• How Do You Put A TV Commercial on Local TV? Part I

  • Putting a TV Commercial on Local TV

    Part I

    One of the most frequent questions I get is: “How do you put a TV commercial on local TV?”

    It’s really a two-part process: first you have to make a TV commercial, the second part is to buy time on a local TV station or cable TV system.


    To make a commercial you need to shoot it in good enough quality to be accepted by the TV stations and cable TV companies. It needs to be on a professional video format. But beyond that, to be successful, it needs to be compelling enough to get people to remember it when they’re ready to buy whatever you’re selling.

    Most local companies don’t have enough money to pay for a professional crew to show up at their place of business. And even when they do, you need to have a message that resonates with viewers – making an effective TV commercial involves more than just waving a camera around in your place of business. You’ve got :30 seconds to sell the sizzle – to get them interested in your message.

    Most new, local TV advertisers are under the impression that if someone sees their phone number on TV, the viewer will just call them right up. But it rarely works that way. People don’t remember phone numbers very well in 30 seconds, unless the phone number is presented in a memorable way – that means either as a jingle, or repeated over and over, visually, or if the phone number is something easy to remember, like 1-800-thanks-Al.

    That’s why it’s good to have another form of advertising to work with TV. Print is great for someone looking for a phone number. But print doesn’t engage people as TV does.

    TV sells sizzle – it’s music, bright colors, and engaging images. It’s reported that most people remember about three ideas from TV advertising. Given that you’ve only got 30 seconds, you need to determine what 3 ideas those are going to be. At least one should be a compelling reason for customers to choose you as a product or service.

    Local TV stations and cable stations usually produce TV commercials for clients. Sometimes they work very well – other times they don’t because people don’t pay any attention to them. They might look too “local”, or just not be very interesting.

    We have developed our template approach to help small businesses look big. In most of our spots, you can upload your own pictures or just use ours. By using pictures from your own business and dressing them up, you can get an expensive look for your TV commercials.

    Next: Demographics

  • Make a TV Commercial for Your Business: How People Watch TV