How to create your first TV advert on Sky.
Sky has launched an innovative way for small businesses to get their adverts played to the perfect demographic watching their on-demand TV channels called Ad Smart.
For years, many small to medium-sized businesses may have thought that TV advertising has been out of their reach due to its mass appeal and use by major brands with big budgets controlled by the big London Advertising Agencies. AdSmart is turning that thinking on its head, making TV relevant and extremely affordable for businesses across the UK.
AdSmart from Sky - Understanding the Platform
AdSmart allows audiences to be bought by postcode, demographic, and Experian data. It works in a highly targeted way and produces segmented households. At present, there are currently over 90 mosaic profiles available to advertisers, including household income or lifestyle. There are also 32 set regional and metropolitan areas to provide a local TV advertising framework.
An advertiser’s own data can also be used to create custom segmentation for even greater specificity. With this level of targeting, it allows businesses of all sizes to target sometimes hard-to-reach audiences on as little as £3k. For example, if you are in the mid-30s, an unmarried affluent man, you may expect to see ads for premium tech brands, or perhaps dating sites, but not holiday packages for families with young children.
AdSmart works by addressing your targeted audience no matter which Sky channel they are watching and even allows for different audiences watching the same show to see different adverts.
This opens up this exciting possibility of high-impact TV Advertising not only at a disruptive price for small local businesses but delivered in a way that means Advertisers only pay when their advert is seen by the target viewers.
This type of advertising can allow for an extremely localised campaign and you can set up multiple localities to provide national coverage. The drill-down can be to a specific region, local authority, and even a pinpoint mile radius of a postcode. It has the capacity to enable advertisers to streamline their reach specifically to show viewers adverts for businesses located in their local areas. For example, a local car dealership or restaurant.
It is important to note Sky AdSmart has a 75% viewability threshold.
You can find out more about the service here “How AdSmart Works”
There are two parts to pricing a campaign, Sky AdSmart and then the TVNF production costs.
How AdSmart from Sky Charges:
AdSmart from Sky is based on actual viewing per 1,000 views and enables smaller advertisers to get started with a low minimum campaign price point starting at a little as £3,000. The service also ensures a most effective reach with
- No skip charges – AdSmart does not charge if your ad has been fast-forwarded.
- High viewability – 75% of your ad must be watched until it is registered as an impression.
For pricing a SkyAdSmart campaign we will Sky AdSmart directly for a free consultation.
Once Sky AdSmart has put a campaign estimate together we can add in production costs TVNF
TVNF Production Budgets:
TVNF will act as both an agency, providing one-stop project management, production, and liaison with Sky AdSmart and third parties involved in distribution and vetting content.
. Again we would do this by free consultation. The production length is regulated to 30 seconds and TVNF can provide a one-stop service managing your project through all the different stages such as creative, scriptwriting, and Clearcast approval. The rest of the document outlines all of these steps, but for budgetary purposes expect a production with actors to cost between £10K to £20K and the turnaround time to be 3-4 months from idea to the actual broadcast.
We can also provide 2D and 3D animation which can shorten the production cycle by 4 to 6 weeks.
Expect a budget of £5K to £7K for 2D character animations and £7K to £12K for 3D character animations.
FAQs - Here is a link to Sky AdSmart Frequently Asked Questions.
STEP 1: Get a FREE Sky AdSmart marketing plan created
Use the link above and engage directly with your local Sky AdSmart Sales Manager.
They’ll give you all the initial advice you’ll need on rates and an affordable plan to capture the best demographics.
STEP 2: Initial Brief
You then need to get a 30-second TV advert created and that’s where we come in.
We start with an initial free of charge consultation about the audience, business objectives for the advertising campaign, and budget, as well as build a proper understanding of your business and how it likes to engage with a new customer.
At this stage, we would advise clients to keep an open mind and not be too prescriptive about what type of advert will work best.
There are 100s of styles and ways to create TV adverts and lots of considerations, for example, branding, use of different types of animation, actors, comedy scriptwriting, 3D model character animation, advanced special effects, voiceovers, legal considerations.
At this point, we will determine whether this is a project we can support – or not. If not we’ll try to find someone who can help.
If yes then we move to Step #3.
STEP 3: Treatment Plan Workshop
Once we’re happy we can help we’ll run a treatment plan workshop.
This workshop should involve all your key stakeholders, e.g. CEO, Head of Marketing, Product Manager, gathering detailed information and brainstorming ideas. This exercise works out all the essential ingredients you must have in your TV Advert and explores different styles available.
The deliverables of a TVNF workshop will agree on what must be in the story for the advert, together with agreement on the logical flow for the narrative and the type of concept for production, e.g. on-location shoot with actors? Or are we going to create powerful Sci-Fi animation? What kind of narrative needs to be created?
This normally takes just a couple of hours and it’s essential all key stakeholders are involved and sign off on the final conclusions of the Treatment Plan workshop.
STEP 4: Narrative & Story Board
Our scriptwriters use the output of the Treatment Plan Workshop to create one or more versions of the narrative. This includes ideas and options for visuals.
Once a narrative is agreed on. The final stage of the pre-production creative process is to match the narrative with the best combination of visual content, styling, and effects to be created either by filming or animation. We will produce mockups of the scenes that bring the narrative to life and get this approved by all stakeholders.
STEP 5: Initial Clearcast Approval of Scripts
All TV adverts are regulated and there’s a national advertising compliance service for any adverts that are broadcasted called Clearcast that vets and approves any advert.
Every year, they see about 29,000 advert scripts and consider more than 62,540 ads.
The sort of things that an advert has to comply with include overlays of compliance warning text, (known as ‘Supers’), images and wording that cause harm or offense, use of flashing images, claims of an advanced scientific or technical nature, misleading adverts, discrimination and much more.
If it’s your first time using TV adverts then head to the Clearcast Knowledge Base to get an idea of what standards and rules your advertisement have to adhere to.
All adverts must be cleared by Clearcast, and this takes about 2 weeks and is a process that we will project manage for you.
It’s also best to do this in two phases starting at the pre-production stage (to ensure that what’s being filmed or created has the best chance of compliance and avoid costly re-shoots)
STEP 6: Production
Once an adverts script and content have gained initial Clearcast approval we can safely proceed to production.
We convert the storyboard into either a filming assignment, animation, or a combination of the two.
For animation, their characters and scenes are put into final graphic designs and approved then animated.
For filming, a shot list based on the storyboard is compiled, and a call plan is created which might involve booking actors, hiring locations, and a risk assessment.
Step 7: Post-Production
This stage takes what’s been created and produced drafts and edits. Animations are normally approved scene by scene, eventually building up to the final edit. Filming goes through careful editing, grading, and addition of motion graphics. There is some leeway to add visual and audio effects. We will also need to add stock images and music media licenses for TV use. We can usually test these with watermarked versions before you commit to paying for a license. With TV adverts, even when all your stakeholders have approved we have to submit your advert to Clearcast and may need to make further changes.
Step 8: Clearcast Approval of Rough Cut and Final Version
Following Post-production Clearcast will consider either rough-cut or finalized ads alongside a script. At this point they will check your ad for flashing images and regular patterns (to ensure it won’t cause seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy) and check that your ad’s ‘Supers’ (the super-imposed legal text) are the right height, is being held on screen for long enough, and are legible. If they approved a pre-production script this will speed up the clearance process. The ad is then watched in a daily viewing meeting to check Clearcast is satisfied with the ad’s overall compliance with the Codes. It is then either approved or rejected. If it is approved, they update a database called CopyCentral (with possible restrictions, e.g. not to be shown around children’s programming) and CopyCentral then sends whoever submitted the ad an auto-email letting them know that final action has been applied to the submission. The broadcasters will also be able to see if the ad has been approved. If it is rejected, they will explain why, and the necessary alterations to your produced ad and resubmit it to us.
Step 9: Copy Instructions and Delivery
The final stage is where we’ll send your advert copy instruction to your Sky contact with the dates required for broadcast.
The actual advert is sent by us to one of two providers of digital distribution Peach or AdStream and we will ensure adverts adhere to your chosen provider's technical specifications:
That’s all that’s needed and though there are more steps required to get your advert to air than for unregulated non-broadcast video TVNF will shoulder most of the tasks and responsibilities for getting you safely through each stage so you can take advantage of the benefits of Sky AdSmart!
One-stop support throughout
Our role is to help simplify and guide you through all 9 steps completed with ease, making your life as simple as possible.
Every TVNF client gets access to our web and mobile Customer Support Portal - 'CSP', where they can input, review and approve each and every aspect of their Sky Video Advert. By combining the use of our CSP with tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, 95% of the time we can help you complete any type of project without the need for time-consuming physical meetings.
We're ready right now to work with you and Sky's AdSmart team to help you to reach exactly the right audience your product or services really deserves to reach.