How to Make a TV Commercial Concept

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Most TV advertisements are created by advertising agencies.
Most TV advertisements are created by advertising agencies. (Image: tv control and tv 16 image by chrisharvey from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

A TV commercial concept is the story, theme and idea behind a commercial. The process usually begins with an idea or concept and is then written as a script. The script is then storyboarded, and each shot is mapped out and planned. From there, the producer and director will translate the concept to a final product by adding all the production elements. A TV commercial concept is not difficult to create, but creating an effective concept that will excite audiences is.

Research the product. Before any creative work can begin, the creative team needs to understand the product they are selling. The creative team needs to examine the product, view sales material and speak with a marketing manager. The marketing manager will tell the creative team for whom the product is designed and the demographics of the ad's target audience. For example, the ad could be designed to target women ages 25-35.

Brainstorm a concept. Write down ideas, images and stories that come to mind about the product. The commercial should include relevant product information, such as features and benefits. The concept should also appeal to people in the targeted demographic. For example, if the target audience is females between the ages of 25 and 35, a commercial featuring men with guns, monster trucks and models in bikinis would not be appropriate. The commercial should be relatable to the target audience. In this case, a commercial featuring an independent woman in her late 30s might be more appropriate.

Highlight the features. The ad should showcase the product in action. The ad should show people from the target demographic enjoying using the product. For example, a car commercial might show a father backing up out of the driveway of a home. As he backs up, he uses the car’s rear view camera (highlighted feature) to avoid running over his son’s bicycle. The car commercial could also show the father driving while the children sit quietly in the backseat enjoying a movie on headphones and a drop down screen.

Maximize the creative potential of the medium. TV is firstly a visual medium and secondly auditory. Television allows advertisers to tell short stories. Most television commercials are framed as stories. When brainstorming, consider what stories could be told about the product. For example, an ad for a takeout restaurant might feature a young, single woman rushing about her day, calling all her friends reminding them of the dinner party she is hosting at night. As the day progresses, more and more things go wrong, and she realizes she doesn’t have time to prepare dinner. She is frantic but then remembers the takeout restaurant. She calls and places an order and within minutes the delicious food arrives piping hot. She puts the food onto plates and them into the oven. Her friends arrive, she serves them, and they all enjoy the meal. No one is the wiser that she didn’t cook herself, emphasizing the home-cooked taste of the takeout restaurant.

Storyboard the commercial. Once a concept and story have been written, a storyboard about the concept should be created. A storyboard is a done by an artist; in an advertising agency, this is usually done by an art director. A storyboard is a series or sequence of images that show each part of the story or commercial. The storyboard usually has the dialog (script) written under each frame. The storyboard resembles a comic strip in many ways. Try to time the story to fit the time restrictions of the commercial, usually 30 seconds.

Get approval. Assemble the marketing team and any senior members of the creative team, and pitch the concept to them. Outline why this commercial will be effective in selling the product to the target audience. The commercial concept is then approved and sent off to be produced.

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