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2S films creativity for good
  • Writer's pictureJason Jayes

A Guide to TV Advertising

Tv advertising still has the power to impact even in the digital age. There can be many costs associated with creating a TV ad, however, the benefits of this most trusted advertising medium can reap high rewards and leave a big impression.

To help you decide if TV advertising is for you and to prepare you for what’s to come, we have highlighted the 4 main stages of creating a TV campaign.


1. Creative

- Pre-set your goals

- Know your audience

- Plan for digital

Before you begin your creative process, it’s vital to predetermine the goals of your campaign and to understand your target audience. Knowing these two variables will and should drive your creative concept. A direct response TV ad may be fantastic in a time sensitive appeal where you want a quick response, however, this approach may not be appropriate for a brand awareness ad which would require an entirely different approach.

Similarly, knowing your audience will affect when (i.e. what time of day) and where (i.e. which region or country) the advert should be aired, which in turn should also be reflected in your creative approach. Regarding charities, most of the engagement comes from those directly and indirectly relating to the cause. Make sure your ad will connect with the same target demographic of the TV channel and the programmes it’s shown next to.

In this digital age, it is vital to complement your TV ad campaign with a coherent digital campaign. This should not be overlooked, and no one creative treatment works for all. Each platform has different engagement considerations and optimising content for its platform is key to increase its effectiveness.

This example of a DRTV we produced for Macmillan Cancer Support aimed to speak to a vast audience and this was reflected in the creative concept. It was a direct response ad and so it was important to relate to the audience in order to create a profound emotional response. As a well known charity, we didn’t need to focus heavily on brand awareness and instead we were able to focus on the services the charity were promoting.

This ad went on to exceeded its pre set acquisition target and was a great success.


2. Production

- Use additional camera sets ups

- Capture footage simultaneously

- Streamline your productions

- Go green

Once you have pre-determined the goals of your campaign and constructed your creative approach, it’s time to begin production and here is where you can be clever to ensure you maximise the time and money spent on set.

There are certain immovable costs associated with producing a TV ad, such as crew, editing, equipment and location costs. Whilst unavoidable, you can get the most out of each with careful planning of your production schedule in order to reduce your overall cost of footage per minute, considering the potential of each resource. For example, adding an extra camera set ups on the shoot might include some additional cost, however, this will allow your film crew to capture additional content, such as a behind the scenes footage, additional interviews / B-roll, or related content for your social channels.

At 2S Films we streamline our production to minimise wasted time and wasted resources on set. Our productions are bespoke to each shoot and we hire in what we need in order to meet the needs of each project, with the most up-to-date equipment.

We streamline crew and kit to reduce wasted time on set, which enables us to keep a tight budget and keep costs down for our clients. For more information about our services and the cost of a video visit our services page.


3. Channel submission

- Be prepared to back your claims

This is a relatively small cost but can be a cheeky addition which can often get overlooked. Your ad will need to pass clearing before being aired, so this is to ensure your ad meets regulations and the claims you make are accurate. You will need to submit a substantial report backing any claims you make in your advertisement. The cost of this is dependent on the amount of variation of your ad i.e. 20 second / 30 second and the amount of channels your ad will be submitted to. Additionally, you will need to submit an additional edit in the required formats for clearing.

For more advice on this please get in touch.


4. Media buying

- Combine your Tv ad campaign with digital for a targeted campaign

- segment your demographic to target your messaging

Media buying can vary greatly depending on when your ad is aired and on what channels. This will be the greatest cost of your TV campaign and its worth bearing in mind any social media content which will run alongside your campaign, as smart TVs have greatly improved your ability to target specific demographics with complimentary campaigns. In both broadcast and online you will be able to predetermine how many people will see your ad under the term TVRs for broadcast. This is where your understanding of your audience is vital as this will determine where you place your ads. Partnering with a media buying agency is key to ensure your ads are placed at the right time and across the right channels.

Its also worth bearing in mind any talent buy out fees if you choose to hire in talent for your ad. For information on cost head to


TV ads can seem daunting, but the rewards are there if you plan and produce correctly. To better understand if TV advertising is right for you get in touch with our team and see our case study for RSPCA Assured below. This as was made to raise brand awareness and was shown alongside the Great British Bake Off to maximize its effectiveness. With a mirrored digital campaign it also gained 400k views online alongside a nationwide TV ad campaign.

Want to know if Tv advertising is right for you?

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