Start With the Target Audience
When an advertising company receives a new assignment, their first task is to identify the audience that the commercial will need to target. The targeted segment of the population must be narrowed down as much as possible.
As an advertising manager, you must know exactly who you are selling to--for example, if you have a very pricey new baby diaper product to advertise, your target audience will mostly likely be higher income moms, or possibly even their nannies, who don't even look at prices when they go shopping for baby products. These customers are more concerned with the features that will make their lives easier.
Analyze the Product--How Will it Benefit this Segment?
The next step an advertising company will take when coming up with a commercial idea is to analyze the product benefits and features. Their main goal is to identify the features of the product or service that will appeal to the target audience the most.
So in the case of expensive diapers, since the target audience isn’t concerned with cost, the advertising company will probably focus on convenience and appearance. For example, the commercial will contain messages about the better absorption, attractive designs, and odor neutralizing features of the diapers.
Alternatively, if the target customer were cost conscious, the diaper commercial would center around how the brand saves you money. The advertising company may even choose to display the product’s price in the commercial.
Brainstorm Commercial Ideas
Once the target audience is established and the product is analyzed for its benefits, the advertising managers will then start developing commercial ideas. Some ideas are developed by one person and some are brainstormed by a group of people in a board room setting.
This is why advertising companies look to employ the most creative minds. The ideas generated have to range from conservative to absolutely insane. This is the best way to develop final commercial concepts that will really grab the audience and convert sales.
Many commercial ideas are based around invoking amusement or fear in the viewer or listener. The idea is to either make the potential customer laugh and remember the product the next time they are in the store, or convince the customer that he or she needs to buy the product because of what could happen in the future.
Dig Through Past Commercial Ideas
To get ideas and direction, some advertising managers may look at old commercials that were either produced in house or that were developed by other advertising companies. If the older commercials were successful they may choose to simply revise and retool the commercial with new characters and tag lines.
Test Commercial Ideas with Marketing Research
Since there is a lot of money at stake, many advertising companies hire focus groups to analyze their commercial ideas before they go to television and radio. These focus groups are made up of the target audience and can be very helpful in predicting the success of a commercial spot.
In addition to testing the commercials they have already developed with focus groups, advertising companies will also use focus groups to brainstorm new ideas. An advertising company may even be able to conceive an entire commercial based solely on the comments they receive from a focus group.
Once the marketing research is complete, and the final decisions are made, the advertising company will at last be ready to send the finished commercial off to the public. The results are extremely important, because if the commercial ideas go over well, the company will most likely receive more business.