I write this blog for my advertising students at Loyola University Maryland.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
What it costs to reach a TV audience
Advertising Age recently reported costs for 30-second network television commercials (see chart). As consumers of advertising we rarely think about what it costs to advertise. This TV season, Sunday Night Football leads the way at almost $400 thousand per thirty-second spot. And, as we have learned, you can’t just run a commercial one time; it has to be shown a minimum of three times in order for it to register with the consumer. The figures displayed above are based on audience size, after all media exists to sell an audience to an advertiser. A program like American Idol, that may have an audience of 30 million viewers (their numbers have been going down in the past couple of years from a peak of around 34 million viewers), can charge upwards of $700 thousand per 30-second spot. And, don’t get me started on Super Bowl advertising, which is likely to come in this year around $2.3 million per 30-second spot. We’re talking about the cost of time alone, not production costs. Production costs for a network spot would be in the area of $350,000. When you add the cost of production with the cost of the television time to run the advertisement and multiple the per spot cost by at least three, you can perhaps see why advertisers seek alternative ways in which to reach consumers. This high costs associated with network advertising have to be considered within an audience that is distracted, often multitasking perhaps even with multiple media as we shift from the TV screen to the computer screen.