invest in television advertising, then January is your time to do that. Stations are coming off of heavy holiday expenditures and they’re hungry to generate revenue. Ask them to wheel and deal, and you can come away with a comparative bargain. Most stations offer three -, six-, and 12-month contracts, and they will discount you anywhere from 5 to 10 percent, if you sign with them during the rest of the year. So it is in your best interests to bargain for deeper discounts during the first part of any new year.
So how much does television advertising really cost? It depends on your markets, your airtimes, and your needs. It could be as inexpensive as $100 to up to a few thousand dollars. The great news is that stations are always ready and willing to work with your budget and your needs, so there is no reason not to market yourself fully.
Types of Television Advertising
Broadly, there are two types of advertising namely, “sponsored programmes” and “announcements“.
1. Programme or Sponsored Programme
It is a type of telecast where a story, play, a film is sponsored by the advertiser who pays for the time. He takes advantage of this and advertises his product or service.
The merits of sponsored programmes are:
1. It builds an image for the advertising house and its products.
2. The programme can be designed to fit the sponsor and his product.
Announcement is a kind of telecast which is presented to the audience between the sponsored programme and the station break. Here, the advertiser pays only for the duration of advertisement, as he is not paying for the sponsored period. Majority of the advertisers go in for this type.
The advantages of announcements are
1. It is very economical.
2. It is most flexible; and
3. It is effective for advertisements that are brief. These television commercials can be of 10,15, 20 and 30 seconds duration.
Advantages of Advertising in Television
1. Ability to create deep Impact: Television is a perfect synchronization of sound, sight, motion and colour. It successfully catches the viewers’ attention. It is an ideal medium to exhibit products, including its demonstration. Colour advertisements present the products in their true original form. T.V. commercial very nearly replaces personal selling.
2. It is selective and flexible: Like radio and newspapers, T.V. is a highly flexible and a selective medium. It can be used locally, regionally and nationally. The advertisers are free to choose the time slots and the nature of message to the viewers through sponsored programmes and announcements.
3. It is a mass communication media: Television viewing is highly popular even in rural India. It is a mass medium where an entire family is exposed to it, perhaps for several hours a day. So, television advertising is considered a platform for gaining popularity for a product.
4. Helps Distributors and dealers: A TV campaign of a product or a service is appreciated by dealers and local merchants. T.V. has more prestige and glamour than any other media. That is why, wholesalers and retailers of a product are very impressed by TV advertising in view of its immense popularity and try to stock more the products that are advertised in television.
5. It is immensely Popular: The most striking feature of T.V. medium is its instantaneous transmission of sight, motion, sound and colour, irrespective of wherever an event took place in the world. Of all the media, TV is the closest to replicate the actual life conditions. It presents events as they are and as they happen. This offers limitless opportunity for advertising.
Disadvantages and Limitations of Advertising in Television
1. It suffers a short life: The commercial message on T.V has a very short life. For a moment it is viewed and heard and the next moment it is gone. It does not remain as a part of household like a magazine or a calendar on the wall. If the prospects misses the commercial, the advertiser loses his opportunity. It warrants repeated relay of messages to have an appreciable impact on the target audience.
2. It is very expensive: High cost of advertising on television is another serious limitation. In recent years, the rates have risen so much and it is weigher than that of newspapers, magazines, radio, and outdoor media. Hence, advertisements produced are very brief and up to the point, perhaps providing inadequate information. The high advertisement tariff of TV may be out of reach of small and medium-sized manufacturing units.
3. Too many commercials: TV advertising suffers from over-crowding of too many commercials in a very short span of time. Both the advertisers and the viewers complain about it. This ‘clutter’ reduces the effectiveness of the commercials. The advertiser feels that he has spent a lot without much impact and the viewers feel that it is quite difficult to remember all advertisements, which they may not be in a position to recall.