I'm curious about how much an unknown actor would be paid for a TV commercial. Let's say its one of those commercials for shaving products and the actor is the main face on the screen. Would he get one million dollars? Just curious
maybe not a million, but he'd get a lot, OP.
He'd be asked to sign a non-compete deal so he wouldn't go off and do another shaving commercial.
I was in the background of a commercial once; it shot from like 5 in the morning till sunset (7 pm ish) and I made, I think, 800 bucks, which was fantastic.
Yes, he would get ONE MILLION DOLLARS!
How much do you think "Flo" has earned so far for her Progressive Car Insurance spots?
I wonder about the affects this gig will have on her subsequent acting and stand-up career.
If she keeps it up I think she'll be like Madge or Mr. Whipple -- forever associated with her advertising work.
Flo is wearing heavy make-up and a mid 60's hairstyle. My husband and I have wondered if she has a sock rolled up in her hair to make it jutt upward so much in back or if the hair is teased. But, of course, it is probably a wig. She can change to a more contemporary look and be a totally different person.
By the way, what individuals in commercials ever went on to a great acting career? Is that even remotely possible?
Tom Cruise did a household cleanser commercial.
Apparently "Flo" has done a lot of acting. She was Marge in 5 episodes of Mad Men. Who knew?
It can be tough to break the mold if you have a recurring character in a series of commercials. Jan Miner who played Madge the manicurist in a long running series for Palmolive was a gifted stage actress but her only high profile role outside the commercials was the movie Lenny.
DL fave Travolta did a couple commercials early in his career, FYI.
It depends on what type of spot the ad is for. If it's a national spot that repeats and continues (like the Flo ads where she films multiple ads) that could be six figure for an unknown or a million dollar contract for a name actor/actress; up to 3 million from what I've seen. The million(s) covers a set number of ads.
If its national but a one-off ad with no continuation that's usually five to six figures for the main actor/actress (anywhere from 15-100k) depends on how well known the person is.
regional and local spots are well paying if you can book multiple ads, but I've never seen one pay the leads more than 5k for one-offs and 30-80k for multiples/contract. That's why commercial actors get excited about booking national spots.
You get almost nothing for shooting the commercial but you make a KILLING in residuals if it runs a lot.
An actual working actor here --
Commercials: yes, you earn little to film the commercial. Scale usually. Which is a few hundred dollars. I can never remember, to be honest. It's an inconsequential amount.
The real money comes when the ad is aired. You're paid per airing. Different amounts for different types of airings: broadcast, cable, internet.
The best is a national ad that is aired on broadcast channels. You can earn a lot. When I was first starting out, people could earn $50-$60 K on a single national ad. Now it's more like $20-$40 K for a national.
The best spots are those that run over several cycles (a cycle is 3 months). Fast food ads get burned out fast -- lots of airings in a very short amount of time. A commercial for razor blades can hang around for a year or so. I've done commercials that last as long as 3 years. I've heard of commercials running longer than that, but it's rare.
Earning a million dollars on a single ad? Not possible unless you're a celebrity.
And lots of actors start out doing ads. There's very little stigma at all. Unless you're very recognizable from a well-known ad -- like Progressive's 'Flo' or the 'Can You Hear Me Now' guy. I'm doubtful they'll have much of a career after their campaigns are over.
This probably doesn't help the OP much, but in Britain you get two fees, the shooting fee which is a few hundred (plus sometimes a travel fee if it's shooting abroad, and you get paid a small fee if you need to attend a costume fitting before shooting), then
residuals which can be huge. Like, pay off your mortgage huge. But in Britain you almost never get residuals anymore. Instead companies do "buyout" where they pay the actor a lump sum (generally several thousand pounds) which buys the rights to their performance, either in perpetuity or for a set period. It's still a lot of money, but the switch from residuals to buyout is considered very unpopular in the industry because it's a fraction of what you would get under the old system. Also actors like to whine a lot.
If you're curious about specifics, these are the commercials currently being cast in the UK:
Guinness: Fee £250 per day, wardrobe fitting £125, travel £125 per day. Buyout-£11,000 for 1 year within Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania and Sub Saharan Africa.
Gold (one of those sell your gold for cash companies): Fee £200/buyout £2000
Very: Fee £300 per day/buyout £14,000
Game: Fee £250/buyout £1500
Heinz Veg Cups: Fee £250/buyout £4000 (Buyout fee to cover: 4 x week TV burst usage on all forms of broadcast television in UK/Eire. 12 months Internet, all forms of PR, Road shows & Trade events. 1 Years use of stills taken from the film/ taken on set for the following: PR (Internal and external) Instore (POS) OnlineRetailer instore
Retailer publications. Option for additional 4 x week TV use at £2k buyout Option for additional 3 months TV use at £4k buyout)
KFC: Fee £300, wardrobe fitting £50, rehearsals £50 per day/buyout £2500 for 12 months UK-usage only.
Prada: Fee €750 for 5 days, wardrobe fitting €100, travel and rehearsal fees €250 per day. Worldwide Buyout across all Media for 1 year is €25,000.
Snickers: Fee £300 per day/buyout for one year £12,000, if usage is extended buyout for second year is £5000. (The casting brief also says, "Commercial stars Joan Collins and Joan Rivers and talent will almost certainly get to meet Joan Collins!" LOL)
Actimal: Fee £350 per day, wardrobe fitting £75, travel days £175/buyout Italian TV £1750 and Internet usage £700 for one year.
Sega: Fee £300 per day/buyout £5000 for 6 months all usage in Europe and Australia and NZ
Guinness: Fee £250/buyout £11,000
Gold (one of those sell your gold for cash companies): Fee £200/buyout £2000
Very: Fee £300/buyout £14,000
Game: Fee £250/buyout £1500
Heinz Veg Cups: Fee £250/buyout £4000
KFC: Fee £300/buyout £2500
Prada: Fee €750 for 5 days/buyout €25,000
Snickers: Fee £300/buyout £12,000 (the casting brief also says, "Commercial stars Joan Collins and Joan Rivers and talent will almost certainly get to meet Joan Collins!" LOL)
Actimal: Fee £350/buyout £2000
Sega: Fee £300/buyout £5000
Among actors who started out in commercials:
Tobey Maguire (as a child)
Jodie Foster (as a child)
Brooke Shields (although she was somewhat known as a child actress in movies like "Pretty Baby" and "Blue Lagoon" it was her Calvins ads which made her nationally known sensation)
Icons like the Verizon "Can you hear me now" guy and the woman who plays Flo are set for life. The gecko just bought a Caribbean island. True, it has no electricity and is covered in guano, but to him it's paradise.
SAG really screwed themselves with the actors' strike a few years ago, because ad agencies discovered just how affordable it was to shoot in Canada, Argentina, New Zealand or South Africa - buyouts are easy and you don't have quarterly residual payments to the actors.
My company works exclusively with non-union talent. Casting is harder but the fees are more affordable, and it's frankly all my smaller regional clients can afford.
"Flo is wearing heavy make-up and a mid 60's hairstyle. My husband and I have wondered if she has a sock rolled up in her hair to make it jutt upward so much in back or if the hair is teased. But, of course, it is probably a wig. She can change to a more contemporary look and be a totally different person."
The actress who plays Flo wears a wig, she's a blond. A very thin haired blond.
Poor Clara Peller became so associated with her commercial personality that in the remaining years of her life, the only work she could find was in porn.
Don't forget, Brad Pitt did some Pepsi or Coke commercials.
Add Diane Keaton to the lost of actresses who did commercials. She did a deodorant ad.
Idiot BF was 1st choice on the "Man on the Street" Gilette commercial 2 campaigns ago. He was just hired on a new job at our friend's restaurant and didn't want to burn that bridge.
The guy who they ended up using made $20,000. Idiot BF still kicks himself over it.
I saw Travolta at the baths last week trying desperately to re-create the Safeguard commercial.
I'd like to know what the stars get paid for voiceovers, often for automakers -- Richard Dreyfuss, Jon Hamm, John Krasinski, etc. -- and why the advertisers think they are worth the premium.
I made $15k in the mid 1990's it was a spot targeted at the Hispanic market and it ran for 9 months. All the southwest and Chicago, NY and Florida.
Only George Clooney and say Tim Allen "Chevrolet" can command millions for voice over work. Sure it also helps if you got great representation.
As a rank and file i really hate when celebrities as them take work away from us.
They are already rich and made their millions- don't be so damn greedy.
George Clooney says hes bisexual but hes really gay.
Watch he will eventually come out within the next 10 years.
John Krasinski?!? Why? Would anyone even recognize his voice?
You're sick, R18.
Keanu Reeves did what he calls "a killer Kellogg's commercial" that financed him for a few years when he was first starting out. He was very grateful. He has led a really interesting life, especially before he became so well known. Go Cool Breeze Over the Mountains.
I remember reading an interview with "Flo" in Backstage and she said she doesn't make as much as people think. She said she is still not a millionaire despite all the ads.
"As a rank and file i really hate when celebrities as them take work away from us."
Riiiiiiight---the advertisers were looking for talent, not name, face &/or voice recognition. Time to work the room with the goat cheese puffs, hon.
I did a voice over for a commercial that ran often for three months. Made $400 for the 20 minutes I spent in the sound booth. Made $22,000 in residuals.
I'm glad for actors getting residual payments, but even so, these are hardly incomes you can live on.
Book 5 and that's 100K for less than 2 hours of work.
[quote]The guy who they ended up using made $20,000. Idiot BF still kicks himself over it.
Why? that would barely cover car far to the studio. (staff, nanny, asundry items....really don't know how you people survive on these paltry sums)
I've fallen and I can't get up!
R33 and R35, it's not like you make a commercial and that's all you do in the year. That is usually one day's work. You have 364 days to work other jobs and make other money.
Usually actor and talent in commercials get payed:
Salary-day fee: calculate for the ammount of working days (type of work, photoshooting , filming. Day feed are calculated with a maximum of hrs depending of contract , may by different also because of local law, if exceed the day time the talent should get payed usually based on the day feed divided for numbers of hrs at work .Sometimes they can get payed half day for fitting, make up hair test, special make up effects - ( imagine to work on historical advertisement or so , this need a lot of preparation )
Then if the talent are clearly visible on the final version of the advertisement he should receive the buyout : this can be a lot of money .
Buyout are based on usage time, media type and territory usage.
Usage time of the commercial ( Christmas or flue medicine advs will not pay as one year usage, but as a short time usage, others products will be payed half an year, one year usage, and so )
Type of media ( TV, Internet, print, moving media, whole media and so on.. ).
Territory, Local TV, national TV channels ,states, US, Canada, North America, Europe, worldwide and so this is based on an international fee table.
Usually buyout include options for next usage. ( Ex. Again Christmas advs will be used next year then the talent get again payed only with buyout).
In this keys the company associate the products to some persons and the talent should not play in commercials for similar products (ex. if he will play in an adv. for car , he will not allowed to play for others car makers, in the same area of usage and same time usage, otherwise he have to refund the buyout and so as contract.( ex. One actor can be vesible on more commercials on the same territory, on the same media with a different products if not specificacted on contract )
Big bucks are from National Spots which air on more than 13 stations simultaneously.
For spots seen on local stations, actors get a flat free for 13-week run.
The actor holding the product gets more than other actors.
[quote]the 'Can You Hear Me Now' guy. I'm doubtful they'll have much of a career after their campaigns are over.
The "Can You Hear Me Now?" guy is more into the stage. He used his Verizon earnings to bankroll his local theater (I think in Boston), his first love.
"Flo" is the Stephanie Courtney of the Groundlings. She works a lot; because she's in costume as Flo, she's hardly recognizable in her other roles.
When Gilbert Gottfried got fired as the Aflac duck, they were claiming that his little Japanese tusnami joke cost him $500,000 per year.
Yeah, Gilbert Gottfried really fucked up.
Gottfried should have been more circumspect.
Surely he knew that Aflac's biggest market for its specialized insurance product is Japan.
Would one of you please start an IMDB style website for commercials, so I can go there and see who the guy in the UPS ad is and read his credits?
I'm amazed this information isn't on the internet yet.
Who is the gay guy serving as the spokesperson in the Wal-mart commercials?
[quote]Poor Clara Peller became so associated with her commercial personality that in the remaining years of her life, the only work she could find was in porn.
Thank you, R18. I think that that explains to OP why an anonymous actor SHOULD be paid $500,000 or $1,000,000 or even $50,000,000 for a single commercial.
Try $10,000, at the outside.
Mike Bradecich, who played the USPS "flat rate box" guy for years, earned enough to support his family and devote himself to improv. He's not wealthy, but he ain't hurtin' either.
Nice, funny guy too.
Since this is turning into a thread about specific actors, I love the guy in the car ad (don't remember which one, maybe Subaru) that shows him seeing his adorable young daughter off to her first day at school and driving along her school bus to make sure she's happy. He's in a few current ads right now.
Commericals can be a stepping stone but usually for very goodlooking guys or really attractive women. Lucky Vanos parlayed a coke commercial into a fitness career. You see a lot of well known character actors float in and out of commercials. The current progressive ad where the family all turns into flo like people features Gillian Vigman from Suburgatory as the wife. The wife in some of the state farm commercials where the husband is on the phone and she thinks he is cheating is a feature film actress (here big break role was in Ready to Rumble as David Arquette's GF) is Melanie Paxson. She has been in Cupid, Happy Family and Notes from the Underbelly. She is in a ton of commericals from State Farm, to Red Robin and Fiber one.
OP and R50, is there some problem with the word "commercial"? Has it been banned for some reason?
I wonder how much those guys in the car for Sonic Drive-ins made? They were on every football broadcast for years.
R54, I d like to beat R51 to the punch by pointing out that it's "sieg," not "seige," and that "heil" should be followed by a comma, you illiterate twit.
Thanks r53 those are the Sonic guys. They get irritating very fast!
Do you get paid residuals or otherwise if your likeness is used in repeating commercials?
The Empire Carpet guy must have made quite a bit with his commercials, but now that he's died the company has been using a cartoon character of him with the same old jingle.
Ol' Bruce Willis singing about "Seagram's Golden Wine Coolers" . . . that was before 'Moonlighting' wasn't it?
I've done commercials for Head & Shoulders, Bud Lite, Capitol One and others and made about $18,000 per cycle. That's average.
Commercial residuals for Flo, Diane Keaton or me are going to be the same. It's the money up front that differs.
Flo/Progressive has 3/4 commercials running at a time, year in, year out. $170,000 a year???
[quote]I've done commercials for Head & Shoulders, Bud Lite, Capitol One
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