How to Make a Commercial: Five Do’s and Don’ts

If you’re committed to running a comprehensive marketing campaign, broadcast, in the form of television commercials, has to be on your radar. Of course, you don’t want just any old commercial, right? You want a commercial that will produce the best possible return on investment.

At St. Gregory, we’ve been helping clients create and place commercials since the ‘80s. And in that time, we’ve learned a thing or two. Here are our top five do’s and don’ts when it comes to how to make a commercial.

Psst! While we’re specifically talking about how to make a commercial for television in this post, all of these tips can also apply to radio commercials and many forms of digital ads, so no matter what advertising channels you’re using, pay attention!

Do focus on one strong benefit.

When asked how to make a commercial that will provide the best ROI, one of our top recommendations is to focus on a single strong benefit. If you overload your spot with details, it will become a blur of forgettable information. After all, you only have approximately 15-30 seconds to sell your business or your products and services.

Don’t insult customers’ intelligence.

Let’s get real—the vast majority of commercials use actors … even those focus group commercials that have cropped in the last several years. Real people just don’t lose their ever-loving minds over daytime running lights or Cheez-It crackers. We’ve got nothing against actors, but if you want to show a customer’s perspective, why not solicit testimonials from actual customers?

Also, avoid cluttering your commercial with information customers can easily find on their own and will never remember once your commercial ends, such as a phone number. Instead, make sure your business name is prominent, and let Google handle the rest.

By the way, this tip doesn’t just apply to how to make a commercial; it’s a valid point for any advertising campaign.

Pro tip: Where does your business name rank on Google? If you aren’t above the fold, you’re likely missing out on vital traffic. St. Gregory can help! We provide technical and on-page SEO services as well as paid search engine marketing campaigns, which are important even for your brand name. Contact us today to learn more.

Do keep the focus on your own good qualities.

It’s easy to trash talk another brand, product or service, but don’t play into negativity. Instead, keep the focus on your business by focusing on your competitive advantages. Not only is this simply a more tasteful approach to how to make a commercial, it increases brand awareness by keeping all the attention on you.

Don’t be annoying.

Avoid jarring sights and sounds such as blaring sirens. Sure, you want to get the potential customer’s attention, but there are better ways to cut through the clutter and stand out.

Other irritants to avoid include yelling, “buy now” or “sale” starbursts on screen, bright flashing lights and obnoxious music.

Do know your audience.

As a wise Roman said many centuries ago, “De gustibus non est disputandum”; there’s no arguing about taste. What one person finds annoying, someone else may find delightful. What matters is what your customers find appealing.

That means the most important tip when it comes to how to make a commercial is to know your audience. Everything from their age to their pain points can help you make a commercial that really resonates with them.

And if you need any help avoiding common advertising pitfalls or better defining your ideal audience, give us a call!