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Commercial production focus: Have budgets for commercials been slashed?

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By The Drum Team | Editorial

February 6, 2012 | 3 min read

From industry-wide belt-tightening to advancing technologies, the dwindling importance of TV and the growth of online, commercial production has changed a lot of late.

In a series of articles asking questions on commercial production, The Drum catches up with low budget TV and digital ad specialists STV Creative, creative audio company Kalua, video guide producers Flixity, TV and radio commercial production specialists The JMS Group and animators Flaunt Productions to take stock of the industry and find out what we can expect to see going forward.Today’s next question is: Have budgets for commercials been slashed? What pinch-points have you noticed?Gav Matthews, MD, KaluaI think TV suffers from this issue more than radio, given the lower costs we incur in radio production. But lower budgets have led to some areas of commercial production being affected. Clients who would usually licence a commercial track for example, are instead looking at bespoke music that can work equally as well for them. We’ve seen this on a national level with some very big players.Jack Garrow, director, Flixity We have noticed a big change here - clients have caught onto the fact that good production doesn't need to cast the earth anymore. New camera and editing technology, new online channels and a lot of young businesses out there are making their impact felt with more and more clients. Good creative production can now be achieved at a fraction of what traditional production companies are still charging.Stephen O’Donnell, head of STV Creative, STVOur budgets haven’t been slashed, in fact in some instances they’ve grown. Our clients are all completely focused on ROI and continue to spend because their advertising is working. STV Creative can provide a specialist service in low budget TV advertising - our proposition is that we make our clients ‘Look Good for Less’ so we’re well placed to offer incredible value in a market where budgets are tight and expectations are high. I’m confident that no one is better at maximising a tight budget and ensuring that as much as possible of the client’s budget goes on screen.Paula Lacerda, executive producer, FlauntJust because something is going 'online' doesn't mean it suddenly costs a quarter of the price if it had been going on TV...On the positive side, we've seen quite a few clients embracing the technological opportunities of the digital landscape and exploring ways of how their campaigns pushed further be it through interactive web experience, social networking or viral distribution.Francesca de Lacey, head of TV, The JMS GroupDefinitely for some clients – particularly the National ones who might run a more simple creative with a hard-sell route and the money pumped into spots instead. The main pinch-point is with the filming, a lot of clients have started sourcing existing footage and the abundance of high-grade stills libraries can make a huge difference to the cost of what can be a highly effective commercial.Sponsored by:

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For creative agencies and direct clients -we act as your audio department, producing award winning radio campaigns for any station in the UK.

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