The Found Money of State Commercial Production Incentives

April 23, 2012

Many states now offer financial incentives to advertisers to shoot commercials in their states. Although such incentives originated about ten years ago, more recently they have expanded to additional states and have become increasingly attractive to advertisers. The savings can be quite significant, often ranging from between 15 to 30 percent of production spending in that state. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of these incentives, outline the process for participating, and make advertisers aware that there is competition to acquire this incentive money.

“All advertisers should be aware of the benefits of state commercial production incentives and the opportunities to positively impact production budgets.”           

Valerie Light, Broadcast Production Manager, Verizon, Co-Chair, ANA Production Management


Pure and simple, production incentives help states create jobs and attract investment. Their long-term desire is to encourage infrastructure investment so that filmmaking (feature films, television programs and commercials) becomes an integral component of a state’s industry and tax base. Several studies, by firms including Ernst & Young, show that for each production incentive dollar spent, some multiple of that dollar (e.g., four to seven times) is created in economic activity in the state where the project takes place.

The film and television industries have historically benefited greatly from these state production incentives. The incentives are clearly geared to reward companies for making the decision to produce in a particular state. Incentive programs target the companies that fund productions and give final approval on the shoot location. In the feature film arena, the largest recipients of these incentives are the major motion picture studios. More recently, advertisers have been participating. Savings can be achieved without sacrificing quality, as many states have been very successful in building the production infrastructure required by the industry.

“Shooting in a production incentive state can give advertisers the opportunity to put more of their production dollars up on screen, while simultaneously investing in local economies.”

John Lick, Executive Producer, Broadcast Production, Target Corporation, Co-Chair, ANA Production Management Committee

(Please see our "Also See" section to the right for the full PDF of this report.)


"The Found Money of State Commercial Production Incentives." ANA 2012.