Creating commercials has been one of the most popular video production jobs. With social media ads and video marketing gaining popularity, that's no surprise.

Before you learn how to make a commercial for tv, you have to remember one thing. Commercials are not like a movie or a tv-show where your audience starts neutral. Most people start by being annoyed by commercials, so it's your job to win them over!

If you're not experienced with making videos, then fear not - just check out our article on the basics of filmmaking.

11 Criteria for creating an effective TV commercial

Creating TV commercials: Guide

1. Avoid generic concepts

TV commercials are all about catching the attention of the viewers. How will you do that if they've "seen it before"?

When creating commercials, you should avoid generic commercial concepts. Everyone has seen it before.

Why should anyone pick a company if they're just doing what everyone else is doing?

When creating commercials, you have to be memorable, and you shouldn't be scared to push the boundaries.

That doesn't mean that every commercial you make should be on the Tarkovsky level. Just think about whether what you're doing has been overdone. Or if you're bringing something new to the table.

2. Focus on the first three seconds

As a result of the digital revolution and social media, our attention span has been ruined. We want gratification, and we want it now.

We're constantly exposed to brands at all times of the day, so it has grown harder to catch the audience's attention.

That's why you should focus on the first three seconds of the commercial. Make sure that they're good enough to capture the viewer's attention.

And once you've got their attention, engage them and make sure that you don't lose it. After all, we're living in an attention economy.

Influencers for creating commercials

3. Use influencers for recognition value

A great way to grab the audience's attention is to use influencers. Influencers are an easy way to get people to watch your commercials, as long as their brand fits your message.

While influencers can be a pretty expensive hire, their association with your brand could be a great way to reach new markets.

But don't try to get the most famous influencers if they don't match the message *cough* Kendall Jenner in the Pepsi commercial *cough*.

And also, consider whether or not you want controversial influencers. Because them being the face of your brand could be a goal if they're a part of a scandal.

4. Implement humor

This all depends on what type of commercial you're doing. If you're doing a non-profit commercial on kids in Africa, this is probably not the way to go.

But if you're not, then consider implementing humor into your commercial. Because if there's one type of commercial people remember, it's a funny commercial.

People love a funny commercial. There is a chance people will either quote your commercial or try to explain it to their friends and family. Either way, there's a good chance that you can get the buzz going with a funny commercial.

However, it has to fit your brand and your message as well.

Use storytelling for creating a good tv commercial

5. Tell a compelling story

Another criterion for creating a commercial is that you have to tell a compelling story.

People have to care about the story you tell. If they don't, they won't care about the brand.

Commercials are the only visual media people are "forced" to watch. So make sure that your story is coherent, compelling, and not too complex. Don't try to force a bunch of different concepts down their throat. Just stick to one message.

6. Use a memorable tagline or jingle

When you're learning how to make a commercial for tv, one of the things you've heard the most is probably "have a good jingle or tagline." A memorable tagline or jingle is the best way to spread your message.

How many times haven't you gone and sung a jingle from a commercial?

Spending money on a jingle would be great because it could be reused for future commercials, meaning even if it's expensive, it will pay off in the end.

If you associate it with a tagline, it's even better! Just think of McDonald's, and I bet you know their jingle and slogan by heart. Regardless of whether you eat there or not.

7. Stay true to your brand identity

This one is important when it comes to creating commercials. Maybe even the most vital criteria. Regardless of what you do, you have to stay true to the brand identity.

You can have the biggest celebrities in your commercial and get the best jingle and tagline.

But if you're not sticking to your brand identity, what does it all matter?

If your commercial makes people misunderstand your brand, you're just going to confuse your audience.

Combine your commercial with a social media campaign

8. Tie your commercial to a social media campaign

When you're releasing your commercial, the best way to increase exposure and engagement is to run a social media campaign alongside it.

You make sure that your audience is exposed to your message on several platforms in a true omnichannel marketing fashion.

Consider having different ads with still pictures, short commercial edits, or something similar to get your message across.

Get help in how you should produce videos for social media.

9. Communicate one message only

When learning how to make a tv commercial, it is vital to remember only to communicate one message at a time.

Commercials should be easy to follow and shouldn't contain multiple messages. People won't give you their attention if you're trying to tell them too many things at once.

So when you're developing your message, try to keep it simple. A viewer might see ten commercials in a commercial break, so if you're not clear, they will not remember it.

10. Find a video production company

If you're not experienced with video production, consider finding a company to help you.

You can't learn how to produce a tv commercial in one day, so if you need it soon, and it has to be a big production, go for the experienced people. It is going to pay out in the end.

If you're in Denmark, New York City, or London, you're in luck! We've already found the best and most exciting companies to check out.

11. Include a CTA

A CTA is a Call-To-Action, and it is what it sounds like. It's a call for the viewer to do something at the end of the commercial.

Let's say you've created a commercial to promote a new loyalty program for your audience. It'd be ideal to have a message that says "join us at *insert website here*" or something similar.

Make sure that you're converting people's attention into sales with a good CTA.

Creating a tv commercial in 6 steps

Producing a TV commercial

1. Brainstorm and script

When starting a project, no idea is too crazy to write down. So get together with your crew and write down as many ideas as possible. Once you're done, you can begin the elimination process.

Once you've found the perfect idea, you have to develop a script for the commercial.

2. Start with the ending

When making a commercial, consider what you're trying to get at. If you plan the ending first, you know where you're trying to get.

You'll know your message and your CTA, making it easier for you to plan out the rest afterward. After all, your message and CTA are the most vital part of the commercial.

3. Plan everything down to the second

Make sure that you are prepared for when you have to shoot so you don't waste any time at the shoot.

Because time truly equals money in this business, and every minute counts.

So make sure that you plan every single second of your commercial to do that shoot as quickly and efficiently as possible.

You can read our article on a Script Breakdown Sheet, explaining exactly how and why this process is so good.

Planning and shooting a tv commercial

4. Shoot the commercial

It is evident that if you're creating commercials, you have to shoot them at some point.

Capture more than enough footage if you have the time for it. It's better to have too many takes than too few.

5. Edit the commercial

When editing the commercial, make sure that the message is coherent and clear. And remember that the maximum runtime should be around 30 seconds or a minute.

In the editing process, it's also vital to edit shorter versions that you can use for various social media campaigns.

6. Distribute

The distribution of your commercial is the last step. You have to find out what channels and timeslots you want your commercial to broadcast.

By now, you already know your target audience. It would help if you tried to figure out what timeslots and channels they frequent to make sure you're reaching them.

You also have to figure out when and where you should release your social media versions and to whom it would work the best.

Learn about the filmmaking process

Learn more. Deep dive into the filmmaking process

I hope you learned all you need to know about how to make tv commercials.

If you're still unsure about the filmmaking aspect, then don't forget to check our article on filmmaking 101.

How to get into creating commercials on tv?

The best thing to do is to start working with it. Offer your services to small businesses for a small fee. Build your portfolio and slowly work your way up.

How do you create a commercial?

Avoid generic concepts, Focus on the first three seconds, Use influencers for recognition value, Implement humor, Tell a compelling story, Use a memorable tagline or jingle, Stay true to your brand identity, Tie your commercial to a social media campaign, Communicate one message only, Find a video production company, and Include a CTA.

How do you make a 30-second commercial?

Keep your language clear and coherent. Make sure to have a simple story, with a single message. Don't make the scenes too complex to understand, and keep your script short and sweet.

How do I create a commercial ad?

Avoid generic concepts, Focus on the first three seconds, Use influencers for recognition value, Implement humor, Tell a compelling story, Use a memorable tagline or jingle, Stay true to your brand identity, Tie your commercial to a social media campaign, Communicate one message only, Find a video production company, and Include a CTA.

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