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TV Commercials: Bad TV Ads Cost You Sales

You're thinking of making a TV commercial. The web is full of claims about how much it really costs, what it should cost, or who to get your ad from. It's hard to tell what's hype, and what's real. Here's a list of common mistakes and misconceptions about television commercials:

Mistake #1: "MAKE MINE CANNED!" Those pre-made ads are cheaper but just as effective as a custom made ad.

You know how unique your business really is. An ad that was originally made to be used by just anybody (a template ad) may sound like a bargain, but what does it say about YOU? It's still not an ad that shows off what's unique about your business and what you offer.

Usually your company name is just stuck on the end of the ad. Do you want people to remember YOUR PRODUCT?

With a custom TV ad, your "unique selling proposition," as it's called in business schools, is built right into the commercial message. You can get a national quality, custom ad for a low, flat rate that rivals those template companies, with

Mistake #2: "YOUR AD IS READY, MR. GATES..." Making a national quality TV commercial is only for millionaires.

Sure, some of the commercials you see on TV really did cost $1million or more. The average price for a national TV commercial for a major brand is in about $370,000. Do you need to pay a fortune? No! Prices vary widely, from the humble local cable TV ad made for next to nothing to the star-studded extravaganzas that appear on the Superbowl or the Oscars®. How an ad turns out depends largely on the agency's creative strengths - not the advertiser's budget.

Some fantastic, memorable commercials merely look expensive. TV Commercials by Cheap TV Spots® are inexpensive, yet national quality. A local-priced ad CAN look like it cost lots more -- you've already seen them on national networks like CNN.

Mistake #3: "IT LOOKS SO EASY ON TV..." A "make-it-yourself" commercial gives you a quality ad for just a couple hundred dollars.

Big mistake. Commercials get rejected all the time by the networks for infractions as small as a a few milliseconds of bad video. Unless you make commercials every day, you will not likely be able to assemble a quality communication device that adheres to technical standards and can pass muster with television censors. Censors? Yes, censors. Censors don't just look for nudity and foul language; they look for false claims, poor quality video or audio signal, and other esoteric problems that only an eagle-eyed TV producer can catch.

Making your own ad means you get a lot less than you pay for. A good television commercial is a precisely engineered communication. It taps into the psychological and sociological nuances of persuasion, carefully adhering to legal issues of advertising claims, and it is precisely tuned for its intended audience. In plain English, it is charming and persuasive without being an outright lie.

Those "make-it-yourself" commercials end up looking very bad. The tools they give you are just not adequate; the typical businessperson isn't a TV producer; and anyone as close to the product as its inventor has trouble seeing it as the customer will. It takes a fresh perspective, "a fresh pair of eyes." It takes experience to create a great communication tool that avoids regulatory pitfalls, while adhering to the technical requirements of broadcast, cable, and satellite systems. Entrepreneurs need the helping hand of a good producer like Cheap TV SpotsĀ® who takes the time to know your product or service, and who knows the television business.

Mistake #4: "COMPUTERS MAKE EVERYTHING EASY..." If you have a video camera and a computer, you can make your own commercial.

Sure, you can produce a commercial... if you happen to be an excellent television writer, a video editing whiz, have TV commercial experience, and have loads of time you can spend NOT working on your business. It also takes lots of industry specific equipment and technical knowledge to create a commercial, despite what they're telling you in those consumer electronics magazines.

Mistake #5: "I KNOW A GUY..." I know somebody who makes wedding videos, and he says he can make my TV ad.

Wedding videographers are specialists in making beautiful, infinitely long videos of the bride's special day. There's a whole industry devoted to wedding videography. The style of camera work and editing they use are unique to wedding and special event video. A wedding video is not a commercial; commercials must be precision-edited to present a persuasive message that fits within the unforgiving constraints of 30 and 60 second time slots.

Just as good full-time TV commercial producers generally don't have to do another video specialty as a sideline, good wedding videographers don't need tv commercial business. Besides, those in other video specialties often don't have the equipment or experience to format a broadcast tape to network technical standards, let alone engineer a quality communication tool designed around your product or service.

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