TV Ad Production Costs Jump 8%

The average cost to produce national television commercials in 2001 increased 8% for 30-second spots and 5% for commercials regardless of length, according to the American Association of Advertising Agencies 2001 Television Production Cost Survey.

The results contrast the previous year’s report when the average cost to produce a national spot declined 3% for 30-second spots and one% for commercials regardless of length.

In actual dollars, the 8% increase represents $26,000 -- the difference between the national thirty average cost of $358,000 reported in 2001 and $332,000 revealed in 2000. For national commercials of all lengths, the 5% production cost increase equals a $16,000 difference from the previous year -- from $306,000 in 2000 to $322,000 in 2001.

The survey showed that the average total production company net costs went up 4%, from $228,000 in 2000 to $236,000 in 2001. In contrast, overall costs fell 3% from 1999 to 2000.

Directors’ fees per 30-second commercial increased 10% to $23,000 in 2001 compared to 2000, when they fell 5%. The practice of studio shoots decreased to 15%, while combination shoots increased 24% compared to last year’s study.



The survey found the average cost to edit and finish an original thirty increased 7%, from $42,000 in 2000 to $45,000 in 2001.

Creative/labor fees increased by 9%, and music costs remained the same, averaging $34,000 per job. Video finishing increased 5% while sound recording and mixing increased 4%.

Seven categories witnessed the greatest increases, with one rising more than 50%: Furniture/Appliances/AV Products. The others were Consumer Services/Retail/Stores (41%); Other Products (31%); Retail and Fast Food Restaurants (29%); Travel/Vacation Destination (26%); Drugs/Toiletries (21%); and Autos/Trucks/Motorcycles (19%).

Twenty agencies and branch offices, including all of the top 10 U.S. advertising agencies, and 15 of the top 20, participated in the AAAA Television Production Cost Survey.

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