Writing a Script for TV

It seems that everyone has a sure-fire formula for writing a great TV ad script. Start with action to get the viewer’s attention. Start with drama to get the viewer’s attention. Start with mystery to get the viewer’s attention. Start with loud music to get the viewer’s attention. Start with silence to get the viewer’s attention. Which is better? What works? All of it. And, none of it. The danger here is in getting stuck on a delivery method without first knowing what you need to say.

1) Speak Your Customer's Language.

The most important thing to consider when working on a script is whether or not what you’re presenting is appropriate to your audience and the message you’re trying to convey. If your product or service is fun and exciting, then your script should be the same. Similarly, the images on screen should be colorful and show smiling faces or scenes that make the viewer want to smile. Drama, action, mystery, blaring music, or absolute silence - by itself - will not sell your product or service. The connection you make with the viewer and the relationship that you can build between their need and how you can fulfill it is what will sell you.

2) Keep It Simple.

Diversification may be good for business, but not for your advertising message. One of the greatest mistakes in advertising is trying to cram too much information into a single ad. You know these ads and you recognize them right away. These are the ones that talk about every service a company offers or mentions ten different products for sale. They sound rushed and cluttered, and you almost immediately tune them out. By contrast, the best, most effective ads have only one or a few, simple message(s) or idea(s) that they are trying to convey. The script for these ads are often no more than eight to twelve sentences long (for a 30 second spot). These are the ones that people remember and are the ones that measurably sell. If you have a lot to say or offer, create a campaign of commercials that presents your information in memorable segments or focuses on specific or individual products/services.

3) Include A Call To Action.

What do you want the viewer to do when the ad is over? Call someone? Go somewhere? Do something specific? Think positively? Be angry? The commercial should, from the start, be building up to the end. And, it should build to an ending that leaves the viewer wanting to call someone, go somewhere, do something, etc. etc. Pharmaceutical companies are always asking viewers to "call your doctor to find out more." You, too, should ask viewers to buy your product, visit your website, volunteer for a non-profit, or take some other type of specific action. If you don't, there's no implied expectation that the customer will choose you when they make their purchasing decision.

Once you have identified who you're talking to, what you want them to know, and what they should do once they know it, you can then address how to package the information. This is where you decide whether to employ things like drama or action; loud sounds or absolute silence, to get their attention and position the message.

Great scripts aren't written, they're re-written. Agama Advertising works with its clients to create great scripts. It doesn't matter if the script is for a sales video, a TV commercial, or an ad for the web, our team understands the process and will work with you to create a script that effectively addresses your objectives.

You need to sell more. We can help you do it. Call us today to get results.

Ben Price
Production Services Manager
Agama Advertising
Click here to download an additional resource for writing your own script.