Why do car commercials have bigger budgets than air freshener commercials?

Advertising is supposed to be ‘a good story, well told,’ yet why do some tales cost so much more to tell? It is down to sales people: The ad people who sell the budgets to the corporations. Political power within organisations usually goes to those who control the largest budgets, so the big-budget ideas might not be too much of a hard sell to the insecure middle-manager.

It is probably possible to make a perfectly effective car ad for the same money as one for shoe insoles. You’ve got to be in the business of getting the right message across, instead of making sure you and your friends have more toys to play with and each of you has another item for your showreels.

The lesson for those of us creating action-adventure movies on micro-budgets? Make sure you have a good story, well told – and make sure your set pieces come from the emotions of your characters, not from the one-upmanship of ‘my SFX is better than yours.’


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