How Much (2)

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By Pudu Productions

“How much does a video cost?” is the most common question we get. So, purchase 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!  

So, no rx how much did that video cost?

This commercial was shot in 2006 and stuck in our minds enough to dig it up for this post. It’s hilarious, effective, and simple to produce. We’re going to estimate the production budget based on what it would cost if it were produced today. Spoiler alert – it’s $26,620.

The highest expense is likely the talent. There are about sixteen extras. You barely notice them, but take them out and the place will feel pretty lonely and sad. We have one lead and two supporting actors. They probably were paid SAG-AFTRA rates and it’s worth it. Her crazed “Wooo!” is gold. There’s also great work done by wardrobe and makeup; hugely important when shooting a character driven piece.

The camera is locked down on a tripod the entire time except the car shots. When you start incorporating camera movement, you need more equipment and thus costs go up. A car rig like the one used in this shoot, however, isn’t going to break the bank. Characters are well lit inside the store and as we head outside we can see that the DP created some sexy afternoon light spilling in through the glass doors. We’re probably looking at a medium lighting/grip package.

They were smart and shot the whole commercial on IKEA’s property. Even the moving car shot is in the parking lot. We’re going to guess that the client collaborated with the production house on minimizing location fees. We love when a client wants to be involved – it creates a great vibe and you’re able to drastically reduce costs. Production design is also partially sourced from IKEA. Shopping bags. Bedroom displays. The car, however, is color-coordinated with the characters’ wardrobe. Maybe the director just happened to own that color car, but it’s unlikely.

With one location and seven different shots, we’d say this video was shot in a single day. Here’s the rough estimate broken down:


  • Lead – $2000
  • Supporting – $2000 x 2
  • Extras – $200 x 16
  • Total = $9200


  • Camera – $1500
  • Lights – $1000
  • Grip – $700
  • Total = $3200


  • Sourced from IKEA

Production Design

  • Wardrobe – $300
  • Props – Sourced from IKEA
  • Car – $400
  • Total = $700


  • Director – $2500
  • DP – $2000
  • AD – $600
  • Location Sound – $500
  • Art Director – $500
  • Gaffer – $450
  • Key Grip – $400
  • 1st AC – $350
  • 2nd AC – $300
  • Grip/Electric – $250 x 2
  • Make-up/Hair – $400
  • Total = $8500

Post Production

  • Editor – $1000
  • Sound Designer – $1000
  • Colorist – $1000
  • Original Score – $1000
  • Total = $4000


  • Craft Services – $600
  • Contingency – 5%
  • Total = $1810

Grand Total = $26,620

Sexy camera moves and jaw-dropping sets are not necessary unless your brand wants to go that direction. Great commercials don’t need to be outrageously expensive. Even with this shoot costs could be reduced by using stock music, non-union actors, etc… our advice is invest in story.


Based in Chicago and Toronto, Pudu Productions is a double edged sword of filmmaking and advertising know-how. You can watch their commercial showreel here.

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