Definition commercial spot

Com­mer­cial spots (or com­mer­cial films) are among the most elab­o­rate vari­eties of indus­trial films. They last between 15 and 90 sec­onds and are pro­duced specif­i­cally for TV and cin­ema. Com­mer­cial spots are nor­mally cre­ated for end-con­sumer, who are the tar­get group of these media. Nowa­days there are more oppor­tu­ni­ties to get in touch also with busi­ness cus­tomers via com­mer­cial spots. Tele­vi­sion sta­tions like N24, Bloomberg TV or n-tv are made for that inter­est­ing tar­get group, so more and more busi­ness to busi­ness (BtoB) spots are pro­duced. The inter­net is also an oppor­tu­nity to com­mu­ni­cate com­mer­cials directly to busi­ness part­ners.

Scene from a commercial: A giant red chair is errected using cranes.

These short films gen­er­ally are both high qual­ity and high priced. Nor­mally adver­tis­ing agen­cies plan those spots and spe­cialised pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies real­ize them. Com­mer­cial spots are shot like movies dig­i­tally in a 2K or 4K for­mat, how­ever, the 1080p-for­mat (also known as Full-HD) is suf­fi­cient even for use in many movie the­aters. With the excep­tion of spots pro­duced for broad­cast in local or spe­cial inter­est pro­grams, a com­mer­cial for TV or cin­ema costs between € 150.000 and € 1.000.000.

Shot from a commercial film for Bosch Rexroth: Man in a metal foundry.

Cheaper pro­duc­tions are pos­si­ble for a bud­get of some € 35.000 and local spots for already € 3.000. Of course it´s not pos­si­ble for those cheap pro­duc­tions to com­pete with the expen­sive pre­mium spots and they always seem infe­rior in com­par­ison.


Cinema advertising — a particular commercial film

Unlike TV-spots, which addresses the sin­gle per­son or small groups sit­ting in front of a TV, audio-visual adver­tis­ing in cin­e­mas has to deal with the large audi­ence in a movie the­ater. The audi­ence can­not evade by sim­ply switch­ing chan­nels and it expects to watch a movie. Thus, a com­mer­cial spot has to meet expec­ta­tions both with respect to con­tent and visual design.

A cin­ema com­mer­cial takes these con­di­tions into account and is more in the style of a movie then a reg­u­lar TV-spot. It is visu­ally more spec­tac­u­lar or more cin­emti­cally-nar­ra­tive and often plays on the speci­fic sit­u­a­tion in the audi­to­rium. A well made movie com­mer­cial turns on the mood for the actual film and will be remem­bered even after the fea­ture.

While this doesn’t con­sti­tute a prob­lem for most cor­po­rate or busi­ness films, it is impor­tant to know that com­mer­cial films shown in cin­e­mas require an age rat­ing resem­bling the fea­ture film!