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What It Takes To Make A Cool TV Spot

25 Jan, 2018 Frank Imler Brand & Traditional Advertising

At Fluid, one of the services we provide for our clients are TV commercials. TV spots (commercials) are a great way to get a general branded message blasted out to a semi-specific audience. TV spots should be entertaining, engaging and have a simple and direct message. They are actually quite challenging to do well. Have you ever wondered what the process for making a commercial is? By the end of this blog, you’ll find out.

We have a great client, Ed Kenley Ford, who has asked us for TV spots every year, for five years. We are currently in the finishing stages of releasing spots for this year’s campaign. Here is the process we use to keep clients like Ed Kenley Ford coming back year after year.

First, we meet with the client and identify any challenges and in what ways we want to grow our client’s business. Then, we strategize how accomplish this task. For example, this year, the dealership wanted more people to know they are a great place to buy trucks. We knew truck buyers were mostly men, who wanted their truck to be tough. Not only for the job site but also men like to look tough. So we came up with what we called the “Tougher Than” campaign. We strategized lines like “Tougher that riding a bear riding a rhino.” This odd line catches the attention of the audience and allows people’s imagination to explore for themselves what that would look like and what that would mean. This also lets the target audience emotionally identify with the campaign/brand because they want to be tough or they want a truck that is tougher than a bear riding a rhino. You have to admit that would be a really tough truck.

Next, we mock up visuals to help the client catch the vision of our idea. We write an initial draft of the scripts and perhaps mock up a storyboard for the pitch. We also mock up billboards and other collateral so they can see what the entire campaign will look like. Usually we pitch a few different ways to solve the campaign’s problem. In this meeting, we council with the client which campaign execution solves the problem best while staying within the strategy that was outlined.

Once a script is approved, we get the task of hiring a production studio to help us. We take our scripts and our dreams to several studios to get bids. Not only are we looking to see who can help us pull this off within budget, we are also looking to see which directors and producers share our vision and perhaps can even challenge us to make them better with their own unique ideas.

Once a studio is chosen, we work with the director to choose actors, locations, costumes, music and any other magical items needed to produce the commercials. The past two years we have worked with Saint Cloud. Jared Harris and his team are wizards among mere mortals. (Hi Jared)

Last comes the editing sessions. We take the footage we got from the shoots and we put them together. Usually the editor, director and creative team from Fluid meet to put this together. Once the client sees the rough edited footage and approves it, we can add sound effects, voice over, music, color enhancements and any other other special effects the commercials may require. Upon final approval, the studio then exports files and traffics them as needed and the process starts all over again on the next project.

Click here to check out the TV spots we have created for Ed Kenley.

Are you thinking of making a tv spot? Here is what you will need:

  1. A messaging or branding problem. Clearly defined, boiled down to its simplest form. We can help with that.
  2. An identified audience. Who is your message for? A message that fits blue collar males from 55–70 years old who need vacation destination ideas may not work with females, 18–22 years old, who are focused on their kickstarting their career.
  3. An identified budget. Typically, producing TV spots will start at around $5,000 and go to millions of dollars. You get what you pay for.
  4. A creative agency. The right advertising or marketing agency (hopefully Fluid) will help you take your message and strategize how to present it in an engaging, entertaining and unique way.

TV commercials are fun to make, a great solution to reach a ton of people and a great way to strengthen your brand’s awareness and loyalty.

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