How much does a corporate video cost?
We work with brands to channel their distinctive culture into video content. Every project we work on is different, as no two companies have the same values, vision or goals. This makes our job very exciting, but it does make it hard for us to create a boilerplate price list for potential clients. With that in mind, we’ll do our best to explain all the elements involved in providing a quote for a corporate video.
What to expect
Bold Content is a full-service video agency, which means that we get involved with your project from the concept stage. Whilst we can jump in at the last minute and work to-brief, we believe the best collaborations start when sharing creative ideas.
But, let’s go back for a second. The difference between a video agency and a video production company is an important one and one worth clarifying real quick.
A production company makes work based on a brief. You give them an idea, treatment or storyboard, and they go ahead and make your video based on your specifications. A video agency, however, works with the client to write a brief based on how the video will be used as part of the brand’s communication strategy.
We are a video agency. That’s because we like to work with clients to come up with the concept for your video. We work on the video strategy, pitch creative ideas, write scripts, storyboard, take care of all filming, editing, colour grading and deliver you a video that you can be proud of. We can even help with the distribution via paid advertising online or on TV.
How much does an idea cost?
If you want us to work with you on the creative development of an idea but want to produce the video in-house or with another production company, that’s ok! We believe that the idea itself is the most important part of the video. Think of it like this: a bad idea well executed is still going to make a bad video, but a good idea poorly executed can still be effective.
We’re happy to give you a quote for creative concepts and let you take care of the rest. The cost for an idea can vary depending on whether the project is a straight-forward explainer video for a simple service, or a complex narrative-based commercial.
Our process for coming up with concepts that embody your company values is to get to know your brand and what you stand for, then to look at your competitors and the content they’re creating and think beyond. We delve deeper to get a good understanding of how this video will fit into your marketing strategy and what you want people to do once they’ve watched the video.
Then we assemble our crack team of creative minds which will include writers, directors and marketing professionals to make sure we come up with ideas that make sense for your marketing strategy.
We aim to encompass your brand values in order to make videos that stand out from the crowd.
One of our specialisms as a company is taking complex ideas and telling them in a quick and simple manner. In order to do this we need to get to the core of your product or service, which may involve reading dense technical manuals or reports which are hundreds of pages long. So once we get a full scope of the requirements we will send you an estimate for the time it will take to do the research, get the team together and start creating ideas.
How much does an animation cost?
Some companies do offer a price per minute for animation but we’ve found that approach limits creativity. We prefer listening to clients’ needs then suggesting the right kind of animation to connect with their intended audience.
There are many different styles of animation from hand drawn, to 2D flat design, isometric, character animation and onto 3D. Each style requires a different amount of time and effort and therefore costs can differ greatly.
A helpful hint is that 2D flat design is often a cost effective way of explaining a product or service, that’s why you see so many of these animations to explain complex solutions. And 3D is a more time-consuming and complex way to create animation, so the costs are usually higher. If your competitors are mostly using one particular style, it probably makes sense to do something different. Something that reflects your unique brand. That’s why we don’t offer standardised pricing.
A price per minute for animation often leads to a factory line approach which kills creativity and leads to generic corporate videos.
We advise clients to move away from generic corporate videos in favour of content that will actually help achieve their communication goals.
The average cost of a corporate video
We often get enquiries from companies who don’t know how much budget to allocate to creating a video but they’re calling around to get a sense of how much a video costs. We ask what quotes they’ve already received and we’re not surprised to find there’s a huge difference between the amounts quoted.
Calling around for quotes for video production is unlike calling a plumber or a mechanic where prices will vary based on the hourly rate of the provider but you still end up with roughly the same outcome. When you commission a video you’re asking the provider to make an estimate for the sort of quality of video you need.
If you would like a video to promote your business there are no end of different creative executions. One may cost £3,000 and the other could cost £30,000. It doesn’t mean that the company charging ten times as much is ripping you off, it just means that they’re predicting that a £30k video will be more effective at meeting your marketing goals than a £3k video will be. But oftentimes, you’re the best judge of that. You (the client) have the full picture of your marketing budget and the results you’re hoping to achieve by creating the video.
So what does this tell us about the average price of a corporate video? Well I guess it says that having a large ballpark is sensible when you’re reaching out to ask video providers how they would meet a brief. The £3,000 to £30,000 range is one that I just pulled out of the air, but that is a genuine example that I heard recently from a client who was searching for prices. After some probing, they told us that their actual budget was more in the £10k range which meant that the £3k idea was likely to look cheap and deliver results that would need to be replaced shortly after. The £30k team would probably have made an awesome video which would have stood the test of time and really put that brand on the map. But it wasn’t the right time for them to be investing that much in a video so by asking the right questions we were able to steer them towards a video that would meet their marketing requirements and deliver tangible results without breaking their marketing budget.
So in conclusion, we prefer to get a steer from our clients about what they want to achieve by creating the video and how much they can sensibly invest in order to make the outcome as likely as possible.
We spend time understanding the brands we work with and work hard to get a sense of the value that a successful video will bring to the company. This will be influenced by where the video sits within the marketing funnel. Also where it sits within the priorities of the marketing department and how comfortable they are in allocating marketing spend.
How costs are affected by where the video sits within the classic marketing funnel.
A good rule of thumb is that you want to spend more on the top of funnel videos than the bottom. The reason for this is simple. When a prospect is at the top of the marketing funnel they’re being introduced to your brand for the first time. You want to make a good impression. A high quality video will reflect the trustworthiness of your offering. By the time they’re at the bottom of the funnel they’re familiar with your brand and are often looking for an extra nudge or some social proof to help them make the right decision. This sort of content can be produced inexpensively. Again there’s no one-size fits all pricing but the brands we work with often allocate budgets within the following price brackets.
Top of funnel: Brand videos / Promotional videos: £15,000 – £50,000
Middle of funnel: Explainer videos / Animations / Case study videos / Testimonials: £5,000 – £15,000
Bottom of funnel: Interviews / UGC content edits: £1,500 – £5,000
It’s rare that video agencies will offer day rates or a rate card, and there’s a good reason for this. Because each job is so different they require completely different people to work on them. Let’s take a simple interview video as an example. The shoot consists of a person talking to camera. We’ve had clients come to us and say that they just need a very quick talking head shot to put in an internal newsletter. It doesn’t really matter how it looks, it just needs to be done quickly. For this kind of job we would probably send a single camera person and give it to a junior editor to add basic graphics and it can be completed very cost effectively. However, we’ve also had clients request an interview with their CEO that needs to communicate important information to investors. It will be the flagship piece of content and needs to represent the brand values. It needs to look pristine and high quality. For this sort of job we would suggest a site visit prior to filming to determine the best location. A presenter coach to work with the CEO to get the delivery of the message just right. We would want to control the lighting so may need to black out a room. We might bring in a large lighting setup, multiple cameras, a Director, a sound person, a makeup artist. Special cameras and lenses would be hired in. The crew could be around ten people. Then it would be edited by our lead editor and colour graded to make sure it looks as cinematic as possible. The results are likely to be similar to a high-end Netflix documentary and the budget would be a lot higher than the first example. But essentially the brief is still the same. So if someone asked us what the cost would be for a talking head video, it would vary from around a thousand pounds to tens of thousands of pounds. We really need to dive in and get more information before giving out a cost.
In the interests of trying to be as transparent as possible we’ve put together a price guide to help explain the factors involved when we’re quoting for each of the main roles that you’ll find on a corporate video quote.
Day rates and rate cards are also misleading because the camera person that we would send on a simple talking head interview is likely to be very different to one who is required to film a commercial. We have a large pool of talented freelancers who we can reach out to at a moment’s notice, so if we need someone to shoot a car commercial we have a specialist who has years of experience in that area, but if you want someone to shoot a food commercial, we would reach out to someone with a specialism in a that area. Both have different day rates and those rates are much higher than a generalist camera person.
How pricing works within our industry.
Let’s look at an example of how pricing can differ wildly within our industry. The John Lewis Christmas ad is a national treasure. Each year the brand spend a huge amount on making a cornerstone marketing campaign. It was reported that the 2021 ad (alien comes to earth) cost £800,000 to produce and the 2020 animation cost £1 million pounds. Could the video have been created for half that? Yes, easily. Cut the VFX and production design budgets, have smaller locations, and lose the beautiful lighting. Could it have been created for £50k. Absolutely! Cut the child actors and get the marketing manager’s relatives in. Use a standard terraced house location with natural light. Beg steal and borrow the props, lose the beautiful camera moves and film it on a gimbal. The same brief could have been met for less than one tenth of the budget, but of course the quality would really suffer. It would look like a cheap pastiche of an idea that should have cost a lot more. It would reflect poorly on the brand. Because the execution would be underwhelming it would likely go on a YouTube channel, get a few hundred views and lead to absolutely no marketing benefit for the brand. So the lesson here is to cut cloth accordingly. Concepts need to be tailored to the marketing requirements and the budget available needs to be set by the client so the video agency can deliver concepts that will achieve their marketing goals.
Our MD started his career as a marketing manager so we know just how difficult it is to justify marketing spend, but with the analytics available for digital marketing nowadays it’s a great time to be investing in quality video marketing. Often the medium is the message. The fact that you’re investing in video marketing speaks volumes to your target clients. And the favourable brand impressions can be used when reporting on campaign success.
The value that video can bring needs to be considered when deciding on which mediums to use within a marketing campaign. If a campaign is targeted to bring a 1% uplift in sales, which will result in a million pounds worth of business then a suitable budget needs to be set in order to give the production company a chance to move the needle to the tune of a million pounds.
Standard Video Production Industry Rates
The APA is the trade body for Production companies, animation, VFX, immersive, sound design, music and editing companies making commercials. Their aim is to create the best possible business environment for members to operate in.
One of the services The APA offers is their recommended crew rate card which clearly states the minimum to maximum pay for crew for the day. For example the APA recommended day rate for a Director of photography is between £783 to £1,308 per day. Where this rate card is a benefit to us for initial rough budgeting we have the advantage of not being beholden to the APA and whether it be by using our in-house DOP’s or through the strong relationships we have forged with freelance crew over the years, we can often negotiate crew rates lower than the APA recommendations and pass on substantial budget savings to our clients.
How pricing works within our company
A major part of our business is in budgeting productions. With decades of experience we know how to maximise a client’s budget to make sure as much of their investment as possible ends up on screen. So effective pricing within our company is key to our success.
The concept, idea, treatment or storyboard is the first keystone in building the budget for the production and therefore our pricing. Through communication and clarity with our client, an idea for the finished film starts to take shape. Once this idea is formulated we can begin to reverse engineer the idea and break it down into its individual costing elements, for example, pre-production time, how many shoot days, locations, departments needed, crew, equipment, transport, editing etc. In essence it is calculating the cumulative monetary figure for all the necessary elements to come together seamlessly that results in our end budget figure. This end figure is associated to each specific production so if the idea changes so does the budget.
As no two ideas are exactly the same, experience and looking at the budgets of simpiar past productions can certainly give a useful steer to the end figure, but there is no shortcut and each new production requires its own unique pricing.
The range in which we operate
Since our inception we’ve tried to be as flexible as possible. We started in the days when commercial video was expensive to create, but we wanted to bring the power of video marketing to businesses and charities large and small. Nowadays advancements in technology have made it possible for most businesses to use video to advertise their products and services.
We are more expensive than hiring individual freelancers but we bring a host of advantages over working with freelancers. We organise and manage the whole production for our clients and provide a level of account management that’s not possible for freelancers working alone. We only work with tried and tested freelancers who we know will deliver great results. We are also adept at swapping in or out crew if sickness occurs which individual freelancers cannot do. So our service is more comprehensive than a freelancer, which is reflected in our pricing.
We’re less expensive than working with an agency. When brands work with marketing agencies they are charged a premium for the use of production staff. They often outsource to production companies like us and charge double our budget to the client.
By working with a specialised video agency the client is benefitting from working with true video production experts. People who live and breathe commercial video production. If they have experience in a particular field or genre of video then you’ll be gaining from their experience and getting the best of the best in their sector.
We pride ourselves on our creative ideas which come from decades of working in commercial video production. We have seen the results of successful video campaigns and bring this experience to bear when pitching ideas that are realistic, given the client’s budget and time restrictions.
We work on projects that range from £1,500 for a simple edit or basic animation to £200,000 for high end commercials. We’re experts in promotional videos (e.g. explainers or commercials), interview videos (e.g. case study films or testimonials) and animations (2D and 3D). We also specialise in education videos and films for technology companies.
We’re always open and honest about whether we can help you so please get in touch to discuss your project with one of our producers and we’ll let you know whether we’re a good fit.
The factors that keep the costs of a video down
One of the first questions we are usually asked is how much would it cost to make a video. This is much the same as asking a builder how much it costs to build a house without having architectural plans to quote from. The most effective way to keep the costs of the job down is to spend time at the first point of contact to communicate with us, so we get a clear picture of your wants and needs and a descriptive picture of the end result. At this stage it is very useful if the client can give an indication of the allocated budget so we can manage expectations based on experience. Once a clear picture has been drawn this can be accurately budgeted so that the budget is being allocated to the right departments and a realistic time frame can be allotted to the project in post production.
This process may require a few different budget versions as the idea falls into place, but it is worth it for the end result as we have a clear definition of the project ahead and the associated costs, without having to add in additional padding to the budget for contingency.
In short; ground level communication and collaboration. By getting this first touch point right it leads to a clear vision of the end product which feeds through to the accuracy of the initial quote and therefore through to pre-production.
The elements that push the cost of a video project up
Inefficiency, last minute changes, and lack of a clear goal can push the costs of a project up.
Costs of a shoot rise if we are dealing with the unknown. If we have not had the opportunity to carry out a recce we do not know the environment we are in so would for example have to hire a larger lighting list to cover ourselves for any eventuality. Similarly, if the necessary pre-production work has not been done and a storyboard and shoot schedule are not locked in then we run the real risk of running into overtime of the location while also incurring additional charges for late break for the crew and out of hours equipment pick-up etc. These costs very quickly accumulate and where they may have been incorporated into the budget they are still in many cases a spend which is avoidable if the correct steps have been taken in pre-production.
Time vs quality vs cost
We work hard to determine a client’s budget, timescale and quality requirements before going into production. This is so we can find the sweet spot between the three constraining factors of time cost and quality.
Because we’re passionate about making good films, we always aim to maximise quality within the constraints of our client’s budget and timescale. Over the years we’ve become adept at managing client expectations from the offset because films with high production values don’t happen with low budgets and tight timelines. It’s better to be honest and realistic to avoid any kind of client disappointment when a film is delivered.
Talk to us and we’ll give our advice about how to allocate your video budget to meet your communication goals.