How Long Should A TV Commercial Be?

From concept to completion, TV commercials require a great deal of work. Before the filming, the idea is mapped, scripted, and illustrated to understand how the commercial will progress.

TV commercials are typically 30 seconds long. Most broadcast outlets will offer longer and shorter spots for sale, but 30 seconds is ubiquitous. Many advertisers will feature a 30-second commercial for broadcast, with longer versions of those commercials featured on-line for social media buzz.

How long does it take to produce a TV commercial?

It varies from project to project. Simpler projects can be completed in 2-3 days, while complex ones may take weeks or even months.

Let’s understand the process of how it all works out exactly, starting with pre-production.

Developing a Creative Brief

The first step in Pre – Production of a television commercial is making a creative brief. In the initial meeting between the client and the video production company, it is essential the company understands the client’s advertising goals.

After gathering subject matter, the agency writes a creative brief that includes objectives, messages, and target audience.

When working on the brief, it’s essential to consider brand guidelines, budget, and timing. Video production companies also need to focus on formatting and considering platforms on which content is to be viewed and how long it should be.

Mapping Out Concepts

After designing the initial creative brief, it’s time to develop ideas and creative concepts to produce effective Television commercials. Mapping out the idea is the most crucial step towards completion. The best way is to consider all possible approaches, including dramatic, comedic, ‘straight-forward’, etc.

There are a million commercials out there already. Your concept for a 30-second commercial needs to be out of the box, and ‘brand appropriate’ if it is to inspire your customer.

Disrupt Expectations:

Your audience’s attention span can be quite limited, so it’s hard to get noticed unless you disrupt expectations a bit. Among the most effective ways to do so is to feature some contrast with a sudden pivot.

Focus on Initial Seconds:

The first 3-5 seconds are crucial, so make sure you can immediately command your audience’s attention.

Building the Brand:

Your ad needs to focus on building brand awareness. So, when creating the concept, make sure you really stand apart and create an original brand statement while getting the product’s message across.

Targeting Audience:

This era requires you to focus on a specific audience. When creating the concept, keep in mind that your ad needs to concentrate on a particular business aspect for a specific audience.

Writing a Great Script

Once the concept is finalized, it’s time to write THE SCRIPT. While working on the final draft, it’s crucial to maintain continuous communication between the client and the writers. Keeping clients involved in the writing ensures that they get exactly what they are looking for. Writing is truly the backbone to ANY good production.

As a scriptwriter, you need to make sure that every single second is utilized to get the required message across in a carefully crafted, concise, and effective manner. Within this limited period, you must ensure that the ad embodies the client’s company’s core values while providing adequate material for the viewer to make an informed decision about the product or service in question.

Typically, a script sees 3-10 revisions before it’s finalized. The trick here is to focus on audience, vision, and execution. Scriptwriters need to ensure that the final draft is not only informative but also memorable.


Before jumping into the production phase, depending on the creative nature of the spot, it may be beneficial to develop storyboards. Storyboarding a television advertisement includes featuring character movement, camera placement, type of shot, voiceover, and point of view. Here, you can use arrow points to show which way a character is walking or how a camera is being angled.

Many agencies skip this step due to the cost and time involved. BUT storyboards can give you and your client an excellent visual representation of how the commercial will unfold, avoiding any costly ‘surprises’ on set or in post-production. Storyboarding also helps assure the directors that the vision is working perfectly on screen. What’s more: it actually allows for cost-effective critical changes before production takes place. Effective storyboarding ensures that all parties are on the same page.

Time for Production

Lights. Camera. Action!

Once the script has been approved and storyboarding is in place, it’s time for production. The most important Editing for Length of a Television Advertisement decision to be made here is who will bring life to the script, i.e., the director. An ideal director will have an artistic eye for color and composition and a good ear for music, special effects, and audio. Video production companies need to make this decision very carefully as much of the production quality depends on the director they choose.

When video agencies enter the production phase, they also must make some crucial choices about the background music, location, food, styling, wardrobe, etc. Casting is also an essential factor in this regard. Companies have to take into consideration who are the right actors best equipped for the roles in the commercial, if any.

The production phase requires us to focus on preparing the props, studio equipment, lighting, and actor’s makeover and blocking (movements). Additionally, we want to ensure that actors have memorized their lines, equipment is working perfectly, and the crew is ready.


Time for shooting!

On average, it takes 1 day to shoot 5 pages of script, i.e., 5 minutes of film captured in the raw form. The actual shoot can last one day, one week, or even a month – depending on the elements involved. For the shooting phase, the video production company needs to place focus on the crew, which has to do a lot with the budget.

On social media, shooting is often seen as the glamorous side of advertisement – but that’s not really the case. The shooting phase, while fun, is an extremely deliberative process. A great deal of time is invested in adjusting the frame while directors try and perfect the ad’s look and feel as it was envisioned.

Working on Post – Production

After the long, hectic journey, the footage acquisition is complete. Now it’s time to compile the footage via loads of video editing, cuts, overlays, etc.  Post-production involves cutting frames together, color grading shots, and bringing saturation, color, detail to one point, ensuring all audio is working together seamlessly, and adding visual effects and audio design. This phase ensures that the final ad has the perfect stylized effect that you require.

Post-production is all about editing – and that is the most crucial part of all. It’s where we bring the whole concept to life. Agencies want to ensure that they produce a product of maximum production value. It’s all about trimming, special effects, loads of audio overlays, and overall ad appeal.

Wrap Up

Producing TV commercials is a stressful job that requires detailed planning. The production time depends entirely on the scale of the project. It could take you anywhere between 6 days to 6 months, accordingly.

TV commercial production is an art. It’s not something that can be done well without extensive knowledge and a talented team. If you need to advertise your product ideally, it’s time to ask the professionals.

So. ask yourself: do you want a commercial that can boost your marketing and branding potential? If so, Braun Film & Video Inc can help visualize your dream. Braun Film offers complete production services from script to screen. We take pride in bringing you big ideas – the ones that will get you noticed, the ones that will change the behavior of millions of people. What are you waiting for? Contact us right away to help with your advertising needs!

By | April 19th, 2021|TV Commercials|0 Comments