The Cost of TV Advertising with ITV

TV remains at the heart of popular culture, and is the only media that can truly unite the nation. Through entertainment, education and news, TV is the perfect platform to tell your brand’s story. Reaching practically everyone, every week, TV gets you noticed. 

TV is not just for big businesses: in 2022, 580 of advertisers on linear ITV spent less than £50k, 247 less than £10k and 131 less than £5k.


Benefits of Advertising on ITV

We're the only broadcaster to give advertisers the power to target consumers on a national, macro, regional, and micro-regional level.

ITV also has its own Creative Production team, offering a full creative production service from concept to delivery experienced in overcoming barriers for New to TV brands. 

35 million ITV has over 35 million registered users on ITVX

15 regions We can help advertisers target 15 different regions

Over 10,000 Over 10,000 audience targeting options to choose from

66% 66% of ITVX viewing is on the biggest screen in the home

90% ITV accounts for more than 90% of commercial programmes which attract more than 3 million viewers

69% We reach 69% of housepersons each week - we’re stitched into the nation’s DNA

6 Factors that can affect the cost of a TV advert

For most businesses, the cost of advertising is a very prominent consideration, and this is no different when it comes to TV. There are many factors that can affect the cost of a TV advert. Here are 6 factors that can influence the cost of TV advertising.

  1. Audience
    Different trading audiences have different Station Average Price (SAP) attached to them. Supply and demand influences these prices depending on how much TV they watch and how desirable to advertisers they are.  

  2. Commercial length
    Different lengths of adverts have different price loadings attached to them. 30” adverts are the base we work from, so have a cost loading of 1.00.  Any adverts longer than 30” will pay a loading proportionate to the extra time on screen e.g. 60” has a price loading of 2.00 as it is twice as long as a 30”.

  3. Demand for Slot 
    The shows on TV can impact both supply and demand. Popular programming such as live sport will draw in both viewers and advertisers, impacting both supply and demand. The programming on non-commercial channels can also impact supply, as it can migrate viewers away from commercial viewing.

  4. Frequency
    The more the advert is played, the more the cost will increase.

  5. Time of year, week or day
    The cheapest month to advertise in is January: there is little advertising spend in the market and audiences spend more time at home due to the weather and having overspent at Christmas. Conversely, despite the high supply, September to November are the most expensive months to advertise as the increased pre-Christmas advertising demand outstrips the effect of the increased viewing.

  6. National vs Local TV Advertisements
    Different regions of the UK have different SAPs dependant on the supply and demand within that individual region. For example, London is the most expensive region to advertise in - this is because of the low supply (due to longer commutes, longer working hours, etc.) and high demand (due to how attractive the audience is to advertisers).

The Value of TV Advertising

Advertiser demand for linear TV advertising has remained relatively stable over the last decade. In 2010, there was £4.1bn invested in linear TV advertising in the UK. In 2021, there was £4.3bn. The most important context in which to consider the cost of TV advertising is its relative value. And here there is hopefully some reassurance for advertisers. Based on the average cost per 30 seconds, TV is still very good value compared to other forms of video. TV is almost half the price of YouTube and 18 times cheaper than the average cost for other online video like Facebook and TikTok. And that’s before you factor in TV’s high-quality environment, its big screen viewing, its high view-through rates, the content that advertising on TV rubs shoulders with…

Regional Advertising with ITV

As the cost of living crisis begins to unfold and businesses across categories are supporting customers, ITV's 15 regions can help you de-risk your advertising strategy by following your audience and mirroring your operational return to 'normal'. So, superserve your customers by...


  • Tailoring your creative with a relevant regional message or regional accent

  • Upweighting regions where your stores are open

  • Adding new regions week-by-week 

  • Adding addressable targeting capabilities on ITVX to reach lighter TV viewers and thus increase your campaign reach

  • Plug in your business results with our regional planning capabilities 

  • Test and learn with our ITV AdLabs geo-testing product, supporting brands scaling up using regionality

  • Cut costs and risk with regional advertising

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Effective TV Advertising

ITV has partnered with System1 to help advertisers make the most effective ads possible to get the most out of their budget. System1 Ad Testing predicts short-term and long-term potential across media and category. It’s designed to work at any stage from idea to finished film, and you can tailor the system to your needs, from bulk testing of multiple ads to deep guidance on individual work.

Emotional advertising leads to long-term brand growth, so System 1 tests emotional response at scale to predict the potential of your ads.

  • Creative campaigns increase market share. 'Creative' campaigns (i.e. ones which appeared in the Gunn report database) are 12 times more efficient at increasing a brand's market share.

  • TV is at the heart of creative effectiveness - the vast majority of Gunn Report Creative Award scores (77%) are for TV commercials.

  • The more creatively awarded a campaign, the more efficient it becomes. Campaigns picking up five or more major creative awards were around three times as efficient as campaigns picking up one to four.

  • If you have cracking creative, invest as much as you can in supporting it. In ‘Advertising Effectiveness: the long and short of it’, Binet and Field found that highly creative advertising is the most effective (although, crucially, even the best creative work will fail if it does not have sufficient scale and is not evaluated over the longer term).

Ready to see your brand grow?

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