Filmmaking

Making a TV Commercial: 5 Easy Steps to Success

Making a TV commercial - How to shoot video for television advertising.
Written by L. Scott Harrell

There are a few things to be kept in mind when making a TV commercial; you have only a limited amount of time to effectively grab attention and get the message through. These 5 easy steps outlined below will ensure your commercials are well-executed and highly effective:

Step 1: Decide To Whom You Are Talking

When making a TV commercial it is important to first decide who your target audience is, and then talk directly to them. If your script is talking to everyone, you will end up being relevant to no one. Remember, 80% of your business typically comes from only 20% of your customers; these are your best customers. You need to have a clear image of them, know who they are, what their tastes are, what they look like, what their whole persona is; you can even give them a name. The script for the ad that you write should represent and reflect this customer, it should match their image and should be something they can understand and relate to.

Step 2: Define Who You Are

Next, you need to figure out exactly what makes you special, and why your customers should care about you. For this, a great tool to use is laddering.

  • Start with asking yourself what you are best at. For example you’re a plastic surgeon, so maybe what you’re best at is making plastic surgery affordable; this will be a good starting point, the first rung of the ladder.
  • Then you ask yourself why that is important. The answer to that can be that you make plastic surgery accessible to the masses. Now you’ve moved up the ladder, as you have something that makes you a little more unique.
  • Now ask yourself why THAT really matters, and how it makes you special. You may come up with the answer that plastic surgery makes people feel good and enhances self-esteem. This is better and a bit more emotional.
  • This brings you to the highest point of the ladder, and you realize your reason for existence is to make more people feel good about themselves. This is a bit more specific, and creates a connection between your business and the target audience, and is something that will get you a sale.

Step 3: Figure Out Your Brand’s Personality

Now that you know what you’re going to say, it is time to decide how you’re going to say it. You need to make it:

  • Compelling
  • Exciting
  • Unforgettable

For this you need a device, and this can be anything from a catchy phrase to a piece of music or jingle, or a visual animation. The important thing is, it should be absolutely consistent with your brand and message. So if in the previous example the message is about making people feel good about themselves, this should be reflected in the music and visuals; they should be uplifting and empowering. Also make sure that each part of the message from visual to the music should complement each other and the message. It should be coherent and any part should not undermine the rest.

Step 4: Give an Offer

Every ad should end on a “Call to Action” something that compels the audience to get up and buy the product. They may not do this right away but they may make the decision to. If the message is the soul of the advertisement, the offer is the engine; it drives people into action. The offer can be a deal you’re offering, an offer for a consultation or a simple call for more information.

When making a TV commercial, the call to action is everything!

The best offers, however, are those that propose an irresistible value proposition. It is important to place a value on whatever you offer. If it’s a free consultation, for example, go into specifics about how long the consultation is and what its value is. For example, “call us now for a free consultation” is not as effective as “call us now for a free 30 minute consultation, a $100 value”. Also, try to phrase this in a way that you brand the offer and make it memorable, so that whenever anyone hears it, they instantly know it’s you.

Step 5: Making a TV Commercial

Now that you have everything else, it’s time for the most important part of the process – making the commercial. First of all you need to decide how long your spot will be, is it a 15 second, 30 second, 60 second or more than that? The best way to decide is to think about how long you need to say what you need to say. If you have a complicated product with lot of facts, and information to educate the audience such as a car insurance, you may need longer. On the other hand, if your product is already well known and quite simple, for example pizza, you just need to tell them why yours is better, make an offer and that’s it, so keep it short.

You can use a lot of online tools to create your commercial by mixing your existing assets with those provided by the online agent to make an effective ad. You can also find various video industry professionals in the online marketplace who can help you with script writing, voice overs, editing, production, and whatever else you may need, all at an affordable price.

So now you have all you need for making a TV commercial, or an online commercial for that matter, and effectively get your message across. All that’s left to do is for you to make your offer and sell your product!

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About the author

L. Scott Harrell

L. Scott Harrell is the Executive Editor of Vtrep.com. He is also a serial entrepreneur and top tier business development professional who speaks leadership, start-ups and digital media masterfully. Scott can be reached via email: editor@vtrep.com

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