Nifty Tips for Watching Commercials

I’m writing this in response to the fiasco of last night’s Super Bowl commercials, which were the (and most expensive) I’ve seen. Steve Kopcha taught me some rules with how to create a TV commercial, now I’m going to teach all of you who read my blog. Who knows, maybe some adman will stumble across this post and learn something new.

What A Commercial Needs

  1. A message.
  2. An idea how to get that message across.

Before you write:

  1. What’s your big idea you want to get across?
  2. What’s the benefit of the big idea and whom does it benefit?
  3. How can you turn your benefit into a visual?

Turning the big idea into a script:

  1. Write a narrative.
  2. Put the narrative into script form.
  3. Read the script out loud and listen carefully.
  4. Revise, revise, revise.
  1. Length. Too long? Too short?
  2. Opening. Grabber opening?
  3. Main idea. Open on a main idea? Close on a main idea?
  4. Enough product?
  5. Enough visual?

Effective elements:

  1. Humor. Southwest Airlines.
  2. Slice of life. For All You Do, This Bud’s For You.
  3. Testimonials. Jessica Simpson and Proactiv.
  4. Demonstrations. Will it Blend?
  5. Problem/Solution. Alka-Seltzer.
  6. Talking heads.
  7. Characters. Charlie Tuna, Tony the Tiger.
  8. Reason why.
  9. News.
  10. Emotion. MasterCard.

Knowing how to make commercials is really frustrating because I don’t see enough of them made like the way my advertising degree taught. Maybe factors in our new era in advertising like digital marketing and our current rough economy will help bring it back to its fundamentals.

About John Wiehe

Start-up SEO. Mizzou J-school grad. Eagle Scout. Learn more about me at Google+, +John Wiehe.
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