TV Advertising Costs in the UK

We’ve broken down TV advertising costs into media (buying the TV ad slots) and production (costs of making TV adverts). Give us a call for a ball-park quote.

A question we’re asked a lot: How much does it cost to advertise on TV in the UK?

Answer: There are two costs to a TV commercial, buying adverts the spots between TV shows in the UK. For example TV adverts during Good Morning Britain or Lorraine can cost between £3,000 – £4,000. And production costs for actually making the TV advert these can range from around £30,000 for a very simple TV commercial to £250,000 for a blockbuster TV advert with top stars and a famous music track.

We always recommend bringing creative and media together from briefing stage to ensure effective planning and implementation of an advertising campaign. This ensures that all assets across different platforms are budgeted for, optimised for each platform, and creatively consistent with the overarching campaign idea.

Media Costs

Media planning is crucial to the success of your TV advertising campaign. Toast build bespoke media packages to ensure the TV ads we create get seen by the right people, at the right time and on the right channels. Before setting out to build a successful TV advertising campaign a solid media planning strategy must be worked out first. Deciding which TV channels offer the best fit with your brand’s demographic makes sure your TV advertising costs aren’t wasted. If you’re new to TV media planning and need more information on the process of getting an advert TV see our How to advertise on TV guide.

Planning your TV media buying
Joey Essex Varooma TV Advert
Media Buying Partners

Media planning guideline figures

The numbers listed are a guide to the average price paid for a 30 sec TV advert on UK TV networks. Pricing does vary throughout the year.

For ads in shows on ITV:

Good Morning Britain or Lorraine ads cost are around £3,000 – £4,000
Daytime slots on ITV are around £3,500 to £4,500 and peak time slots can cost from from £10,000 to £30,000.

For slots on Channel 4:

A 30-second slot on daytime TV can cost between £1,000 to £2,000 peak rates for shows such as Hollyoaks and Catastrophe are around £10,000 to £20,000.

Channel 5 is cheaper to advertise on than other TV networks:

A slot in daytime normally costs around £800 to £1,600. Peak time ad breaks can be had for £2,500 to £4,500 in shows like Big Brother.

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TV Advertising Costs on Sky:

With their smaller viewing figures Sky’s prices are naturally lower, an ad slot in daytime shows on Sky costs around £150 to £250. Advertising during the peak time costs about £650 to £1,150.

Other digital channels can be a great place to advertise your brand:

Rates for some of the smaller digital channels can be around £50 to £150 for day time up to £150 to £300 for peak time. Great if you know your audience is watching those channels.

From the numbers you can see a TV ad campaign running for a month can easily be had for £70,000 or if you want to target a wider audience you can spend £250,000 and get a great campaign on ITV. Obviously budgets can go up, if you absolutely must get in front of a huge X-factor audience you’re looking at spending millions on media.

*Data sourced from Thinkbox and TheDrum

A girl stars in a branded content video for Bacardi at Lovebox festival
Branded Content video for Shell and Ferrari F1
two people lay on the ground in this Sony Bloggie video content

It’s all about the ROI

At Toast we always look to deliver great ROI for our clients. TV advertising has been proved to be the best medium for delivering not only short term returns, with an average of £1.79 returned for every £1 invested in the first 3-6 months.  Over time the cumulative effect TV advertising has on your brand’s reach increases this to an average ROI of £4.20 after 3 years.

TV advertising costs UK

The process of buying media space on TV channels is handled on a client by client basis with TV media buying deals being negotiated between broadcaster and brand owners via a media buying agency. Toast have close links with a number of agencies who we use to handle our media buying process. For larger companies with multiple brands a deal may be worked out where the combined brands media buying budget is pooled together and used to negotiate a discount with the broadcasters.

TV Media Budgets

Information from Thinkbox shows that 60% of TV advertisers spent less than £250K on their TV media buying budgets in 2017. Getting brands in front of huge TV audiences is no longer exclusively for the bigger brands with large budgets. Also advertising your company next to one of the big brands in a TV advert slot does wonders to build trust in unknown companies and is a great way to build mass appeal.

The numbers also show that 1,072 advertisers had a media budget of less than £50k in 2017, TV really is becoming more accessible. This increased affordability contrasts with the changes that have been happening in Pay Per Click advertising where the lack of platform choice has started to drive costs higher, a single click can now cost upwards of £20.

The statistics of TV watching

A report from Thinkbox the TV advertising industry body states that:
The average viewer in the UK watched a total of 3 hours, 51 minutes of TV a day in 2015.
16-24s watch over twice as much TV on other devices than the average viewer.
TV accounts for 76% of video consumption in the UK.
SVOD services, including Netflix and Amazon Prime, and other services combined account for only 4% of video viewing.

Tracking your ad’s effectiveness

One of the greatest revolutions in TV advertising has been the recent innovation on tracking how and when TV adverts are viewed. Previously the best way to measure a TV ad’s effectiveness was to use something like an offer code on the endframe which could clearly attribute sales to TV advertising. This has now progressed to online software being able to determine whether your TV media buying budget is being spent in the right time and place. Software can correlate a TV ad running with hits on a website or an increased sales spike in an Ecommerce platform. Using this data it is possible to track a TV ad campaign and make adjustments to the placements of ads in the weeks after launch to get the best ROI from the budget.

Getting a Direct Response

TV is excellent at both direct response advertising and brand recognition. Direct response using TV advertising has become even more powerful due to second screen watching. Viewers often watch TV with a tablet or smartphone nearby. A viewer seeing a URL during a direct response TV advert now has the perfect platform on hand to interact with your website. Offering a tailored URL from the TV advert cuts down any friction a viewer might experience in arriving at a website home page and navigating to the specific product page seen on TV. With a regional TV media buying strategy different URL options can be built for certain areas of the country to make sure the right message is being delivered via the DRTV advert.

*Stats sourced from Thinkbox and BARB.


Production Costs

Below you’ll find top-line packages that shows what’s achievable at different levels. TV remains the most effective form of advertising there is and is now more accessible than ever. Get in touch to discuss!

Intro to TV Advertising

We have extensive experience working with new-to-TV brands, managing many successful TV and digital tests. If your production budget won’t quite stretch to live action, we would suggest a 2D motion graphics treatment like the recent commercial we produced for Alpharooms, or a simplistic character animation like Ancestry.

Project 3 still frameAlpharooms TV Advert
DNA results on a laptop screen
Ancestry DNA TV Advert

TV Packages for Start-ups

Our start-up packages are perfect for brands who have already successfully tested on TV and digital and are ready to make a more substantial media investment for their next campaign. At this level, we would expect to be able to start thinking about a live action shoot. Toast were lucky enough to work on Innocent’s first ever TV advertising, which shows the brilliant results that can be achieved with a simple shoot in a park… with a chicken.

Innocent TV AdvertInnocent TV Advert
Joey Essex says Wallop
Varooma TV Ad

TV Packages for Challenger brands

Our challenger brands package are suited for a brand looking to transition into a household name. This level should open the doors to a more elaborate shoot, like the stop motion advert we produced for Tootle.

Aids Alliance TV advert
Aids Alliance Charity
Toy cars jumping across a tableTootle TV Commercial

Packages for Established brands

Our packages are for established brands looking at brand building rather than brand awareness and direct response. Further investment into production will allow for a high-end live action shoot with very high production values or integrated 3D graphics like Cancer Research.

Woman in lab coat stands next to lab equipmentCancer Research TV Advert
Project 3 still frameCity Index TV Campaign

Working with Toast

If you’d like to talk to Toast about TV media buying or TV commercial production please use the contact form on this page to get in touch.


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