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Posted on May 21, 2013

Tips for making a good commercial

Tips for making a good commercial

Tips for making a commercial.  Maybe you’re romancing the idea of making a commercial to promote your business or message you want to share.  You have plans to air it on TV, or the internet.  A lot goes into prepping for a commercial.  While you are shopping around for a production crew, let us help by sharing a couple of tips with you.

Who’s your audience?:

First, keep in mind who your target audience is and target it.  The commercial needs to appeal to the gender and age group you want to sell it ( the message or product ) to. For instance, you wouldn’t use a seductive woman to sell a product to a woman, well…unless of course the goal is to leave the impression that your product might make your female viewers either look like her or become seductive like the woman in the commercial.

Come on! Break the Mold!:

Make a commercial that doesn’t feel like a commercial. (This is a challenge, but, it’s an opportunity to get your creative juices flowing)

Commercial Length:

Remember commercials are generally 30 seconds long. Therefore you have 30-seconds to use strong visuals or graphics  in a type of story line. In some instances you can move your message in such a way that your audience is not aware they’re even watching a commercial. Yes, you can sell products with-out selling it hard.


A commercial should be visually appealing. Period. A commercial should be shot well, without glitches.  In fact, the camera work should not be shaky.  Always make sure to use a tripod unless the look you are going for requires the camera to be held over the shoulder.  Lighting should be perfect, for instance if you are shooting your video outdoors, your video should not be “burnt”  meaning overly exposed to light.  Also, where possible, shoot your commercial with artistic integrity.

Sound is Important:

Sound effects are important. If you are selling hamburgers, then the sounds of sizzling burgers is important! If you are selling cars then the sound of a purring motor is important.  Natural sound can appeal to the senses when used correctly.   Music is important too.  Your music should match the mood of the commercial.

Solid Voice Overs:

The voice of your talents should be energetic and persuasive, kicking it into overdrive for hard sells, conversational for soft sells or sound like the regular guy or gal your target audience knows and trusts. In many instances, there are commercials with talents who sound monotonous and have no voice inflections and that’s just so…”ZZZzzzzzz”. There are also instances where the voices on a commercial are shrilly and squeaky. This is a turn off to most audiences.  A voice must be pleasant and bold.  In fact, a commercial voice should sound confident and in charge.

Using friends & family:

Many a time people want to save money by using their family members or friends on the commercial. This is fine too, but, remember no matter how much you love aunt Minnie, the fact remains if she has an awful voice you risk people tuning her out and finally tuning your entire commercial out. A production crew can shoot a good solid commercial and the editor can edit it nicely so that visually you have a polished product. Just remember an editor can’t change the delivery (acting & voice) your Aunt Minnie made…so, just be cautious.


Only use comedy if it makes sense, not if it’s forced.

Strong Visuals:

Visuals should be able to convey temperatures, for instance if your commercial is about air conditioning units, then color or graphics may play a major role in suggesting cool air. A “story” scripted commercial with actors will probably cost more money because it will need multiple cameras and paid actors. Scripted commercials run the risk of being “cheesy” unless all the correct elements are in place to make it look like network level commercials. The alternatives to scripted story line commercials are commercials with a voice over or a spokes person on camera, great visuals of your product and sharp crisp professional graphics to supplement your commercial. When done right and by a good production company, these can look very sharp and professional.

Finally, depending on what the product you are selling is, a production company must be able and honest in making the right recommendations for you.

Small House Productions 50 F. Street NW. Ste 300 Washington, DC 20001 (240) 252-3232

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