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How to get your ad on TV: Clear Ads (formerly CAD) and Adstream

Posted By Ezra Auperle  
16:00 PM

Whether you're taking a DIY approach to getting you ad on TV, or you just want to know what's involved in the process and how much it costs, this blog post is for you. We'll cover everything you need to know about Clear Ads compliance (Formerly CAD), how to submit your creative through AdStream, and how to create a unique Key Number.  


Clear Ads Approval

Before your Ad is broadcast on television it must be submitted to Clear Ads to ensure that it meets broadcast standards and does not breach any advertising regulations. You will need your script, final edit (creative), and evidence to support any claims that are made. Once your material has been submitted and approved, Clear Ads will issue an approval number that will be required when you upload your creative to AdStream for network delivery. 


Clear Ads requires a minimum of two working days to process an application, however it can take significantly longer if they request additional information or documentation to support your claims. We recommend including at least five business days in your post-production schedule to allow for any potential revisions or claim substantiation.


To avoid any unwanted delays, you can also apply for a Pre-Check with Clear Ads. A Pre-Check allows you to submit your script and storyboard for preliminary approval. This will allow the assessor to flag any potential issues prior to production. You'll still need final approval before the video is broadcast, however it minimises the risk of any unwanted or hard to fix compliance issues during post-production.  


Clear Ads fees start from $153 AUD for a simple television commercial.


Despatch to Adstream

The final stage of getting your commercial broadcast on television is to deliver it to the networks you have bought media on. Adstream is the leading despatch business is Australia. They have built a comprehensive platform that enables you to submit and quality check your videos. To ensure that your video passes the quality test your editor will need to render the video files specifically to Adstream requirements (view the full specifications here).


Unless you're working with an experienced production company or editor that fully understands the specification requirements, you may find your editor cannot deliver a video file that passes the quality test (this is very common). If your video fails the test you can either have your editor attempt to resolve the issue or you can pay Adstream a fee to fix the quality issue for you. This cost is around $120 AUD.


In addition to meeting quality requirements, you will also need to select the network and channel the commercial will be broadcast on. Fees are charged on a per channel basis for SD (Standard Definition) and HD (High Definition). We recommend supplying in HD because it can be scaled down if one particular channel requires it, but SD cannot be scaled up without quality degradation.

Adstream Costs for HD start at $180AUD per channel per key number.


Key Number

A key number is a unique 13 charter alphanumerical sequence that you, your production company, or agency create to identify your ad. We use the following format when creating a key number: our company name as an acronym (Story Machine = SM), the last two digits of the year (2021 = 21) first three letters of our client's brand name (Nike = NIK), first three letters of the campaign name (Zoom = ZOO), and the length of the edit followed by S for seconds (30 second ad = 30S). The full key number for this example would be: SM21NIKZOO30S.


These are just a few elements that need to be considered when preparing your TVC for broadcast. It can be a complicated process, and if you have media booked it can be costly when you have unnecessary hold ups, which is why we would always recommend speaking to a production specialist prior to production.