Everybody has seen an infomercial before if they watch TV. There are big, bright pictures, a voiceover talking about how amazing this product is, and then a phone number repeated multiple times encouraging you to pick up your phone an order now. These are different than regular commercials because instead of just informing you about a product or service, they are trying to get you to pick your phone up right that second and order their product to be shipped to your house. Many of these products can only be bought over the phone or online at their website and there are typically flash deals that will only last for a certain period of time. One of the largest companies that use infomercials is As Seen on TV, whom I’m sure you’ve heard of.
How Much is It?
Infomercials can vary greatly in cost depending on how long you want it to be along with the company you use to produce it. These productions can last anywhere from only 15 seconds to as long as an entire hour program. Even for only a 15 second infomercial, the price starts around $25,000 and goes up from there to as high as $600,000. For high quality actors, a good location, a professional staff, and a decent length commercial, you are looking at probably spending at least $75,000. That is just the fee to create the actual infomercial though; to pay for a slot to run your add, look at spending another $10,000 for it to run on local channels.
When shooting the video, location is key but it can also greatly raise the cost. Depending on the location you choose to shoot, there is a possibility permits will need to be attained due to city regulation. Shooting in a large city will require expensive permits which would be much more expensive than using your friend’s backyard.
Some random off the street or maybe even your best friend would be a fun and affordable option for your lead actor but that doesn’t always mean they’ll do the best job. Finding someone who is persuasive and great at selling your product is important so spending the extra money to find a well-known actor to be the star of the infomercial may be the route to go if you have some extra money in your budget.
Unless you are hoping your infomercial will just become a viral video on YouTube and Facebook, there will be some TV advertising fees on top of the cost to create the commercial. All channels have different policies for pricing on time slots. The largest determinants of how much you will pay depends on the time it is played, length of time it is played for, and popularity of the channel it is being played on. As an average, plan on spending about $5,000/week on a 30 second infomercial.
Ways to Save
A way to avoid some permits and traveling expenses, shooting the infomercial right on set will be much more cost effective than shooting at a specific location. Most production companies will work with you to shoot right in the studio as it’s also more convenient for everybody.
There are hundreds of thousands of different production companies to choose from so make sure to consult with multiple ones before you sign any contracts. They all have different prices, packages, and special offers. Be sure to also ask to see samples and previous works to confirm they are the right company for your needs.