Many people call out of
the blue to ask "How much is a TV commercial", or "How much is a 30-minute
video", or "How much is a website"? That's like asking how much is
a car. First we need to know if you want a '67 Pinto or this year's
A much better approach
is to meet and approximate together the cost of your whole marketing effort
- including those items that we don't sell. If you buy a car, you
also consider the gas mileage and the cost of insurance (or at least you
Below we can give you
just some vague numbers, so at least you know what you may be getting into.
A three month local TV campaign
in an average local area, with 2 - 4 spots per day on major cable channels,
has the price of a modest sedan. Perhaps $15,000. Out of this
budget, about one third goes into production. "Production" includes
a set of three commercials and, probably, creating or updating your website.
Less expensive alternatives may be possible - but this is the approximate
asking price. The TV time is provided by your cable company, so we'll
get their exact prices early. Normally, each 30-second slot has the
price of a newspaper classified ad - but you need repetition.
Videotaping a seminar or
a business event normally costs about $500. For editing, if/when
needed, add a few hundred dollars more. For about $1,200 the event
can be recorded with two digital cameras - and, if it's a continuous event
such as a seminar, the editing may cost only $300. A few years ago
we were very proud to offer "field switching", like the major networks
- changing the input from one camera to another while videotaping.
Since broadcast quality digital equipment became available, recording with
two "DV" cameras works even better. You keep the high quality - yet
you have the reliability of two totally independent
recordings. All in all, to create a decent event videotape that can
be distributed among professionals, you may be looking at $1,000-$1,500.
A documentary or an infomercial,
if it doesn't use big stars, is normally between 5-10K. A significant
percentage of this budget goes into scriptwriting. A good script
may need several drafts - but it's well worth it, because it will make
all the difference. Also, a good script and detailed planning will
save a lot of money during production. Obviously, the production
costs less if it's part of a package.
So, as you can see, there
is no standard price. Beware of anybody who gives you a guesstimate
over the phone - because then the quality of your TV message will be subordinated
to that quote regardless of any real needs. On top of that, there
are other considerations that may lower or increase the price considerably.
Just a few examples:
A decent website starts around
$1,500 - including up to 20 pages of text and graphics, your own domain
name, setup and hosting for three months (provided by Interland),
search engine registration, and five hours of initial updating. If
it's part of a TV commercial package, such a website may cost only $500.
Once set up, a website is about $20/month for hosting, plus updates - if
any. The hosting price jumps a bit higher only if your website has
a huge amount of traffic - which means that you are getting a lot of business
Such examples can go on forever.
Without some details, there is no point in guessing any further.
you need customized animation on top of the impressive effects created
by computer? That's potentially very expensive - but normally
you need several high-end cameras to work at the same time, entailing
a big crew, or can your production be handled sequentially, with a single
digital camera? Does your speaker need a teleprompter, or can he/she
remember the text? Reducing such options to bare minimum will save
a lot of money, without sacrificing quality.
your company have a single decision maker who handles the project,
or do you use a whole committee for every small decision? Obviously,
without a committee, everything's a lot less expensive.
you in a public building that requires special insurance arrangements and
clearances? That may be expensive, due to direct costs and
extra time involved.
We provide, at cost, an
initial estimate that includes:
The price of the initial
estimate for a local project is $375, paid in advance. This custom-tailored
estimate becomes free (subtracted from the budget) if the project is approved.
This package includes two meetings - an initial consultation and a review.
Marketing analysis and possible
directions of development
Production alternatives for
your television commercials or programs
TV distribution research
in your particular market
Details about additional
media outlets (Direct Mail, Internet, etc.) - as applicable
Prior to the initial consultation,
we would like to spend at least 2-3 hours to familiarize ourselves with
your business. Some literature sent to us by mail, and a guided tour
of your business, would be greatly appreciated.
(Exception: On very
simple projects, such as videotaping a seminar, a brief scouting of the
location is enough. The estimate fee will be reduced accordingly).
Next, see some details