Writing Effective Television Commercials That Sell

by Haliyma Barrow

TV commercials are an important part of the marketing and advertisement strategy for most companies. Every copywriter involved in such work has to learn the secrets for writing great television commercials. Copywriters are the experts who are charged with the responsibility of developing the concept, establishing the production costs, celebrity endorsements and targeting specific demographics using commercials. The job demands creativity and an in- depth understanding of human nature and response processes.  

Successful TV commercials have two common features. They are enjoyable and easy to understand. Simplicity is the unwritten rule of advertising regardless of the media being employed. The viewer’s attention must be captured instantly by the commercial in order to spur action. If the commercial fails to capture immediate interest, it has failed in its role.  Here are a few secrets for writing successful TV commercials for promotion and publicity.

Develop an objective. The advert is meant to sell a “certain” product or service from a specific company with a particular offer attached. All these elements must be factored in together with the location of the company and the targeted audience.  

Time the script. Successful TV commercials are short, entertaining and informative at the same time. Ensure that you time the commercial’s script according to the client’s specified duration.  Most of these sales and publicity stunts usually air for thirty seconds, forty five seconds or a minute at most. The concept developed must communicate the intended message within the given timeframe.

Repeat essential components. Sometimes, a bit of sensible repetition is necessary for TV commercials. The repetition is mainly focused on the point of sale for goods and services. If there is a 30 percent discount on products for example, repeating it several times is crucial. Company addresses and phone numbers are also commonly repeated in TV commercials.  

Apply a unique twist. The ability to come up with unique TV commercials is very difficult. It calls for a knack for creativity and experience among copywriters. Viewers are turned off by monotonous and boring sales and commercial gimmicks on TV. They want something fresh and out of this world when they are watching TV.  Therefore, it is imperative for the copywriter to think outside the box, even though they are writing for the “box.”  

Incorporate emotions. The best way of capturing and holding the attention of viewers is by inducing their emotions. Sadness, joy, laughter, fear and anger are powerful emotions that can sell products and services when combined creatively.

Submit script for approval. Once you have written a TV commercial, it may be necessary to get it approved by the client depending on the terms of your contract. Friends and colleagues may also offer vital input on the commercial.  

Adopt a TV commercial writing style. The writing style of TV commercials is different from that of print media, radio or other means of product market announcements. You must not speak above the audience, below them or directly at them. The voice must speak to the targeted audience on their terms. If it is for kids, it must use kids’ language.

TV commercials are an essential part of selling and promotion for a company. Therefore, they must be written in a manner to sell products effectively. The tips above will assist you in developing effective TV commercials for products and services.

About the Author: Haliyma Barrow holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Public Administration from New York University.  She loves to read books on marketing management and various marketing strategies including TV commercials.