• Synergist Marketing

How Much Does a TV Ad Cost?

Updated: Jun 10, 2020

A common question from new clients. Probably because I usually end up extolling the virtues of great video content & TV ads in building brands.

The stock answer from most agencies is "how long is a piece of string?" because "there are so many variables". It is true that conceivably you may envisage a helicopter swooping in over the Alps, piloted by Brad Pitt, to rescue the puppy that has been eating your dog food. But more than likely, assuming you have a brilliant script & storyboard, your ad may only need a couple of actors and locations, a good production team and a very good post-production team.

Based on this, one can actually give a client a pretty good idea. I'd estimate it something like this:

+ Actor 1 (incl. media buyout for 1 year in SA only) R50,000

+ Actor 2 (incl. media buyout for 1 year in SA only) R50,000

+ Actor 3 (incl. media buyout for 1 year in SA only) R50,000

+ Production company (Director, equipment, sound, lighting, stylists, wardrobe, hair & makeup, and all support staff = +/-40 people on set for a one day shoot) R450,000

+ Location fee & filming rights R80,000

+ Catering R20,000

+ Post production (offline, online, grade) R150,000

+ Creative (script writing, art direction, production management) R100,000

Total = R950,000

Still pretty expensive! So where can you save? Maybe only have 1 or 2 actors, find a free location, do the catering yourself - they will all bring the number down a bit, but the big numbers are for the big brands, and if you don't have them, you probably won't have a good ad, so don't be cents-wise and dollar-foolish.

If it doesn't look expensive, then let's bring in the Ferrari's, international locations, horses, and helicopters!

If you think a TV ad might be what you need, or you're not sure which platforms would be best, drop us a line at Synergist and we'll help you make sense of your strategy and the creative output that come from it.

(The ad you can see here cost R800,000 when we made it in 2015)


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