To stand out in a crowded marketplace with hundreds of thousands of businesses constantly competing for attention, you must be strategic in your marketing efforts. While digital advertising has become increasingly popular in recent years, TV advertising remains a powerful way to reach a wide audience and build brand recognition.
TV advertising is a proven marketing channel that has been around for decades. With TV ads, you have the ability to create an emotional connection with your audience by using compelling visuals, music, and storytelling. A well-crafted TV ad has the power to capture your audience’s attention and leave a lasting impression.
However, producing a successful TV ad is not easy. It requires careful planning and execution, as well as a deep understanding of your target audience and their preferences. In this guide, we’ll take you through the key steps involved in TV ad production, providing practical advice and insights to help you create an ad that resonates with your target audience. So, whether you’re a small business owner or a marketing professional of a big-name corp, this guide will hopefully provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to produce a high-quality TV ad in the UK.
Yes, TV ads are still relevant and effective in reaching a wide audience and building brand awareness! In fact, TV ads remain a powerful marketing tool that should not be overlooked.
While digital advertising has gained popularity in recent years, TV ads continue to offer a sense of trust and authority that is difficult to replicate through other mediums. Studies have shown that TV ads have a higher ROI compared to other forms of advertising, making it a smart investment for businesses looking to expand their reach.
Creating a successful TV ad is a multi-step process that requires careful planning and execution. From market research to delivery, each step is crucial to the success of your ad campaign. In this section, we’ll take you through the 15 key steps involved in TV ad production, providing practical advice and insights to help you create an ad that resonates with your audience.
Before diving into the creative process, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your brand’s objectives and goals for the ad — either in-house with a marketing team or by working with a TV advertising agency. Develop a business brief that outlines your brand’s values, target audience, and messaging.
Consider factors such as competitors, demographics, behaviours, pain points, and preferences when defining your target audience. The business brief will help inform the creative direction of your ad and ensure that it effectively reaches your target audience.
Once you’ve gathered your research and are happy with the business brief, it’s time to take these learnings and write the creative brief for your Creative Agency or Creative team. Start generating creative concepts for your TV ad. Brainstorm ideas that will capture your audience’s attention and leave a lasting impression. Think about what message you want to convey and how you can do so in a unique and compelling way.
One way to generate ideas is to draw inspiration from your brand’s values, products, and services. You can also look at successful TV ads from other brands in your industry and think about what made them effective. Answer this: What will make your brand or product/service stand out and grab the attention it deserves?
With your creative concepts in hand, it’s time to develop your ideas further. Start thinking about the visuals, music, script and storytelling elements that will bring your ad to life. This is an important stage where you’ll start to form the core of your TV ad or advertising campaign.
Consider the emotions you want your ad to evoke and how you can use visuals and music to support your message. Use your research to inform your ideation and ensure that your ad is tailored to your audience’s preferences.
Clearcast is an industry body that approves TV ads for broadcast in the UK. Before your ad can be aired, it must be approved by Clearcast. This process can take up to 10 working days, so it’s important to factor this into your timeline and start as early as possible.
To begin the approval process, submit your ad to Clearcast along with all necessary documentation, including scripts and storyboards. Once your ad is approved, you’ll receive a clearance certificate, allowing you to move forward with production.
Before moving forward with production, it’s important to get sign-off from the relevant people (whether the client or the head of marketing) to ensure that the creative direction and messaging are aligned with the vision and goals of the company. This is an essential step for ensuring that everyone involved in the production is on the same page. So, make sure they are satisfied with the direction of the ad and that any necessary revisions are made before moving forward.
During the storyboarding and scriptwriting phase, start developing a narrative for your ad. Storyboarding visually represents your ad shot-by-shot, giving an idea of what each frame will look like. Your script should provide the dialogue and voiceover for your ad, capturing the essence of your messaging. Use your business brief and creative concepts to inform your storyboard and script.
Music is an essential tool in creating an emotional connection with your audience. Choose music that is appropriate for your brand and message, and ensure that you have the necessary licenses to use it in your ad. Consider the mood and tone of your ad when selecting music. Look for music that supports your message and resonates with your audience.
You may need to obtain licenses from the relevant music publishers or rights organisations, so make sure to budget accordingly.
With your storyboard and script in hand, it’s time to start scouting for actors or voice actors for your ad. Consider the tone and style of your ad, and look for talent that will bring your vision to life. If you’re filming a live-action commercial, you’ll also need to start pre-production tasks such as scheduling, location scouting, and other logistics at this step.
When scouting for actors or voice actors, consider your brand and the message you want to convey. Look for talent that embodies your brand’s values and can effectively deliver your messaging. For pre-production tasks, make sure to have a clear timeline and budget in place to avoid any delays or unexpected expenses.
Production is when your ad comes to life. This is where you’ll shoot and capture all the visuals and audio for your ad. Be sure to have all the necessary equipment and personnel, including a director, camera operators, sound engineers, and lighting technicians. It’s essential to stick to your schedule and budget during production to avoid any delays or unexpected costs.
These are the different aspects of production you’ll need to keep in mind during this phase:
Production is when your ad comes to life. During filming, you’ll capture all the visuals and audio for your ad. It’s essential to stick to your schedule and budget during production to avoid any delays or unexpected costs. Make sure you have all the necessary equipment and personnel, including a director, camera operators, sound engineers, and lighting technicians.
During filming, you’ll work with actors or voice actors to bring your ad to life. Make sure you have clear communication with your talent to ensure they understand your vision and messaging. Provide guidance on performance and help them get into character. This is an essential step for creating an emotional connection with your audience.
During production, it’s essential to maintain clear communication and collaboration between all stakeholders involved in the project. Make sure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities and that everyone is on the same page. Encourage feedback and open communication to ensure that any issues are addressed quickly and effectively.
During filming, it’s important to manage the production on-set to ensure that everything runs smoothly. This includes directing the actors and crew, monitoring the shots, and ensuring that the footage is captured according to the storyboard and script. Be prepared to make any necessary adjustments on-set to ensure a successful production.
During the pre-vis/offline edit phase, review and select the best shots for your ad. This is an important step for refining your ad and ensuring that it aligns with
your creative vision. Use your storyboard and script as a guide for the edit, and make sure the pacing and tone are all aligned with your messaging.
Be mindful that this phase will take some considerable time to complete since there may be multiple versions of the pre-vis or offline edit, depending on the
number of amendments needed or the budget you have for your TV commercial.
Once you’ve selected the best shots, it’s time to create a rough cut of your ad. This is where you’ll start to see your ad come together. Add any necessary effects, transitions, colour grading and titles to your rough cut to give your ad the right look and feel. This is also a good time to get feedback from your team and make any necessary revisions.
Again, this stage will take some time. Rough cuts, like the pre-vis or offline edit, can go through multiple rounds of changes with different versions.
Before moving on to the final stages of production, it’s important to get sign-off from the client or stakeholders involved in the project. Make sure everyone is satisfied with the ad and that any necessary revisions have been made. This is an essential step for ensuring that the ad meets everyone’s expectations.
During the final cut phase, add sound effects, music, and voiceover to your ad. This is where you can really make your ad come to life and create an emotional connection with your audience. Make sure the sound and voiceover are aligned with your messaging and that the music is appropriate for the mood and tone of your ad.
Once your ad is complete, it’s time to deliver it to the channels for broadcast. Make sure you have all the necessary documentation and clearances from Clearcast. Work with your media agency or channels to ensure your ad is scheduled at the right time and on the right channels to reach your target audience.
The cost of producing a TV ad in the UK can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors, including the length and complexity of the ad, the level of talent involved, the location of the shoot, and the post-production work required. On average, a 30-second TV ad in the UK can cost anywhere between £20,000 and £100,000+ to produce.
However, it’s important to note that costs can be higher or lower depending on the specifics of your project (i.e CGI versus live action). To get a more accurate estimate, it’s best to consult with a production company or agency.
Some common mistakes to avoid when producing a TV ad include:
To avoid these mistakes, it’s important to have a clear vision and strategy for your ad, and to work with experienced TV advertising professionals who can guide you through the process.
There are several metrics you can use to measure the success of your TV ad campaign, including:
Some effective strategies for targeting a specific audience with a TV ad include:
Creating an effective TV ad requires a significant investment of time, resources, and expertise. While the steps outlined in this guide provide a comprehensive overview of the TV ad production process, it’s important to note that each step can be more in-depth and complex than we’ve discussed.
That’s why many businesses choose to work with an experienced TV advertising agency to help them navigate the complexities of TV ad production and create an ad that stands out in today’s crowded marketplace. An agency can provide a range of services, from market research and creative concepting to production and post-production. By working with an agency, you can benefit from their expertise and experience in creating effective TV ads that drive results.
Whether you choose to produce a TV ad in-house or work with an agency, it’s important to remember that producing a high-quality TV ad is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. Be sure to get in touch with us and we’ll help you realise the full potential of your next TV ad campaign.
Keen on developing a TV ad campaign to boost your marketing strategy’s goals? Be sure to get in touch with an experienced TV ad agency that’ll work with you to create the perfect TV advertising campaign for your needs.
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