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Tom Raymond
TV ads
on Aug 4, 2013 at 3:19:49 pm

I’ve received invaluable advice from this blog three times already, so yes, here I am again.
I’ve started a one-man production company to provide TV spots for local businesses. I’m starting really small.
I have a produced generic commercial, cleared through DG systems as broadcast ready. Before I approach customers, I have two big stumbling blocks:

One: How do I find a media buyer here in the Detroit area, and is this what I should be doing as they all seem to be working for advertisers bigger than me?

Two: I’ve had no luck scouring the Internet for a specific license agreement template for TV ads. I’m looking for a simple document that identifies my client, the producer, (me), the work, (what specific commercial), the fee, the territory, (this is my biggest problem as I am not yet aware of the terminology for identifying local cable markets), and the fee.

As always, I know there may be no simple answers. Any advice would be most welcome indeed.

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Bill Davis
Re: TV ads
on Aug 5, 2013 at 3:55:47 am

[Tom Raymond] "As always, I know there may be no simple answers. Any advice would be most welcome indeed."


You're kinda going at everything a bit backwards, but such is life.

Search these terms ADI, (area of dominant influence) DMA deisgnated market area, TMA, television market area (FCC designation) - these are a couple of the more widely used of the more common terms for specific areas served by either broadcast and cable operators.

They represent just three of the MANY acronyms and insider jargon used in professional media buying.

The bigger issue, however, is that it's very rare for someone to START with making an ad, then going out and trying to sell it to advertisers. Not unheard of - strictly - (back in the 1070s thru the 1990s there were plenty of companies who did "generic" spots for industries from car dealers to mens clothing stores - and sold them in individual markets "customizing" the same spots for different boutique shops)

But it's VERY rare to see these days. Probably because the tools of production have become so comparatively cheap and production expertise so widespread. What's still NOT easy to obtain is the SALES part of the equation - as it's always been and ever will be, IMO.

Producing spots is easier than ever. The big lift still finding clients who NEED advertising and have the budget to pay for it.

Here's a decent site with a few more time buying terms - not comprehensive, but a good primer -

Good luck.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.

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Mark Suszko
Re: TV ads
on Aug 5, 2013 at 2:40:14 pm

To Bill's perfect answer, I can only add that these days, nobody should be satisfied with using a "generic template" spot. We live in the age of ultra-customization, of bespoke spots tuned to specific clients and audiences. Generic template stuff is what you get as your "free" spot production from a local cable company today.

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