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Deciding where and how to spend your advertising dollars is a bigger challenge now than ever before. RiCas Media Group brings those questions into focus and helps you decide what's best for the success of your business. RiCas Media Group is on the cutting edge of media sales and buying and will represent your business across all platforms.
  • Television - Local, Regional, Network & Cable
  • Radio - Local, Satellite, Network and Syndication
  • Print - Direct Mail, Magazines, and Newspapers
  • The World Wide Web
  • Program Sponsorships
  • Product Placement
  • Television Program Development and Production

Frequently Asked Questions About Advertising

Q. How much does it cost to make a television commercial?
A. Several years ago, a New York Times story stated that the average cost of producing a 30-second national television commercial in 1999 was $343,000. The Times said this figure came from a survey of 1,753 national spots produced by 20 agencies. I believe that, today, the figure would be closer to $500,000. In contrast, a local advertiser with a compelling call to action should be able to get a nice, basic commercial produced for less than $2000.  Fancy graphics, animation, professional actors, special music, custom jingles, etc all add to the cost of production, however this is all managed in the planning stages of your campaign, therefore there should never be any surprises.

Q. Isn't it better to spend more to make a higher-quality, better-looking commercial?
A. It is if you are selling an expensive product or service and you are offering quality and prestige. But if you are selling a bargain-priced local service, an expensive commercial may actually work against you, by making your service look expensive, when in actuality, it is not.

Q. How much does it cost to run a commercial?
A. That all depends on how many viewers are estimated to be in the audience, how much commercial time is available for purchase and how many advertisers want to purchase it.   

According to a article published in January, 2008, a 30-second spot on "American Idol" was going for $780,000. A New York Times story in December, 2007, said that the ABC show, "Grey's Anatomy" was getting $400,000 for a 30-second spot. During the 2003-2004 season, a :30 commercial on "Friends" went for $473,500. In 2006, you could buy a :30 spot on ABC's "Monday Night Football" for $323,000. The smaller audience for the CW meant less money for spots: "Smallville" only got $111,700.

At the top end of the network spectrum, a 30-second spot in the 2007 Super Bowl ran about $2,600,000.  (For the first Super Bowl, in 1967, you could have bought one for only $42,000 -- but that was in 1967 dollars, probably around $250,000 in today's dollars. Still a lot less than the current rates.) Those rates are all for only one run of your spot.

But local news, daytime, and late-night spots in local markets can be surprisingly inexpensive. In a medium-sized market, $5 to $10 per thousand viewers is not unusual. So -- a 30-second slot in local news or daytime that reaches 10,000 viewers/listeners might cost you around $50 to $100. You may be able to buy "overnight" time slots -- between midnight and 5AM -- for as little as $10 each.   

Q. Should I be in my own commercial?
A. In many cases, yes. People trust other people more when they can see them. And when they've seen or heard you, they feel as though they know you.
Q. What if I'm not a very good actor?
A. No problem. You don't need to "act" -- just present your offer clearly and directly. Your prospects don't mind if you're not a professional spokesperson. During the taping, you'll probably be reading off a teleprompter so you won't even have to learn your lines. And remember, it's your offer that counts the most.  In any case, if you're advertising your business it's usually because you're passionate about what you're offering, the acting will come naturally.  

Q. What do you mean by "Call To Action" commercials?
A. Commercials that give prospects a reason to "call now" are known as "Call To Action" or "Immediate Response" commercials. The prospect calls the advertiser and he or she takes it from there.   

Q. What are "image" commercials?
A. Also called "branding" commercials, these types of commercials don't have a "Call To Action". They just try to get the prospect to feel good about the product or service. Good image commercials are usually more expensive to produce than "Immediate Response" commercials and take longer to see a measurable response. It is also possible to produce a commercial that contains both a "Call To Action"  and an "Image" element.

Q. Don't I have to wait for "frequency" for my commercial to work?
A. With Immediate Response commercials, if your offer is good and your commercial is well placed, it should produce at least a few calls the first time or two it runs. If it runs several times in different programs and nobody calls, probably nobody is ever going to call.  In this case you and your agency should meet and redirect your efforts immediately.

Q. Can I sell my idea for a great TV commercial?
A. No. But I get this question a lot. Someone comes up with what he or she believes is a fantastic idea for a television commercial, radio commercial, or a reality show, etc. Now he wants to sell the idea to a big company, advertising agency or TV network.  This is very difficult and very rarely happens.   

Big companies do not buy "over the transom" ideas from people who do not already work for them. For one thing, no one on the outside can ever know all the details of any particular project -- budget, target audience, personal opinions of the client, that sort of thing -- so those "great" ideas could never work as well as their creators think they could. Most outsiders do not understand the production requirements, including money, to turn their ideas into reality. Plus, there are huge potential legal problems for any company that accepts ideas from outside.   

If you actually do have great ideas for advertising or entertainment then your only possible hope is to get in front of someone in person, and the only way you'll be able to do that is to contact a local advertising agency in your area and start there, but don't get your hopes up.

Q. I have a product I would like to sell using "Direct Response" TV. How do I do that?  
A. As I have said elsewhere, I have never known anyone who has made money selling mass produced products on a local basis using direct response television. These types of products take regional or national coverage and LOTS of money for airtime. Even then, only a tiny percentage of products sell great while the vast majority fail.



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