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By Incite Creative

“How much does a video cost?” is the most common question we get. So, we’ve asked video creators to identify a video they like & let us know what they thought it would cost to produce. The only catch: IT’S NOT THEIR VIDEO (so all posts are merely an estimate by each video creator on what they thought a similar video might cost). Enjoy the series!

The Holiday marketing season is one of our favourites, both for the original ways we see brands reinventing themselves for this time of year and also for the heartwarming tone these videos often take.  This UPS video is one we came across and fell in love with for its simplicity and effectiveness.

One of a series, this video delivers the wishes of a young boy who idolizes the local UPS driver – who provides us with the voice over and the narrative for this story.  The relationship between these two is real; I don’t believe they’re actors.  This fact – in addition to making this story authentic – keeps talent costs low.

Produced by Ogilvy and Mather, the concept team for this spot I believe had two writers in addition to the creative directors, putting our pre-production cost estimate at about $10,000 to $15,000 in a timeline of three weeks from pitch to approvals.

Some additional pre production costs include the modified UPS truck which Carson was gifted – and likely his child-sized UPS uniform (I know he owns one, but a new one was most likely used for the video).

In terms of shooting, we estimate this took a couple of days – especially considering the limitations on shooting time with a child Carson’s age – so the background shots and reveal would likely be Day One, and the footage of him delivering his packages could have happened on Day Two.  The handheld, intimate style of shooting makes the look appear to be unrehearsed and authentic, and using the voice of the actual UPS driver ties it all together.  For audio, lighting, and equipment costs we’ll estimate about $8,000 – plus the cost of the crew which we’ll put at $10,000.  Expenses like hair, makeup and craft services are minimal given our talent and small team, so we’ll bring those in at $2,000

In terms of post production, there aren’t any graphics beyond the intro, so for the services of a colourist ($1,500) music source ($2,500), audio editor ($2,000), and of course a video editor ($4,000) the post production costs are estimated at $10,000 depending on how many rounds of editing were required for approval.

That brings the total estimated cost of the spot to between $40-45,000

As always, a determining factor in the cost of a video is the caliber of the production agency putting it together – bearing in mind also that smaller teams find efficiencies that may not be on the radar of the larger houses that don’t have the same cost pressures.  This lovely style of documentary-storytelling can be sampled for application in any number of campaign types, with a minimal crew and solid scriptwriting and editing.  It has almost 4 million views to date.

Incite Creative exists to create content that is compelling, well-produced and affordable. Check out more from them on their Notch Video profile.

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