How much does TV advertising cost?

How much does TV advertising cost?

The answer is quite simple: not as much as you think, and with an ROI of £1.79 for every £1 spent (Thinkbox) it can help build your business. Have a look through this page for an idea of TV advertising cost or give us a call on 020 7437 0506 and we’ll talk you through it. If you have an idea you need costing, send it to:

Dealing with Toast was a pleasure from first creative meeting to completion of the project. Their creative ideas and execution provided us with a quality advert which has had substantial impact on our sales, reputation and visibility.

Peter Rickenberg – Director, Varooma

Media Costs

When considering TV advertising costs, part of what you pay for is allocated to buying the slots between TV shows to run your adverts and ads vary in cost enormously depending on how many people will see your TV advert – this is measured in Television Ratings (or TVRs as they are often referred to). For an average weight national campaign you’re looking at 400TVRs. Usage for talent starring in the advert is negotiated based on this figure so it’s useful to have an idea of the size of campaign before you ask a production agency to quote. We have partners to help buy media and cleverly help track how your advert is working.

TV Media Costs

A Creative Advert

The most important element of any advertising campaign is the idea. Without it, your all-important ad becomes little more than wallpaper.
It is worth investing in a really good creative team to come up with concepts for your ad – this will vary in price but generally expect to pay in the region of £5000 to get a fully worked up TV script. Generally you’re looking at 10 working days (and quite a lot of to-ing and fro-ing) to get a script that you and Clearcast, the regulatory clearance body, are happy with.

Making the Advert

Basic Production – around £17,000 – £34,000

Innocent Smoothie TV Advert
Innocent Smoothies TV Advert
TV advertising cost - project 2
Ancestry DNA kit Commercial
Project 3 still frame
City Index Ad
For this amount, you will get a very basic shoot – a talking head in a studio (or in the case of Innocent, a chicken in a park), basic graphics, a stock footage treatment or combination of any two of these elements. Library music will be the order of the day and the voice over talent will be drawn from a library of voice over regulars – no stars or recognisable personalities.

Elaborate Production – around £35,000 – £100,000

Toy cars jumping across a table
Tootle TV Commercial
Woman runner waiting to cross the road
Ancestry DNA TV Advert
Heart FM TV Commercial
This will give you more of an elaborate shoot – a one or two day location shoot with one or two actors and a voice over. It will allow for a bespoke graphic end device. Library music is still the most likely option though there is still margin for getting a favour from a musician. You will be able to shoot on a higher spec camera and get higher production values. There is also the possibility of using character animation but remember in terms of TV advertising costs animation takes time and it can get expensive.

Top End Production – over £100,000

Woman in lab coat stands next to lab equipment
Cancer Research TV Commercial
Sominex enframe
Sominex TV Commercial
VW camper van with horses
Ancestry TV Commercial
Here you can start looking at getting the involvement of a well-known personality to front your ad. Generally speaking, depending on the weight & spread of the campaign, a starting price for a personality is around the £10-15K and can go much higher. It can be a big part of the TV advertising cost but it can put your brand on the map from the get-go.

With this budget, you can start thinking about using a well known music track but expect to pay around £40-50K for the publishing rights and the same again for the recording rights. You can always re-record the track but you have to factor in repeat fees or buyouts for the singer and the cost of musicians.

Bigger budgets allow more scope for special effects and higher production values.

So hopefully, these few notes will give you idea of TV advertising costs and what goes into getting on TV. We think the overriding piece of advice is the importance of the idea. You don’t need a huge budget to achieve cut-through in a crowded market place. But you do need to engage your audience. Don’t skimp on the creative.


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