Thinking about YOUR TV Commercial
Most companies look at television commercials as an advertising vehicle for "the other guy." The corporate giant. The big business with lots of disposable cash. In fact, TV is a very affordable medium that can increase your company's profits greatly.
Before you make an investment in television advertising, there are certain key elements you need to consider. Once you understand the process of writing, creating and producing a commercial, you're ready to hit the airwaves.
Effective TV commercials merge video and audio into a powerful sales tool. But don't think one is more important than the other. Audio and video go hand-in-hand.
Plan Out Your Video
Using a furniture store as an example, you may have ten different kinds of recliners, eight living room sets and six bedroom suits you want to feature. You're going to have to narrow those shots down because you simply can't get them all into a :30, :45 or even a one minute commercial without flashing so many different pieces of video on the screen that your potential customers will feel like they're in a lightning storm. Wide shots of your showroom are good to get a bunch of your furniture displayed at once and you can select a few items you want to be featured alone. It's crucial you not cram a bunch of video into the small amount of time you have for your commercial. Your video should tell the story about what you're advertising even if a customer has their volume turned down.
Writing the Script
Make sure your commercial's script times out to 30 seconds (or however long you have bought air time for). Use short sentences that grab your potential customer's attention. You've got a very limited time frame to capture your audience and you need to get your message across quickly. Don't get wrapped up in long sentences. Keep them short and punchy. Your audio should also tell the customer what you're advertising even if the customer is in another room and can't see the TV when your commercial airs.
Audio and Video Must Match
When writing your commercial, you must make sure your audio and video match. When you're talking about new car models arriving, you don't want to see video of the current year's make. When you're talking about your big showroom of furniture, you don't want to see the building from the street. You must merge your audio and video to create a powerful sales tool.
Never Forget Your Call to Action
Your call to action gets customers to buy or act now. Don't get to the end of your commercial and leave off your call to action. You want to tell customers to visit today and give your complete contact information, including Web site address and phone number.
Stick to Time
You've bought a :30 commercial package. As tempting as it might be to squeak in an extra few seconds, you just can't do it. Your commercial must time out to the exact time you've paid for. Going over will only get your all-to-important call to action clipped because those last few seconds will be cut off when your commercial airs.
Scheduling Your Commercial
Placement of your commercial is very important. It determines who will see your commercial and how much you will pay for its air time. Having your commercial air at 3 a.m. will save you money but if you don't reach your audience it's not money well spent. The same holds true for the Network you're airing your ad on as well. If you're advertising your maternity clothing store, you don't want schedule air time on ESPN.
Television is less demanding on frequency than radio but it still deserves more than a one-shot deal. If you were advertising during the Super Bowl, that would be a completely different story. But to be effective, you need to identify the key times your ad should run and buy enough air time for your commercial to reach your audience at least 3-5 times per day. More times would be ideal.
Use the same voice over talent, jingle, fonts, colors, etc. to keep your commercial consistent. This helps people start to get to know your company by all of these factors. It's called BRANDING and you should seek to use the same themes in all your advertising venues and medias.