How Much Does a TV Advertising Campaign Cost?

TV advertising is known for being pricey. After all, the cost of Super Bowl ad time is highly publicized each year, creating shock at the multi-millions brands pay for airtime alone. And historically, TV has been one of the most expensive and inaccessible marketing channels.

But TV today is different than it was a decade ago. There are now options for getting your brand on TV at many price points. 

So, how much does it cost to advertise on TV? The short answer: it depends. Campaigns can cost anywhere from tens of thousands to multi-millions, varying widely based on: 

  1. Your approach to creative production

  2. The type of TV media you’re interested in buying

  3. Reliance on outside vendors for additional services 

Let's take a closer look at each of these elements. We’ll cover how much brands typically pay for everything from strategy development to campaign attribution. Then, we’ll compare those costs to that of TV advertising with All-Inclusive TV. 



Before launching a TV advertising campaign, it's crucial to develop a solid strategy. This begins with confirming your brand positioning, often through customized brand studies and reviews of competitors already on TV. Next, you’ll spend time evaluating your target audience, how to reach them through TV, and what type of messaging resonates with them.  

Brands without previous TV experience are encouraged to partner with an outside agency for strategy services, which can cost around a half a million dollars on the low end. The price tag makes it tempting to skip this stage of campaign planning, but investing in strategy development will meaningfully maximize the impact of your TV ads.  

Besides, better understanding your customer is an investment not only in the success of your TV campaign but all future marketing endeavors. 

Typical cost: $500k-$1.5M 
With All-Inclusive TV: $0 



Producing a high-quality TV commercial starts with creative development. If working with an agency, you’ll partner to bring a variety of research-based ideas to life. Once the top ideas are chosen, creative pretesting ensures your ad resonates with your target audience before you produce the spot. Finally, you’ll cast, shoot and edit your commercial.  

The cost of production can vary wildly depending on the commercial’s complexity, talent involved, and resources required. So yes, production alone can run into the multi-millions for some brands. But an effective commercial rarely requires that level of investment. Some cost-effective production options include using stock footage, animation, or pre-existing brand assets. 

Typical cost: $500k-$1.5M 
With All-Inclusive TV: $0 



When buying TV media, you have several options to consider, all of which can dramatically impact the cost of your campaign. Even timing can make a difference.  

For example, primetime placements in the evenings, when most people are home and watching TV, are more expensive than daytime placements. The time of year also affects cost. An increase in media demand during the winter holiday season can mean higher prices, which tend to drop in January. Location, specific programming, and your target audience can all impact how much you’ll need to spend on media to see results. 

Local TV vs National TV Advertising  

You have the choice between targeting local or national audiences. (Or both!) Local TV advertising allows you to focus on specific geographic regions where your target audience resides. This approach is effective for businesses with a local presence or those targeting a niche market. It can also be a budget-friendly option since less media may be needed to drive results. However, CPMs tend to be higher than those on national TV. 

National TV advertising, on the other hand, provides broad reach and exposure to a large audience. It's ideal for brands looking to drive widespread awareness or expand their customer base on a national scale.  

Upfronts vs Direct Response Media 

TV networks often sell their ad inventory months in advance of airing dates through the upfronts. During the upfronts, advertisers can secure ad slots for specific programs or times. Upfront buying guarantees your placement, allowing for easier planning and budgeting. However, upfronts are known for their high costs and tend to be the best option only for large brands that prioritize planning over price.  

The direct response market, on the other hand, is less expensive and includes media not sold in the upfronts. This media is sold closer to the actual air date, providing flexibility and cost savings for advertisers. 

Streaming vs Linear TV 

The rise of streaming and Connected TV (CTV) has transformed the TV advertising landscape. But choosing between streaming and linear TV can also impact the cost of your campaign. 

CTV offers targeted ad delivery, interactive features, and precise audience measurement capabilities. Because you reach a highly targeted audience, CPMs are higher than when advertising on linear TV. So for now, linear TV remains more cost-efficient for performance advertisers. However, streaming campaigns can sometimes require a lower overall investment since they’re only reaching a small number of people. 

The choice between streaming and linear TV depends on your target audience, budget, and the objectives of your advertising campaign. Many brands will find a blend between the two forms of TV provides the best results. 

Media Buying with All-Inclusive TV 

With All-Inclusive TV, advertisers get access to Annika, an AI designed to identify the most valuable media opportunities for clients across both linear and streaming TV. Annika evaluates your custom audience and performance criteria, sets it against market trends and historical data, then calculates which media buys will drive the best ROI. This means you save dramatically on the cost of media and your campaign reaches peak efficiency. 


Conversion Tech

When adding TV advertising to your marketing mix, it’s important to consider TV’s impact on your digital platforms. Conversion technology can optimize how viewers respond to your ad to ensure TV-driven leads actually become customers. 

Conversion services aren’t often included with typical TV agency services. You'll likely need to find an additional vendor beyond your TV partner, but these services are recommended for TV advertisers prioritizing performance. You’re already investing in media, so it’s worth making sure that investment doesn’t fail to drive results because of unnecessary friction. 

Typical cost: $50k-$100k 
With All-Inclusive TV: $0 



The final and most crucial piece of any TV campaign? Measuring its effectiveness.  

TV attribution allows you to understand how your campaign contributes to both short-term results like new customers and long-term shifts in brand awareness and revenue.  

To track TV’s impact, marketers can manage attribution internally if the team has prior TV experience, work with their media-buying agency, or find a separate third-party measurement partner. An outside vendor is the most expensive option but also provides the greatest objectivity. Ideally, a combination of these options will be used to provide multiple perspectives on performance.  

Cost also depends on the size of your business, with larger companies needing to invest more simply because their results will be especially complex. For many brands, $100k (or less) is a reasonable estimate for measurement costs. But for a multi-billion-dollar company, we’ve seen that price tag reach up to $1 million. 

Typical cost: $100k-$500k 
With All-Inclusive TV: $0 


Thanks to evolving technology, new options for media buying, and innovative production techniques, TV advertising is a significantly more accessible channel than in years past.  

Still, a TV campaign is a major expense for most brands. Especially for those investing the time and resources to get their campaign right with strategy development, creative pretesting, conversion services, and more. 


That’s why we created All-Inclusive TV.  

With All-Inclusive TV, you get one bill for media. Everything else needed for your campaign to find success is included in that bill. Yes, everything.  

We’ve learned over the years that successful TV campaigns have a lot of moving parts. They require expertise in technical, creative, and analytical areas. Every area matters and is worth getting right. Because TV campaigns done correctly can drive transformative levels of growth.  

Which is why we decided to provide these services to clients at no extra charge beyond the media. Providing everything from brand positioning to ecommerce consulting increases the likelihood that a campaign will meet, and exceed, the client’s goals. And when campaigns perform well, clients stay on-air longer. Which means we both win. 


How much does it cost to work with Marketing Architects? 

With All-Inclusive TV, you only pay for media. But even just the media investment can vary from brand to brand and campaign to campaign. We’ve seen the media cost of clients’ campaigns run from $200,000 to several million dollars on average. That’s a big range. But there are a lot of factors at play: 

  1. Are you more focused on brand-building or performance?  

  2. What level of scale do you need for TV’s impact to drive a measurable spike in business?

  3. What timing makes sense for your campaign? 

  4. Are you interested in testing streaming, or just linear TV? 

Answering these questions can help identify what’s needed to drive measurable results for your business. If you’re interested in TV advertising, connect with our team to start the process of getting a quote customized to your unique business and goals.