One of the common questions people ask when they learn I am in the advertising business is “how much did that commercial cost to produce”. While the price of a production for a commercial varies widely from thousands to millions of dollars, here are the most recent stats on the average budgets to produce nationally-run commercials according the the 4A’s (the advertising industry’s main trade group).
Overall, the average production budget for a thirty second commercial (not including agency mark-ups or any other kind of agency commission – which would normally add roughly another 20%) was $302,000. This does also not include any kind of celebrity talent. Budgets also vary tremendously based on the product catagory. For instance, the average budget for a car commercial was $426,000, while office equipment and computer commercials were significantly less at $231,000. As we might expect, beer commercials top the list with average budgets of $781,000.