A complete guide on how to get a commercial on TV

TV advertising is one of the most effective marketing tools, especially­­ if you want to send a general message to a broad audience. It sells your products, raises brand awareness, builds brand trust and boosts online traffic. In addition, the digital channels have made it affordable for small businesses to use this outlet too. 

The average British person spends an incredible amount of time watching television. To be more specific, a recent Statista poll found that the typical British adult spends 5 hours and 16 minutes each day watching audiovisual content. And 144 minutes of that time is spent watching live television.

While you may be wondering if television advertising is dead in the new era of commercial-free streaming media, local TV advertising is still effective. However, there are several processes and expenditures involved in creating a campaign, which might make it a less appealing alternative for certain firms.

TV advert production workflow - recording

Getting a commercial on TV isn’t an easy task, that’s why we have decided to write a complete guide on how to get a commercial on TV. Here’s a basic rundown of the procedure:

1. Evaluate your goals

Before you start creating your TV advert, make sure you take some time to evaluate your goals. What’s your message? Who is your target audience? Rarely a generic message to a broad audience is not the way to go if you’re thinking about TV advertising. However if you have a specific target audience, there are better ways to spend your marketing budget. 

2. Planning for the TV commercial

To create a TV commercial, you need some planning. 

  • Create a storyboard. Making decisions in the actual shoot can be very expensive. Thus, draw all the scenes of the commercial and include some notes below with all the details.
  • Write a script. Here you should include any dialogue as well as any camera direction (“close up”, “wide angle shot”…)
  • Clearcast. Once the script is finished, you should send it to Clearcast, an organisation that pre-approves all British TV Adverts. No TV channel will broadcast your TV advert unless it is Clearcast approved. Follow this step to avoid wasting your money producing an advert that doesn’t follow the UK advertising guidelines. You can’t change it after approval. Any further change requires a new approval.

3. Creating the ad

When deciding how to create a TV commercial, there are three basic options:

  • Do it yourself: If you want to go the DIY way, you’ll need to buy or rent professional audio and video equipment, as well as employ a production crew and actors. If you have prior experience, you might save money by using this option. However, unless you have prior manufacturing expertise, we do not suggest this alternative.
  • Work with your local broadcast or cable company: Working with your local broadcast or cable company is an excellent alternative for small business owners since your local station should have a production crew on hand to assist you with your advertisement.
  • Work with a video production company. By working with a director, you will benefit from having their experience as a guide. What is more, companies like Impress Video are able to quickly translate the idea into a TV commercial. Remember to set your budget and deadlines before you start the production process. Location and casting are also decided at this stage.

4. Production day

production crew jobs in a movie

The idea you’ve been working on, finally comes to life. At the end of the shoot, everything should be backed up and sent to the post-production facility.

5. Post-production day

Here the editor selects the best clips, edits them and adds some music and voiceovers. Depending on your budget you will use composed or library music. Regardless of the type of music used, you’ll have to listen to many tracks until you find one that works.

6. Final TV commercial to ClearCast

The final TV commercial is then sent to Clearcast for approval. It can take up to 3 working days or more if you send it during busy periods. 

7. Find the right TV channel and buy air-time

Once Clearcast has approved the commercial, you have to figure out where and when you would like to air your TV advert. Basically, you have to find out when your target audience is watching TV and buy that air- time.

The price varies depending on how many times you want to air your commercial, for how long, the times and the chosen TV shows. You can always ask for demographical insights to make the final decision. Airing the commercial for 2-3 weeks usually has better results.

8. Social media marketing

At the beginning of this blog, we have said that TV advertising is one of the most effective marketing tools. But, the best practice is to combine both TV and online advertising. By using both, you will reach larger audiences and boost conversions. Thus, invest in TV advertising production and maximise your investment sharing it on as many platforms as possible.


After reading this blog you may have a better understanding on how to get a commercial on TV. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch

Thank you for reading,



Contact Impress Video now

If you would like to do a TV Advert with video production and marketing professionals, or any other type of video, we can help you at Impress Video. We make video production for businesses, the ones that impress. Don’t hesitate to contact us here!