A well-crafted commercial can be a powerful tool for capturing your audience's attention and delivering a compelling message in a short period of time. Whether you're a small business or a large corporation, creating an effective commercial requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. At 5Gear Studios we work closely with companies to deliver the best commercial for your specific product or service. Here are the steps involved when writing the script for your commercial.
Before we dive into writing, we want to learn more about your company, your goals with the commercial, and what expectations you have from us. To achieve this we plan what we call a discovery session, where we meet with you to address these elements and make sure we're all on the same page.
Here are some of the common questions we will ask:
Who are you?
Tell us about your company! What are your values? Who are your customers and what do they typically like? What has worked for you in the past? What hasn't? Do you have any specific branding? We like to learn as much about you as possible so the commercial is in line with your company's brand and vision.
What are your objectives?
Before we put pen to paper or start brainstorming ideas, it's crucial to define your commercial's objectives. What message do you want to convey? Who is your target audience? What action do you want viewers to take after watching your commercial? Having a clear set of objectives will guide the entire creative process. Keep in mind though, there is a limited amount of time to hit all of the required beats of the commercial so it's important to establish a reasonable number of intentions. What goal would you like to prioritize? Often your website will do a great job of thoroughly explaining your product or service, so maybe the goal is just to get viewers excited and lead them to your website to learn more.
What is the Tone?
Emotion is a powerful tool in advertising. Whether it's humour, nostalgia, empathy or excitement, incorporating emotion into your TV commercial can make it more memorable and relatable. How do you want viewers to feel when they watch this commercial? Make sure the tone aligns with your message, your brand and the intended audience. For example, comedy can be a very effective tool for creating an entertaining and memorable commercial, but if you're trying to deliver a serious message it could come off as confusing or insincere.
How long will your commercial be? Is it a 15-second spot or a 3-minute-long video? This can depend on the intended platform. Social media platforms have a cap on the length of video you can upload so if you plan to upload it to Facebook, TikTok or Instagram be sure to stay within their length restrictions. If this commercial is intended for television, there are different lengths it can be based on the station's requirements. (See our blog on How to Successfully Air Your Commercial on TV). Knowing how long the commercial will be gives our writer a guideline for how long the script will be. A page double spaced is typically around one minute of screen time. So if you're aiming for a 3-minute-long commercial, the script would stay within the 3-page range.
Once we've established your parameters it's time to get creative!
Crafting a Compelling Story
Every great commercial tells a story, no matter how brief. We start by brainstorming ideas and concepts that align with your objectives and audience. The storyline should be engaging, unique and informative. Some effective options are using relatable characters or scenarios, a problem-solution narrative or a compelling metaphor to convey your message.
Now it's time to put ideas into words. We aim to write a script that captures your story in an
entertaining and impactful way. By using strong or funny dialogue that sounds like how people actually speak, we can better engage an audience. Or we opt to use no dialogue at all. Often actions speak louder than words and the show-don't-tell technique can be very effective in a commercial. It's helpful to include a strong opening hook to grab viewers' attention and a clear call to action at the end.
Keep It Concise
Whether it's 10 seconds or 3 minutes long, we still have to tell a captivating story in a short period of time. In this limited time frame, every second is valuable. We trim the dialogue and actions to convey the message concisely. Avoid unnecessary details and focus on the most critical points that will resonate with your audience.
Using emotion when writing a commercial is an effective tool because it helps create a strong and memorable connection with the audience. Whether it's tapping into emotions like joy, nostalgia, or even sadness, it can trigger a deeper understanding or appreciation. Since we've established the tone of your commercial during our discovery session, we use that feeling to elicit empathy and resonate with viewers on a personal level. This makes them more likely to engage with the product or service being promoted. Emotional commercials can also inspire action, as they often motivate viewers to take next steps, whether it's making a purchase or sharing the ad with others. Emotional stories and commercials tend to stay with audiences which enhances brand recognition and loyalty among customers.
Writing a successful commercial is a multi-step process that requires careful planning, creativity and a deep understanding of video production. By establishing clear parameters, telling a compelling story and incorporating emotion, you can create a TV commercial that not only captures attention but also drives the desired action from your audience. Remember that the key to a great commercial lies in its ability to leave a lasting impact in a short amount of time.
Looking for a video production company to write and produce your TV commercial? Contact 5Gear Studios today!