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james laanpricing
by on Feb 23, 2009 at 10:05:32 pm


im going be shooting a 30 sec commercial for my local drag racing strip promoting them. i need to know what goes in to setting a price for the whole production of the commercial from start to finnish. what factors exactly do i need to factor into my cost.

any info would help


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Craig SeemanRe: pricing
by on Feb 24, 2009 at 3:11:07 am

How much money do you need to make per hour based on approximately 20-25 paid hours a week to keep all your expenses paid?
How many hours to you estimate it will take you to do the commercial?
You may need to add in any additional expenses specific to the spot.
That's your price. Keep to your estimated hours otherwise charge hourly.

Are you going to be the agency (do the media buy)? If so, you'll probably be making 15% of the buy from the cable company. Some companies will reduce the price of the commercial if the buy is big because they'll make money on the media buy.

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james laanRe: pricing
by on Feb 24, 2009 at 2:19:28 pm

hello thanks for the info.

im a little confused. im new to this and i do not know what a media buy is and what do you mean by if im the agency?


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Craig SeemanMedia Buy - Agency
by on Feb 24, 2009 at 2:38:20 pm

[james laan] "im a little confused. im new to this and i do not know what a media buy is and what do you mean by if im the agency? "

That's a very good question and, unlike pricing, doesn't really get brought up much here in any detail.

Basically in addition to doing the commercial you can also buy the air time.
You get the rate card from the local cable company.
If possible get demographic information for different channels and even specific shows if possible. Of course you can intuit this info too.
Look at the type of spot you created, the product and/or service offered and think about what programs or channels might be suited to it.

Obvious examples are home repair shows for a hardware store. Sports channels if you're selling tennis lessons or gear, etc. Local 24 hour news channels can reach a broad market.

You formulate what channels and shows you might want to buy and at what parts of the day (day parts). You think about the number of repeats (frequency the spot is played) you can/should do so enough people see it so it has impact such as actually remembering the address or phone number or website (whatever the "call to action" is in the spot).

The client gives you a budget or you make a recommendation or some combination.
You set up yourself with the cable company as an "agent." This ensures you get the agency discount. The cable company may do a credit check or may ask for payment up front. They'll give you 15% (typically) for the total buy. The details may differ with different cable companies but those are some of the basics.

Do discuss this with the cable company. They'll likely be helpful because you're bringing them business and you'll be making that 15% on the buy. Almost as if you're sort of a "sales rep" for the cable company (but different).

BTW the reason why cable companies do such bad spots is that they often charge nothing or next to nothing on production and make their money on the media buy.

You can compete because you do much better quality work (that's why the client is using you rather than the freebie bad production the cable company does).

Some clients will want to use you for production and then buy direct from the cable company. I charge these clients more because I'm not getting my 15%.

Depending on the size of they buy you can adjust your production price (or not).

Others may have a different take on this but it's certainly worth discussing but it's certainly manageable even if you're a one person band.

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james laanRe: Media Buy - Agency
by on Feb 25, 2009 at 4:23:55 am

thank you for all the information
its greatly appreciated
i am new to this stuff so all the info really is useful

and now that i know what a media buy is ill find out what my client is doing.
i think he might be going straight to the cable company himself.


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Brendan CootsRe: pricing
by on Feb 24, 2009 at 3:15:01 am

Do a forum search for pricing - this question has been asked and answered hundreds of times in the past year alone.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

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