If you’re a business owner, CEO or otherwise involved in the decision-making for an organization, it’s important to understand the cost of TV advertising.

Going into the media buying process without a clear understanding of the costs will limit your ability to use the format effectively. The cost of TV advertising has two major components – the production and the media buying.

The production costs of television commercials can depend on a number of different factors:

  • You can get a television commercial produced for as little as $1500, but it’s likely to look bad and be a waste of money.
  • You get what you pay for when it comes to television advertising, just like with other business assets. TV advertising companies may vary depending on their method of production, their experience and their track record.
  • If you want a quality commercial that will produce the results you’re looking for, you will probably need to budget in the neighborhood of $20,000 to $25,000.

In addition to the production costs, you’ll also need to pay for media planning and buying. What is media planning and buying? It’s the process of finding the best period of time, station and target market for your commercial and finding the best price to buy that television spot.

The media buying and planning process can vary greatly: A 30-second spot for a television commercial can cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousands of dollars. The price depends on the popularity of that time slot, the nature of the programming and the television station. TV networks may charge vastly different prices for the same time slot. The price can even differ based on your geographic location. If you want to advertise on ESPN in one local market, it may be a different price in another local market for the same slot on the same channel.

In short, the cost for television advertising is variable – but it totals in the tens of thousands when you combine professional commercial production and high visibility ad buys. Plan accordingly before you dive into TV advertising and get quotes so you can consider your options.