How to make a great advertising campaign on a shoestring budget

advertising on a shoestring budget

To create an effective advertising campaign, many people think you need a humongous budget to succeed. But even if your company is not a multi-billion pound conglomerate, there is no need to fret. As long as you are creative with your ideas and your budget, you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve with a relatively small investment. Below, we’ve put together some great tips and ideas to help you stretch those pounds.

Develop a great idea, don’t rush its creation

If you can come up with an original, terrific concept for your advert, great! But you know what’s even better? A great idea that has been thought through and developed to the best of its ability. Normally, even with a great idea, a rushed construction will lead to faults and unnecessary expense and imitation. Take time to develop your campaign to stand out from the crowd and allow yourself to nuance the intricate details to get the best out of your budget.

Creative ideas are often cheaper and easier to bring to life than you may think. Creative agencies will invest their time in it to ensure its success; the finest directors will want to add the campaign to their repertoire so they can add it to their showcase, they do have your interests and success at heart. The IPA have proved the correlation between creativity and effectiveness so do make sure that your ad is as good as it can be.

Plan in advance

The TV production is one of the most complicated aspects of advertising campaign’s conception, so it is pivotal to plan all areas of the TV production as far in advance as possible. The process of producing a television advert is much quicker now due to advances in technology, so more time can be spent planning the production. Even if your company ends up spending a bit more time producing the advert due to the extensive planning procedures, you’ll most likely end up saving money by exploring and discovering the most cost effective routes.

Hire smaller, promising creative talent

Rather than going the obvious route of hiring an accomplished, more expensive agency, approach new boutique companies who are keen to develop their portfolio and who may have fewer overheads. Strike up a good deal with a good firm that has your interests at heart and who you’re your message and audience will also provide the reassurance that your advertising campaign is in good hands.

Acquire three quotes or approach one company directly

It’s considered good practice to secure three quotes for your campaign. This not only helps you to get a good idea of how much your campaign should realistically cost as well as allowing you to hear more than one campaign approach. In receiving briefs from at least three different companies, you should exit the process with a very solid idea of how best to approach the campaign. However, you could also directly approach a production company that primarily deals in advert production and design at competitive rates. You will find some agencies demand up front creative concept costs, although this may feel counterproductive, it will ensure you are receiving the best of their talent, they want, and need your campaign to succeed.

Reuse content

Recycling or adapting any content your company may already own can not only be just a cheap endeavour but an extremely creative one. Footage and imagery, especially those that retain a nostalgic element, can help to add an interesting dynamic to your campaign. The majority of adverts will achieve ‘wear out’ with consumers eventually, so reusing old content can prove to be very cost-effective in such a momentary industry. With a new creative slant of course!

A good alternative to reusing content is animation. Certain styles of animation can achieve substantial savings compared to adverts created using live action. On top of that, library footage used creatively may help cut production costs.

To conclude, despite championing the joys production cost cutting, it’s important to remember that the cheapest option is not always the best one. It’s good to save where you can, but that shouldn’t be at the expense of quality. If you can achieve significantly better results with a slight increase in investment, you should put that capital forward.


Secondly, always ensure that your idea is the best it can possibly be. Good ideas can always be stunningly created in a cost effective manner, but the same cannot be said for the inverse; an endless splurge of cash will never make a great advert out of a bad idea.

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