How Long Does it Take to Make a TV Commercial_

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How Long Does it Take to Make a TV Commercial?

Most TV commercials are somewhere between about 15 seconds to a total of 2 minutes in length, merely a fraction of the total amount of time that it takes to make a TV commercial. While you may only need a minute or two of air-time to share a commercial on TV, determining how long it will take to make a TV commercial is an entirely different task. But, how long does it take to make a TV commercial from start to finish?

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The truth is, television commercials can take several weeks to produce in some cases but most can be produced in 1-3 weeks on average. The time frame for producing an advertisement for television is largely dependent upon the underlying tasks involved in Pre-Production, Shooting, and Post-Production services.


The first phase of producing a commercial is pre-production. This is where the preliminary planning and preparation for the commercial begin to come together. As the commercial is planned, time is spent determining the overall goals, the background details, and various other elements that will later come up on production.

Pre-production for a television commercial will generally take somewhere between a few hours to several days. The amount of time that is spent on pre-production is largely dependent upon the extent of the commercial. The goal is to plan:

  • The script
  • Story
  • Shots
  • Characters
  • Production crew
  • Talent
  • Equipment



The next big step involved in making a television commercial is the shoot. Commercial shooting is typically a one day process unless you’re capturing footage from multiple shoot locations. A TV commercial that is shot in several areas that are not close by to one another will likely take longer to produce than a single location shoot or in-studio film day.

Up to 1 week or more may be spent shooting the television commercial. The most important considerations with planning this production is:

Fast isn’t always friendly! While considering an answer to the question, “how long does it take to make a TV commercial?” and planning your production schedule, make sure that you’re not forfeiting quality in an effort to save time. Sloppy shots, poorly-ordered film shoots, or otherwise haphazard production processes will be almost guaranteed to result in a low quality finished commercial–take your time!



Finally, the last major stage of making a TV commercial is post-production. At this stage editing and splicing the final footage together is a crucial process. The entire post-production editing process for a TV commercial can range between a few hours or days, to a couple of weeks. Most of the time, post-production editing can be completed in 1 week or less.

This process consists of:

  • Editing shots and finalizing the footage.
  • Putting shots in order.
  • Adding music and sounds.
  • Including narration or voice overs.
  • Creating visual effects.
  • Adding in animations.
  • Including any graphics or text overlays.

All in all, as we look to answer the question, “How long does it take to make a TV commercial?” the answer should be something like “between a day and about a month.” Most television commercials can be produced in 3 weeks or less, but certain intricate or complex commercial ideas will take significantly longer to produce and finalize.