Creating a Great Commercial: The Must-Have Ingredients!

Like any great recipe, a show-stopping commercial needs some not-so-secret ingredients 😉

1. A compelling story.
Your story is crucial. It dictates whether your ad lives or dies. A commercial’s job is to help the viewer imagine a better life with your product in it. It needs to paint a picture so compelling people will want to jump straight in and live in that magical world. You’re not selling a product. You’re showing us how we can live a richer life with your product in it.

2. Your brand’s personality.
Know your market. It’s not enough to tell a great story. Your ad needs to reflect who you are– it needs to tell a story that feels authentic for your business.

3. Use “Voice of Customer” (VOC) data
How does your ideal customer speak? What phrases do they use? How do they describe themselves and products like yours? Research thoroughly. You can use surveys, customer support emails, or hit forums like Reddit and Quora. Note down key phrases, words, and expressions, and save these to adapt for your script. This will make your words feel real to the viewer because you’ll sound like them.

4. Draft a powerful story.
Decide what story you’d like to tell in the ad and develop a rough draft. Who are the lead characters? What drives the plot? What happens in the beginning, middle, and end?

5. Sketch out the scenes.
Use cards, storyboarding software, or a whiteboard to sketch out each scene.

6. Add notes.
Add notes and the script to each card. Anyone looking at your storyboard should be able to understand what’s going on with a single glance.

7. Edit like your life depends on it.
Edit mercilessly. The final draft shouldn’t have anything in it that doesn’t advance the story. It should be a cohesive story that uses VOC data and talks directly to your ideal viewer. You’re not trying to appeal to everyone with this commercial. Your purpose is to make something that’ll grab your dream viewer by the heart-strings or the funny bone and keep them watching.