How to Write Captivating Commercials and Promos

Lesson 7/11 - The Commercial Script


How to Write Captivating Commercials and Promos


Lesson Info

The Commercial Script

Let's dig into commercial scripts. So commercials, we're gonna talk a little bit about... I'm gonna put all of these up for you guys. So I said in the beginning that I don't wanna dig into like really big budget commercials 'cause I'm gonna guess that most of the people watching this aren't gonna dig that. Also, even if you were going to hire a firm to do a big budget commercial for you, they're gonna wanna help with the scripts writing. So if I teach you scripts writing here, they're gonna be like no, 'cause it has to be a collaborative effort. So any kind of production is a collaborative effort. We're even a collaborative effort here in CreativeLive. So nothing happens without all of the team members. So traditional commercials I'm really not gonna touch on too much, just because it won't give you guys value. If that is something you wanna do for your business, then you can hire an ad agency and put the budget in and they'll take care of you. But commercials can come into your busine...

ss if you want, because you can make your own homegrown commercials, right? You can talk about your offers, promote your offers in video ads, you can use them on social media, on your website. Lot of people also use them on sales pages. So if you have a page where you're communicating your offer, sometimes people will put a nice video on there to promote the offer kind of within the sales page. That can be a fun way to give a visual, not have people read a whole bunch of copy, breaks it up a bit. And then also website homepages is another great place that lots of people use intra videos. I see this a lot particularly if your business is pretty. That sounds very weird, but some of us have actually like very pretty businesses. Like if we're bakers and you wanna show kneading the dough and beautiful things. Someone like Nicky who is a pilates fitness instructor, video would be perfect for her and she does do that. She should have tons of videos, it's all about movement and the visuals. Of course she has to have that. Now we have a yoga instructor here, Yogi, so you need a lot of video. So that makes sense. For some of us this is gonna be like I don't know, I don't have a visually beautiful business. I don't either, right? I definitely don't. So if I do promotional videos, it's usually talking head and I might try to break it up. But I try to pump a lot of fun and energy into it and I'll make it nice and short for video because it's just me talking and who wants to stare at that for tons of time? So the thing you wanna keep in mind for any promotion that you do, I don't care what it is, is that you wanna give them information, emotion and invitation. So we'll break that down just a little bit. So information. First think in headlines when you're giving information. So particularly when you're doing any kind of commercial content, you don't want a lot of exposition, something we use in screenwriting a lot. It's like you don't need to go on and on and on and on, right? Just distill it, think in a headline. Like what's the quickest way you can say this, the most powerful way you can say this? You can look at headlines and major magazines or the Today Show or whatever, look at how people write headlines for inspiration. Obviously, outside of your industry. And see if there's some way that you can deliver your copy in more of a headline sense. Also incorporate visuals if possible. So is there something you can show instead of say? So if it's a baker, let's say it's someone that owns a beautiful pastry shop. I don't wanna see the baker or the owner on camera being like we bake beautiful cookies. (laughs) no, no. We wanna see the cookie and the chocolate going in and it feels mouthwatering. So we need to incorporate visuals when possible. I don't want to see Nicky talking about a pilates move, she's like stretch your arm at 90 degrees. I'm like what? And I just check out. Instead, I wanna see her doing the freaking move and then I wanna go that move looks cool. And then I wanna do it, right? So you wanna see that happening. So anytime it's possible, you wanna pop a visual in. There can be a voiceover of you. So if you're doing something where you're doing like a homegrown production, maybe you even have somebody helping you out who has a little editing skill, you can still talk over the visuals. But again, it's like the pharmaceutical ad. (laughs) Again, the visual's what's really driving it home. Then keep details minimal. When I say that, I mean whatever your end offer is. So you're selling this program that is gong to be ongoing accountability for people who want to get in shape. So there are 12,000 details with that about how that works, when are you guys gonna have calls or in person meetings, how often are they gonna workout, what do they have to eat, are you giving them a diet plan, does that have anything to do with it, what about if I have pain, right? And that's just not even scratching the surface, but that doesn't need to go in your promo. (laughs) That's like way too much information. So this is about teasing and then begging for more. So keep the details about whatever your offer is small. Don't give them too many details, that's for the sales conversation. That comes later. This is all just them going this sounds cool, I wanna learn more. That's all we wanna do with our promos. So if you think about movie trailers, you watch a movie trailer. If the movie trailer gives away the whole movie, like no interest in seeing it, right? (laughs) It's like great, I already know what happened in the end, thanks for spoiling. So you don't want that to happen with your offer. Don't spoil your offer. You wanna leave them wanting more information. So then from emotional, know your commercial personality. This all just drives right back to your creative brief. Again, I see this happen a lot, particularly when people hire out, not like a good ad agency, that won't happen, but if you try to paste together a team to help you with some let's say video promotion, then lots of times they'll be like let's do this concept. And you're like they wanna do something that's super humorous and crazy like Nicky, but then youe business is Laren's business. And then she's like I don't wanna tell that joke, I don't wanna do this. And it's all awkward. And so just knowing your personality and making sure you weave that throughout. Punctuating things with music. If you even have a smattering of editing skills, you can do this. There's lots of fun royatly-free music sites out there that you can just google royalty-free music. And then you can punch up your videos with cute music. It's really fun to do that, obviously you can't use songs that someone sang and you don't have the rights to, but there's lots of royalty free music. And also how do you want them to feel? So show, don't tell again. Is it better to tell people that they will love your coffee or show someone sipping a steamy latte with a blissful expression? So I want people to feel, like I said, like a guilty pleasure in my business. So if I was doing a video promo let's say, it would make a lot more sense for me to actually show people or myself enjoying guilty pleasures than to just be like you should love guilty pleasures and your business should be like that too. Instead, put the visual. So then people are like oh yeah. And they put them in that space, they're feeling it. So for that kind of a promotion, again, show, don't tell. Make them feel it. Give them that emotion. Now for invitation. Remember this is the finale of the promotion. Giving them a call to action, not confusing them with multiple calls to action (laughs) in whatever your promo is. So after you promote it's like what's next? They need a clear action step, but remember, just one. Don't assault them with all of these things. I feel like this is the one thing that I see constantly. I see it all the time. I can go on Instagram right now or anywhere right now and find this kind of promo, where it's got four different things to do. Just give them one. If your end goal is to get people to sign up for a free class, great. If you're using this just purely as a teaser, you don't want them to know yet, that movie trailer moment, then you just say wait for more. Coming soon. Totally, that can be your invitation, you're still inviting them, it's coming soon. Or maybe you're ready and you're like okay this is my promo and now I'm gonna ask them to buy. So that's fine too, but just make sure you do that and not say please like us, share this promo, do this, do that, visit our store, visit our website, email me, comment. (laughs) Don't do that. And then you can also amp an invitation with a special gift or an offer as well. So this is really common for creating some kind of urgency in a promo. So lots of people will use this if they have like if you buy by this date, you'll grab this. Or if you sign up by this date, you'll grab this. So there's a clear call to action to do something. Is there something that you can bake in there so that they end up saying yes with a deadline? Because otherwise if they come to you and say this sounds awesome, but can I buy it six months from now? And you're like well yeah, you can. (laughs) You can, then it kinda fizzles a little and then you have to somehow re-engage that person later. Now you don't wanna lie and say like we're running out of spots, if you're not running out of spots. And you also don't wanna assault them with too many bonuses and special gifts. I see that a lot where there's like 17 bonuses worth $40, and it's not true, it's like who made that value $40,000? That's not right. So usually if you just keep it to one special gift or offer, give it a deadline, that's really all you need to do. And again, that doesn't work for all of our businesses, so don't feel stressed if that doesn't apply to you. But if it does, you can definitely use it. And then like I said, creating a ticking clock. So anytime you can put a deadline on something is better. Deadlines can mean many things, just make sure that they are true. So if you are raising your prices and you're honestly raising your prices, then say that. You can say I only have this rate until this date and then my price are being raised. Ticking clock. You can say if you can only take on five photography clients a month, and that's true to you, then that's what you say. I've already booked three of my spots, I have two left. That's fine to do. So anytime you can create a ticking clock, do it. Maybe you're creating a fun challenge for anyone that signs up in a specific time period. Like Nicky could create some kind of challenge where everyone who gets in at that month, maybe they're all working towards something and then she gives a gift to them. But it's only if you sign up to work in her accountability fitness program in the month of February. And so that creates a ticking clock, this special challenge with prizes is only gonna happen then and it's only for clients that sign up then. So if that works, do it. Ticking clocks rock.

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.