Saturday, October 31, 2009
Put People in Your Commercial
People relate to other people. Putting people into your commercial
can help draw your target audience in as opposed to a 30 second shot
of your building's interior, exterior and the parking lot. You don't
want your commercial to look hokey so you do want to be careful
about having people waving at the camera or standing there smiling.
Have them doing something that relates to your business so your
commercial doesn't look like a photo that's come to life.
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, phone number and street
address (giving a quick line about how to find you if possible). For
example, "That's Simple Designs, located next to the old train depot
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
Hiring a Production Company
Of course, you want your commercial to be professional. You can hire
a production company or many television stations have their own
production companies in-house. They can handle all aspects of your
commercial, including writing, shooting and editing your commercial.
Shop around for prices. Some production companies are able to offer
you a commercial package for as low as $100 that will include still
pictures shot with a high quality video camera.
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 station you're airing your ad on as well. If you're
advertising your maternity clothing store, you don't want schedule
air time on TV with your local cable company.
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 on
the local level, 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 twice. More times would be ideal.
Use the same announcer, jingle, fonts, colors, etc. to keep your
commercial consistent. This helps people start to get to know your
company by all of these factors. The more you recognize the lady
pitching the hair salon down the street, the more you know exactly
what that company's name and address is before she even speaks in