Do I Need A TV Advertising Agency or Can I Use A Freelancer?

21st March 2022
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What Is A TVC?

A television advert, also referred to as a TV commercial or TVC is usually a 20, 30, 60 or 90 second video that a company has paid to produce, usually through either a team of freelancers or a successful TV production agency such as Space City. The video will promote the brands product or service through either DRTV, BRTV or brand advertising techniques.

What Is A TV Advertising Agency/Production Company?

An Advertising agency/production company unlike a freelancer will ultimately be across your entire advertising campaign from the moment they are briefed to the moment your advert goes live on UK TV and beyond. At Space City we come up with your creative concept bearing in mind your call-to-action. We take care of all of the advert organisation and post production editing, clearance and transmission to broadcast and other platforms if applicable. For more information click here.

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What Is a Freelancer?

In this respect, a freelancer is an independent body that will ‘hopefully’ have some experience either working for similar companies to yours, or at least have experience in producing the content you want to create. They are solely responsible for getting their own clients, delivering client projects, and getting repeat business. The roles of a freelancer are endless, but in this context could include a script writer, producer, videographer, editor, marketing consultant, or strategist.

Freelancers typically focus on one area of TV advertising production, for example editing, and are therefore are unlikely to be able to take on your full TV advertising campaign. This means that if you are wanting to produce a TV advertising campaign with options to expand the project onto different platforms, i.e. radio, online, social print etc. Then you it is much more time efficient and cost effective to use a successful TV commercial company: Space City.

How to avoid employing a ‘Dodgy’ Freelancer?

Top Tip: If you want to use a freelancer over a TV advertising company, there are a few ways you can avoid employing a ‘dodgy’ one.

1. Always ask for a showreel with specifics about what areas of the production they worked on.
2. Always get a contract signed! Unlike trusted LTD TV commercial companies such as Space City, freelancers have more loopholes when it comes to liability regarding service and deliverables.

Of course not all freelancers are like this, but by asking for the above, you reduce the risk of disappointment and loss of budget.

Do I need a TV production Agency? Can I just use a Freelancer?

The age old argument, TV Production Agency VS Freelancer? Well this entirely depends on what stage of the TV production process you are in, and what freelancer you would therefore need to hire to complete the work.

At Space City because we are an in-house team of specialists for the entire TV advertising process, our turnaround time for productions is quicker than most freelancers, (considering they’re usually a one man band).

At Space, a typical fully produced advertising campaign equipped with cutdowns, shoot photography and specially composed music would take 6-9 weeks. This timeframe is calculated from the moment we take your brief, to the moment your advert goes live on UK TV.

This speedy schedule also gets reduced further when clients want an animated TV advert, a purely stock footage TV advert, or they have live-action video assets already and just need us for post production. If this is the case you’ll be pleasantly surprised that our rate is very competitive when compared with video freelancers offering the same deliverables. This is because all of our post production equipment is in-house, so we can pass on those cost savings back to you.

In our 30+ years of advertising at Space City over 70% of our clients return to us for repeat business. Several of which tell us that they would not go back to using a freelancer for an entire TV commercial production after having worked with us, such a successful TV advertising production company.

When Should I use an advertising agency or Freelancer?

At Space city we understand that there are pros and cons between using either a TV advertising company or a freelancer, so we decided to note a few down.

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Space City


  • Skills – With over 30 years of experience producing TV adverts for different market sectors (showreel) as well as different company types, challenger brands,  start-ups, first-time TV advertisers etc.
  • Specialists in different platforms – We are specialists in video advertising integration and optimisation when producing multi-platform campaigns. This includes Commercial VersioningRadio advertising, Online/Social Media content, Cinema AdvertisingSponsorship Bumpers, producing bespoke Music Composition,  On-Set Stills, Studio/BTS Photography, and Creative Idea Generation & Scripting.
  • Deadlines – Because of our experience, facilities and team of experts in all areas of TV production, we are able to religiously stick to our schedules detailed during the pitching stage of production. This means that your campaign always deliver your TV advertising campaign on time from our side.
  • Quality Of Work – Because of the above point the standard of work the freelancer will produce is likely to be compromised by wearing themselves too thin so to speak, and taking on every profession that would otherwise be completed with ease under one successful TV commercial production agency.
  • Upfront Cost Breakdown – We provide detailed cost breakdowns for all aspects of production during the pitching stage. Once this has been signed off, your costs will not fluctuate.
  • Creativity – The Creative Ideas/scripts proposed by a freelancer will be limited, considering they’re from only one perspective rather than from multiple creative departments bouncing ideas off of one another like we do at Space City.


  • Singular Costs – If you want to hire Space City for only one aspect of your production, for example organising a casting, it is likely a freelancer will be more cost effective.


Some examples of relevant freelancers would be Creative, Script Writer, Casting Director, Producer, Editor, Transmission Expert


  • Singular Costs – If being employed for only a small section of the TV Campaign production, for example organising the casting. They are likely to charge slightly less than a TV Production Company would, due to no overheads.


  • Skills – It is unlikely you will find a freelancer that can take care of all areas of your production. However let’s say that you have, a few issues are:
  • Deadlines – The job turnaround time will be longer than an Advertising Agency, considering one individual has to be an expert in multiple areas, and organise and deliver a full TV advertising campaign alone.
  • Quality Of Work – Because of the above point the standard of work the freelancer will be putting out is likely to be compromised by wearing themselves too thin so to speak, and taking on every profession that would come under one successful TV commercial production agency.
  • Hidden Charges – It is likely the freelancer will charge for each role they are producing work for, and considering you are employing them to run the entire campaign, there will be multiple professions involved so be ready to reward them handsomely.
  • Lack Of Creativity – The Creative Ideas/scripts proposed by a freelancer will be limited, considering they’re from only one perspective rather than from multiple creative departments bouncing ideas off of one another

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What Is Successful TV Advertising?

What makes a successful TV commercial is how well the TVC’s creative (script, narrative and message) has promoted the product or service. This has a knock on effect when targeting relevant demographics, and converting audience interest into sales. Therefore the decision of whether to use a TV commercials agency or a freelancer is up to you. Considering you know your brand the best and have the best understanding for your budget, timeframe and advertising intentions.

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