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What must be done to create the best TV commercials

  Producing the very best and most effective TV commercials The single purpose of a television commercial is to sell the product or service. The fact that the advertisement may be interesting, funny, informative or well produced is secondary to the main purpose, which is to sell the product or service. Knowledge in using the latest video equipment and the latest video effects and editing software has absolutely nothing to do with creating an effective television commercial and understanding how to sell a product. One should never leave the creation of the television commercial to the television producer or the video editor. Rather, the TV producer and the video editor must be performing their service under the strict guidance of a master advertising developer, which is normally a team of top creative people in an advertising agency, with years of experience in understanding what sells, what does not sell and how to best present the product.

Television is both a visual as well as an audio medium. Many people are surprised to know that our hearing accuracy is much better than our visual accuracy. For example, if you were to slow down a video by 20 percent, most people would not notice that the video was being shown at a slower rate. However if you were to slow down an audio recording by 20 percent, almost everyone would immediately recognize that something was wrong with the sound. This is very important to remember when producing a television commercial and audio must not be overlooked.

The key elements that every television commercial should or must have includes:

Elevator pitch: Broadcast television commercials are mostly 30 seconds in length, though some can be as long as 60 seconds or as little as 10 seconds. You can think of a television commercial as an "elevator pitch", that is you only have that short length of time to convince the potential buyer to buy your product or service. With this in mind, you must focus not on explaining the full details of your product, but on having the viewer remember the product and presenting the product in the most positive light possible.

Memorable slogan: Ideally the key elements to a television commercial is a catchy memorable phrase or slogan, but such a phrase MUST make the product being sold memorable to the viewer. Who can forget the Wendy's commercial with the older woman demanding "Where's the beef?". The slogan was so effective in the mid 1980's that everyone was repeating it, including presidential candidates. Needless to say, Wendy's sales skyrocketed. There are many other examples.

A catchy jingle is essential: A catchy theme song is an extremely effective method of pushing a particular product and probably as much time and money must be invested in the song as in producing the commercial itself. The goal is to have the viewer humming your theme song to themselves all day long, thus the viewer is replaying the commercial to themselves! Again, the theme song must immediately be linked, in the mind of the viewer, to the product being sold. Ideally, the product name should be repeated in the song, perhaps in the chorus and perhaps the beginning words and ending words of the song should be the product itself. This is not an easy matter to do, but if done right, the commercial will be vastly more effective, than without a proper theme song. It should be noted that certain types of commercials, such as perhaps a serious social issue, may not want a catchy worded song, but rather a unique background melody.

The viewer must be told what to do: A television commercial viewer must be told how to buy the product, to "buy now". Experience has shown that by simply adding the words "buy now" or "go to your local store and "shop now", that sales increase from 12 to 15 percent.

There of course are many other complex elements in producing an extremely effective television commercial, point of purchase video or trade show video, and only the key elements are outlined in this brief article. If you would like to discuss a particular project, please contact Frank Didik.

Remember, an interesting, memorable commercial is a failure if after watching the commercial, the product is not foremost in the viewers mind. Sound in TV commercials is more important than the images. Trendy, "creative" and hip are not good, unless the product sells. --- Frank X. Didik, March 9, 2016



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This page is from November 12, 2015, though is based on thoughts by Frank Didik dating back many years.