top of page

Copywriting for Television Ads: From Attention to Action.

These Six Steps Will Make Your TV Spots Convey, Convince and Close.

Despite inroads made by a $77 billion social media advertising industry, good old fashioned television spots still account for another $75 billion, amounting to one-third of the total advertising expenditures.

Yet merely buying the advertising space is not enough to ensure your message will be effective. You need the right message to convey, convince and close. Placed at the right time, your spot will get noticed.

Forbes Magazine’s Steve Olenski writes “What gets people coming back and becoming loyal customers is a) a quality product, service or ware and b) sold at a good price.” While there is a famous success story for breaking every bit of the following advice, the reason they are famous is because they are rare. Convey value in your message by answering these questions and you are sure to succeed.

Here’s how…

  1. What do you offer that people want or need?

  2. Who are you talking to…?

  3. Where can you effectively find them?

  4. When will they be receptive to your message?

  5. Why should they get it from you?

  6. How should they respond?

What do you offer that people want or need?

Start with a situation analysis describing what you offer that people want or need. This includes what sets you apart from the competition, distinctive characteristics and the truly unique selling point, as well as positioning and branding statements. Review your other advertising, collateral and promotional materials and make a list of mandatory information that must be included in each ad.

Who are you talking to?

Describe both the demographics and psychographics of the audience’s wants or needs that you plan to fulfill. Remember that your target audience and your target market may be different. Decision influencers should also be considered.

Where can you effectively find them?

There are a number of different television stations and programs that will appeal to your audience. You should determine which programs are the right fit for the message you will convey and the audience you want to reach.

When will they be receptive to your message?

Consider the time of day that you want to reach your audience. Witty beer commercials don’t usually sponsor Good Morning America. After you find a home for your TV spots, repetition is the key to your successful television campaign.

Why should they get it from you?

When you have done all these steps, you are ready to get started writing your spot. Now it is like you are on an elevator with a prospect and you can tell them your story, but with television they are riding only as far as the second floor and they are texting on their phone at the same time. You have to cut through the clutter and grab their attention quickly. Build interest with facts about the features and benefits you offer that fulfill their needs and desires.

How should they respond?

This is the “call to action” step. You have used the traditional procedure for effective communication known as AIDA: for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Make the call to action as clear as possible.

Plan on using 30 second spots, the industry standard. Many advertisers introduce their television spot with a 30 second version and then follow-up with one or more 15 second editions made from the same footage. Research indicates that viewers seeing the 15 second follow-up versions report having seen the message from the 30 second spot that is no longer running.

Use compelling visuals that support your message, but don’t let the spot get too busy.

It is also a good idea to make a longer version of the main spot to post to YouTube and other social media. If appropriate for your message you might use video news releases to local news media. Sometimes these are picked up because of a local angle or other local tie-in. When such messages run as a feature on the news you get great free coverage.

When writing your script, let the message also work as an audio version so you can reach people who have left the room. You should place the phone number and website on screen for long enough for the audience to read and note down.

Make sure you represent your brand consistently and distinctively. You should tell your story in a similar fashion each time and strive to make a real connection with the audience. Remember, no one will ever pay as much attention to your spots as you, so you will get bored with them before many people have even noticed them. Let them run.

To be most effective, your spots need a consistent, signature look and theme to them. Keep your spot as simple your budget and creativity necessitate, but do not cut corners. A TV spot is like a chain in that it is only as strong as its weakest element. Hire all the best professionals your budget will allow and listen to them.

After your script is ready, complete with descriptions of the camera angles, you need to create a storyboard. An agency’s Creative Director or an artist usually does this. The more exact a storyboard, the faster and cheaper the production will be.

TV can immediately build credibility for a company. Nothing makes 30 seconds seem longer than a spot that screams “AMATEURS.”

David Ogilvy, a pioneer in the advertising industry, wrote in “Confessions of an Adman,” that no matter how spectacular your TV spots, remember that “the objective was to sell refrigerators.” You need to sell product or the money is wasted.

Follow this advice and your television spots are sure to be successful.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page