Thursday, April 29, 2010

TV ads now 95% off!

Have you noticed more TV commercials on air seem to come from overseas?

I wondered how many spots originated offshore. So a while back I did a little high tech research. Watching TV and counting with my fingers, I was able to come up with a magic number, for the FMCG sector anyway.

Over a few weeks, in every ad break, I’d pop up one finger on my left hand for Australian made and one on my right hand for overseas made. When I wasn’t sure, which wasn’t often, no finger went up.

When my family finally got sick of this habit and stopped me I found that just over 50% of all FMCG ads on Australian TV had been created overseas!

That was way higher than I expected but it makes sense really. The cost saving to clients is enormous. Changing the voice over and putting a new pack shot at the end could save a marketer over 95% of the cost of shooting the whole spot here. Even re-shooting new scenes to ‘Aussie’ the ad up a bit might bring the saving to 90%. It’s hard to argue with savings like that.

So this surprising percentage might suggest a change in the way creative agencies do things.

Unfortunately not. My marketer mates tell me briefing a TV adaptation is a lonely experience. No one in the agency really wants to know. Usually a junior producer, with zero creative help, will begrudgingly accept the job.

When the adapted million Euro ad makes it to our screens the lack of agency care is often obvious.

We creatives would all love the open brief, the blank cheque and the clean sheet of paper to show our genius. But being creative isn’t always about turning the world on its head. It can also be about answering a client’s problem in an elegant and cost effective way.

In fact I put my ‘money where my mouth is’ and wrote a book about it. The TVC Renovation Manual is written with marketers in mind. It’s a guide to adapting overseas TVCs for the best results and the best price.

If you’d like a copy call me on (02) 9929 0588 and I’ll drop one off absolutely free.

If you have a creative advertising problem call Tony Richardson on (02) 9929 0588 or visit Tony Richardson Advertising or

You are welcome to reprint any AdNotes article on your website and in your e-newsletters for FREE. All I ask is that you attribute me, Tony Richardson and include a link to


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