This is part 3 of Stryker’s “Behind the Scenes” blog series exploring Direct Response Television (DRTV).

What can you achieve in 30 seconds? Well, it begins with what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re talking about brushing your teeth, or walking several city blocks, 30 seconds isn’t nearly enough time. However, in the context of a good TV commercial? 30 seconds, like Goldilocks said, is “just right.” 

So the real question is, what factors should you consider when trying to create that perfect 30 second clip? How do you craft a high-performing TV ad? Let’s take a look at this 12 step process — and make your best TV commercial yet.

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1. Have a clearly defined purpose

Why are you creating a television ad? This is probably the most important question you can ask yourself right off the bat. What is your purpose for this advertisement? Without a clearly defined purpose, your ad is sure to flop – if you don’t know what you want, your viewers won’t either!

2. Have one consistent message

In a similar vein, having a clearly defined message is critical. Sure, you might know what you want to achieve, but you have to relay that to the audience. “Customers are not interested in everything you have to say, they only have room — and time — for one single message.” Don’t over-communicate too many concepts in one spot. You need to be succinct and know exactly what you’re saying.

3. Clearly represent your brand

Your brand is your most valuable asset, and it needs to back all your high-performing TV ad campaigns. Your marketing team worked so hard to put together those brand guidelines. Let’s use them. Make sure any fonts you use, the verbiage of your delivered message, and even what colours your actors or animations are wearing all match up.

4. Do you have a perfect slogan? Make use of it

As Nike famously said, “Just do it.” If your brand has a catchy tagline or jingle that has the potential to become an “earworm”, don’t forget to include it. It’s one of the basics of building brand recognition!

5. Write the ideal script

Your script is how you figure out the right tone, pacing, and direction for your ad messaging. You can’t say much in 30 seconds, but worse than that, you can’t say too much in 30 seconds. Keep your script short and snappy so you get your point to your customers right away.

6. Don’t be boring

The first three seconds are the most critical in catching your audience’s attention. There are many things you can do to capture those wandering eyes, but there’s one thing that you absolutely should NOT do: bore them. Make sure your ad is engaging and relevant to viewers. Just remember, and we cannot emphasize enough, do not be boring!

7. Plan your shots

No, we’re not talking about drinks here. Television is a visual format, so you must know what you’re filming! Don’t be afraid to use a storyboard and consult with advertising professionals on the best way to deliver your message visually. It’s best to be prepared before you start to film.

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8. Use the right gear

On the topic of filming, make sure you’re using the right equipment and software. Nobody wants to go from glossy, high definition advertisements to a grainy commercial with muffled audio. The quality of your ads reflect the quality of your product or service; so make sure you hire a production company that can really show off your brand.

9. Your audio has to work with your visual

We’ve talked a lot about the visual aspects, but that isn’t all a good television ad is made of. There’s a massive audio component too, and let’s be real, the audio absolutely has to complement the visuals. Your audience should be able to tell what your ad is about just by the audio, even if they’re not in front of the TV.

10. Have a strong CTA

In the beginning, we were all about having a purpose. Well, at this point as we near the end, we have to complete that purpose. What are you trying to accomplish? Do you need your audience to “Call now!” or do you need them to “Sign up” or “Visit our website?” A strong, powerful call-to-action placed in your ad will ensure your purpose is met.

11. Optimize your ad frequency

Have you ever wondered what the perfect ad frequency is? The fact of the matter is, there is no one-size-fits-all rule that will tell you how often to run your TV ad. At the end of the day, it’s all about knowing the brand and target markets, and understanding how to best reach your audience. That’s why you need expert media buyers on your side to optimize your ad frequency.

12. Measure your campaign

Finally, we look at measurement. At the end of the day, you could be running the highest performing TV ad you’ve ever had, and you’d have no idea if you couldn’t measure its success. Don’t let your hard work go to waste. There are hundreds of ways out there to measure a successful TV ad campaign.

At Stryker Media Group, we are a full-service media agency that can help you bring high-performing TV commercials to life. With years of experience across a wide range of media capabilities, we help our clients in all aspects of advertising, from planning to production to campaign measurement. Talk to us about your next TV ad campaign.

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