Strategies for “Showing” Instead of “Telling”


How to Write Captivating Commercials and Promos


Lesson Info

Strategies for “Showing” Instead of “Telling”

So let's talk about a couple of strategies for showing instead of telling. So cheesy TV dramas, I won't say which ones, (laughs) often tell the audience what's happening rather than showing them. So don't be a cheesy TV drama is basically the point here. So you don't want to say like you know, the dead body was on the floor and we found it and it was cold and then the arm was bent this way, right oh my god. Like we would totally fall asleep, sadly there are shows like that. Instead you just wanna see the body. (laughs) Right, we can get that in a quick snap. In a quick visual. It's all we need to see. So, showing not telling. So is there any way to use a visual to communicate your message, right? Do you really need words? Not always, not always. For some of you, yes, you can't get away with it. But if there's a way to visually depict something, um, I would suggest doing that, or even mixing it with your words, right. You're allowed to mix and combine, there's no rules here. So anytime ...

you can show and not tell is always great. I know you all have seen a pharmaceutical company ad, right? And you know that they have all of those like disclaimers and there's like a whole ton of side effects. So the reason that they do that, I used to work in that industry, is that that's legal, we have to give those disclaimers, so we can't get away from it. So the reason that we roll all those ridiculous images of people skipping through fields and meadows, right, while like all these, it's like, your arm will fall off, plus this, you know, if you do this. That's the reason. The reason is so that people hopefully remember the visual and the product name and not all the ridiculous side effects that we are, we have to do by law, right, we have to air them by law. So oftentimes you'll find that like the product name or the drug name is repeated over and over and over and over again, next to these horrific side effects. And that's because we want you to remember the drug name. So the repetition of it will sink in, right? And then all those ridiculous visuals, whatever, we want you big, what a happy woman romping in the field with her dog, right? (laughter) So again, those are multi-billion dollar companies, right. There's a reason that they run those ads and assault you with them. Like sometimes they're the only ads you see. And they work, they work. We laugh at them, I laugh at them all of the time, I used to even help make them and I laugh at them. But there's a reason that they work and it's all because it's visual and repetition. So just think about that. If there's any way that that can apply to your own business, if there is any way you can use visual, would that be stronger, use it! And also because attention spans are so short. So a fun thing to do is if you have a piece of promotional copy that you feel is particularly long, right? And I don't think that there's any like specific word count necessarily, but sometimes you might feel heavy about it. Feel like ugh, this feels so long. Then a cool think you could do is use visuals to break up the copy. That's just like an easy, easy quick thing to be able to break up some longer things. So here's a couple of eye catching images. This is my client, Joanne Schneider, she is a nutritionist and she was promoting a program called Tiny Taste of Raw which was encouraging people to eat raw food or incorporate I think at least one raw meal into your day. And like look at that image. Like I don't even, like I kinda like my food cooked, but I look at her food and I'm like, that is beautiful. I mean, almost just want it because it's so beautiful. (laughs) So it's very eye catching. And also, she doesn't need to use a lot of copy, right. Like when you have a beautiful image like that, she doesn't really need to tell you all the benefits of raw and like all this, right. I mean, she could wax on and on and on and on and on. But really, it's just like, look. Look at this amazing thing. Don't you want that in your belly? Great, right, so it makes it so much more strong when you hae an exciting photo.

Class Description

Commercials, teasers and promos are a great way to publicize your business. But taking on the task of creating advertising that looks professional and grabs people’s attention can be intimidating. The last thing you want to do is put out ads that are amateurish or tacky.

The good news is you don’t have to hire an expensive agency to create compelling commercials. This class will walk you through all the steps of how to do it yourself, from coming up with a clever concept to producing your ad on a tight budget.

As a brand and marketing consultant for businesses and a successful writer for movies and TV, instructor Melissa Cassera will show you how to use screenwriting tools and techniques to develop dynamic, award-worthy promos that drive sales and win clients.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Understand visual engagement and why it’s important to show, not tell.
  • Create an effective hook so your audience will pay attention and remember your ad.
  • Add emotion to your commercial so it stands out from the rest.
  • Develop a commercial brief.
  • Avoid using clichés and go for the unexpected instead.
  • Strike the right balance between entertainment and sales pitch.
  • Write an awesome tagline.
  • Master the art of the tease to add an air of mystery without being confusing.
  • Incorporate audience involvement to increase engagement.