How Much Does it Cost to Make a TV Advert

Reports regarding the death of TV advertising have proven a bit premature. This year, companies will spend some 5 billion pounds on TV adverts in the UK. And while that’s down from a few years ago, 5 billion pounds is nothing to sneeze at.

There are actually two things to consider when determining how much it costs to advertise on British TV. The first is the cost of producing the advert. The second is the cost of purchasing an ad slot on a TV channel. Let’s look at both.

How Much Does it Cost to Produce an Advert for TV?

As a general rule, production costs for a TV advert start at about £25,000 for a basic, 30-second spot. ‘Basic’ means a generic pitchman or woman, some graphics, perhaps a simple set. TV spots generally top out at around £250,000. That will get you a full David Lean-type extravaganza with A-list talent and the latest pop hit holding down the centre.

The fact is, however, it’s not always necessary to empty the treasury to produce a memorable TV spot. The secret to success is staying within oneself. That is, getting the most from the money you spend.

You won’t be able to create new worlds for £25,000, so don’t even try. Instead, stick to getting the message across in the most effective way available to you.

Conversely, if you’re going to break the bank make sure you hire creative types that know what to do with a large budget. Not everyone does.

As a general rule of thumb, don’t spend lavishly unless there is something to be gained by doing so. Sometimes all a product needs to get it going is a solid colour background and some big, bold text.

How Much Does it Cost to Advertise on the Various TV Channels?

Once your advert is wrapped and ready to go, you’ll need a platform from which to deliver it. Let’s look at what you can expect to pay on different networks for a 30-second slot. Keep in mind these numbers are subject to change.


Want to launch your advert during “Good Morning Britain”? That will cost £3,000 to £4,000. Add another £500 for mid-day slots. If you insist your advert is prime-time material you will need to fork over anywhere from £10,000 to £30,000.

Channel 4:

If your marketing budget is more constrained, you might want to consider Channel 4 where a daytime slot is ‘only’ £1,000 to £2,000 and peak hours £10,000 to £20,000.

Channel 5:

If you’re counting pennies Channel 5 might be your best option. A 30-second daytime spot will run you £800 to £1,600. While peak hours can be had for a relatively modest £2,500 to £4,500 per half-minute.

Sport Channels:

The costs for advertising during sporting events is almost entirely dependent on who is playing what sport. Prices can range from £10 for 30 seconds during an NBA game to £750 during a Man United or Liverpool match.

For more information, or to talk to someone about producing your TV advert, call Courage Media on +44 (0)20 3372 4419.


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