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Many people call out of the blue to ask "How much is a TV commercial", or "How much is a 30-minute video", or "How much is a website"?  That's like asking how much is a car.  First we need to know if you want a '67 Pinto or this year's Mercedes.

A much better approach is to meet and approximate together the cost of your whole marketing effort - including those items that we don't sell.  If you buy a car, you also consider the gas mileage and the cost of insurance (or at least you should).

Below we can give you just some vague numbers, so at least you know what you may be getting into.

  • A three month local TV campaign in an average local area, with 2 - 4 spots per day on major cable channels, has the price of a modest sedan.  Perhaps $15,000.  Out of this budget, about one third goes into production.  This includes a set of three commercials and, probably, creating or updating your website.  Less expensive alternatives may be possible - but this is the approximate asking price.  The TV time is provided by your cable company, so we'll get their pricing information early.
  • A seminar or a business event normally costs about $500.  For editing, if/when needed, add a few hundred dollars more.  For about $1,200 the event can be recorded with two digital cameras - and, if it's a continuous event such as a seminar, the editing may cost only $300.  A few years ago we were very proud to offer "field switching", like the major networks - changing the input from one camera to another while videotaping.  Since broadcast quality digital equipment became available, recording with two "DV" cameras works even better.  You keep the high quality of a "first generation" tape - yet you have the reliability of two totally independent recordings.
  • A documentary or an infomercial, if it doesn't use big stars, is normally between 5-10K.  A significant percentage of this budget goes into scriptwriting.  A good script may need several drafts - but it's well worth it, because it will make all the difference.  Also, a good script and detailed planning will save a lot of money during production.  Obviously, the production costs less if it's part of a package.
  • A decent website starts around $1,500 - including up to 20 pages of text and graphics, your own domain name, setup and hosting for three months (provided by  Interland),  search engine registration, and five hours of initial updating.  If it's part of a TV commercial package, such a website may cost only $500.  Once set up, a website is about $20/month for hosting, plus updates - if any.  The hosting price jumps a bit higher only if your website has a huge amount of traffic - which means that you are getting a lot of business from it. 
So, as you can see, there is no standard price.  Beware of anybody who gives you a guesstimate over the phone - because then the quality of your TV message will be subordinated to that quote regardless of any real needs.  On top of that, there are other considerations that may lower or increase the price considerably.  Just a few examples:
  • Do you need customized animation on top of the impressive effects created by computer?  That's potentially very expensive - but normally not needed.
  • Do you need several high-end cameras to work at the same time, entailing a crew, or can your production be handled sequentially, with a single digital camera?  Does your speaker need a teleprompter, or can he/she remember the text?  Reducing these options to bare minimum will save a lot of money.
  • Does your company have a single decision maker who handles the project, or do you use a whole committee for every small decision?  Obviously, without a committee, everything's a lot less expensive.
  • Are you in a public building that requires special insurance arrangements and clearances?  That may be expensive, due to direct costs and extra time involved.
Such examples can go on forever.  Without some details, there is no point in guessing any further. 

We provide, at cost, an initial estimate that includes:

  • Marketing analysis and possible directions of development
  • Production alternatives for your television commercials or programs
  • TV distribution research in your particular market
  • Details about additional media outlets (Direct Mail, Internet, etc.) - as applicable
The price of the initial estimate for a local project is $375, paid in advance.  This custom-tailored estimate becomes free (subtracted from the budget) if the project is approved.  This package includes two meetings - an initial consultation and a review. 

Prior to the initial consultation, we would like to spend at least 2-3 hours to familiarize ourselves with your business.  Some literature sent to us by mail, and a guided tour of your business, would be greatly appreciated.

(Exception:  On very simple projects, such as videotaping a seminar, a brief scouting of the location is enough.  The estimate fee will be reduced accordingly).

Next,  see some details about first meeting.  Thank you.

Disclaimers: This on-line manual is for general documentation only.  It does not include any information that can be interpreted as binding business terms.  Only terms present in written agreements are valid.   © Special Interest Television -  Not for public distribution.