Say What Now? #5: How (And Why) To Get Your Ad To TV

The benefits of TV advertising are no longer exclusive to mega brands with deep pockets, argue Peach’s Devon Pearce and Lucy Dowland

05 August 2020

The revolution will be televised. Or at least it should be, if it wants to be truly effective. 

There are countless stats to show how, despite a rapidly-changing world, TV advertising remains the most effective and powerful form of brand communication. For example, ThinkBox’s research shows that adding TV to your comms strategy is likely to make your campaign 40% more effective on average in the UK. That should come as no surprise when, according to the same analysis, TV accounts for 94.6% of video advertising that is actually seen by consumers.

And yet, there’s a lingering idea in our industry that TV ads are the preserve of the mega-brands. Those companies who need, and can afford, to be speaking to as many people as possible on a platform that still carries a sense of prestige and authority. 

But it needn’t be so. In 2020, TV advertising is a viable option for smaller, even local businesses. Thanks to technological innovations such as Sky’s Adsmart, ITV Hub and All4, campaigns can be targeted to a sophisticated degree, sometimes as specific as someone’s post code. As a result, the price of entry for a TV campaign has shrunk down to something that’s affordable to any brand.

Given the financial barrier has been lowered, the only significant obstacle that remains is a lack of understanding for the process. Fortunately, that’s where we at Peach are on-hand to help. We have a team of experts with years of experience in the industry who can help you navigate everything from clearance to ad distribution, helping you avoid any slip-ups, legal issues or last-minute panics. 

To help first time advertisers, we’ve compiled an easy-to-digest guide for how to bring your brand campaign from idea to TV execution. Without further ado, let’s get started. 


Step One - Buy your airtime: In the overwhelming majority of cases, this will come around through a media agency. Companies such as Channel 4, ITV and Sky are popular choices for brands beginning to advertise because of their targeting options, but they are just a few options of many and your media agency can help to advise based on your budget and requirements. 

Step Two - Set up your account with Peach: Get in touch and tell us about your campaign so we can make sure you have all the knowledge up front to make the process run as smoothly as possible and avoid any last minute headaches.

Step Three - Get Clearance: In many territories, it is mandatory to get approval from a clearance body before your ad can go on air. The UK is one of those territories, and that body is Clearcast. That’s why one of our best tips to anyone looking to get their ad out is to get your script cleared before you go and make an ad! Because there's little worse than thinking you have something all ready to go and then having your project stopped in its tracks because it doesn’t fit the regulations.

Step Four - Create your ad: Admittedly easier said than done, this step involves doing whatever it takes to get your concept out of your head and into something which you can see and share on-screen. Whether that comes through a creative agency, production company, or a good friend who can stitch a great video together, just get it onto a screen and export it to Peach’s specifications!

Step Five - (the easy bit): Distribute your ad via Peach: With so many people advertising and producing content, broadcasters can’t possibly receive everything directly. That’s why they require content to go through a distribution process before they receive it. Fortunately, Peach makes this process simple and easy. Simply upload the ad onto our platform, select your destinations and hit send! We’ll even run quality control over your ad. All you need to do is upload the ad to us with the correct specifications for Peach. Different broadcasters require different file types and specs, but we’ll take care of that and re-spec your ad for every destination. 

Finally, Step Six - The Copy Instructions: The copy instructions will link your ad with the airtime that’s been booked for it, and instruct the broadcaster with regards to any special rotation requirements if you have more than one ad running. These need to be sent to the broadcaster via CARIA, or via the submission form in the case of Sky Adsmart.

And there you have it. No matter what kind of business you run, getting your ad to TV has never been easier than it is today, and neither has enjoying all the benefits that come with it. Needless to say, working with Peach will make it even more so. There are other aspects to be conscious of — our sales team can assist with cost issues and tech specs, whereas the Peach People admin team can help out with any administrative considerations.

Above: The six steps of getting your ad from idea to TV.

So, what’s stopping you?


Glossary Of Terms

Admin - Any additional task associated with getting a commercial ready to air, including agreeing artist contracts, music searches and licensing, location/landmark licensing, script transcribing, clearance management, issuing copy rotation instructions etc. Not all of these are mandatory for every commercial in every territory, and may be managed directly or via a 3rd party such as a consultant or Peach’s TV admin team, Peach People.

Airtime - Ad spots sold by broadcasters

BCAP code The UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code) is a set of rules that is applied to all advertisements (including teleshopping, content on self-promotional television channels, television text and interactive TV ads) and programme sponsorship credits on radio and television services licensed by Ofcom.

BVoD ‘Broadcaster Video on Demand’ is online TV through a connected device (phone,  TV or tablet) run by broadcasters. Examples in the UK include Sky Adsmart, ITV Hub and All4. Typically they are places where premium advertising can flourish online, centred around trusted broadcast brands and quality content.

CARIA - The platform on which airtime is traded, and upon which copy rotation instructions are sent. It is run by the Peach Media team, a separate division of the Peach family.

Clearcast - An independent body in the UK who checks and approves all adverts against the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising. Any advert going on TV in the UK must have Clearcast approval before it is able to go on air.

Clock Number - The unique identifier for each piece of creative copy. Also referred to as Spot, Ad, Film, Creative, Copy, Clock, File

Copy Instructions - Copy instructions will link your ad with the airtime that’s been booked for it, and instruct the broadcaster with regards to any special rotation requirements if you have more than one ad running - e.g. top and tailing commercial breaks, or one ad running until 8pm and then switching to another post 8pm. These need to be sent to the broadcaster via CARIA, or via the submission form in the case of Sky Adsmart.

Destination - A ‘hub’ of channels managed by a single broadcaster. In some cases, a destination may encompass a single channel, but in others you may be able to cover several channels with one destination. At Peach, we charge per destination.

Distributor/Distribution Process - Any ad going to air on UK television needs to go through a distribution process as broadcasters don’t want to risk airtime by content being non-compliant. Peach runs a broadcast level quality check on the file, ensuring it meets each specific broadcaster’s requirements, delivers the file directly into each broadcaster’s playout system and reports back to the sender and broadcaster that the file has been delivered. By using a distributor you are also able to deliver your content 2 working days before transmission, as the broadcasters know that the file will be fully broadcast compliant by the time it gets to them.

Media Agency - An independent agency who can buy and negotiate airtime deals for a brand, and plan a campaign based on budget or audience requirements. 

Peach - The world’s leading distributor of commercial content to broadcasters, online platforms, social channels and media agencies.

Peach People - The internal admin team at Peach who you can outsource any admin task related to your commercial to. From clearances to talent management, music licensing to managing your ad deliveries. Contact us for more information.

Quality Control - the process to check that your ad meets each broadcaster’s specific requirements. This is an automated process that will check video and audio levels, layout etc. and generally ensure that your ad is technically of good enough quality to be broadcast.

Rotation Requirements - Some brands use a series of commercials as part of a campaign, all running at the same time. E.g. one ad at the beginning of an ad break, and one at the end. Or one ad that runs before 9pm and another after 9pm. This information needs to be communicated to the broadcaster, otherwise they will not know which ad to run during which airtime.

Spec / Tech spec / Specification - the specification a file needs to meet to be accepted. This varies between broadcasters so the simplest option is to use Peach, so you will only need to create one file, and from that file we can auto-generate the spec each individual broadcaster requires

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