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.
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.
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!