How to Make a High-Performing Commercial
More than 5,000+ ads bombard consumers daily. As a business leader and consumer, you’ve likely been on the receiving end of spray-and-pray tactics, as well as why-didn’t-I-think-of-that marvels. Producing effective video content demands more than quick wit. It takes foresight, strategy, and, in our case, many years of expertise.
With so much on the line, DIY methods need not apply. Take it from us. We’ve seen it all. What works? What doesn’t? Here’s how Studio Love, Love Communication’s in-house video production team, delivers video content that sells.
What defines a “commercial” in today’s marketplace?
These days, content is king. No longer is a typical 30-second commercial the only way to promote yourself, your services, or your products. While traditional 30-second spots still run on TV, commercial content appears throughout the web in many forms: pop-up ads, pre-roll ads, and embedded ads on websites, to name a few. From web banners to paid content to social posts, anyone with a message has many locations to garner interest. This challenges advertisers to get creative with their messaging and be even smarter with their placement of commercial content.
The whole point is to craft the correct, creative message [in whatever form it takes] and get it in front of receptive eyes. Examples of types of commercial content include paid advertisements, native content, YouTube Videos, how-to training videos, animated videos, awareness campaigns, social media campaigns, animated PowerPoints, and testimonials.
“Companies that use videos in their marketing receive 27% higher click-through rates and 34% higher conversion rates than those that don’t.” –Buffer, 2020
What steps make an effective commercial?
#1: Define the Purpose
What’s your Why? What’s the purpose of your message in the first place? From awareness to training to testimonials, each piece of content hits consumers differently. At Love, we ask lots of questions to arrive at various Whys for each client. And sometimes, the Why we begin with is not the same one we end up with, especially after a bit of research.
Advertising newcomers often overlook the importance of market research. At Love Communications, we always recommend researching your target audience. Now is not the time to guess. As a veteran of your specific industry, it’s likely you understand your target market. However, it’s also possible to overlook a market share. An outside perspective surprises even the most seasoned pros.
Keep in mind: Today’s consumers do more than shop online. They research the faces behind businesses. Market penetration encompasses a variety of factors — environmental, political, and social. The success of any digital media campaign relies on research.
Commercial content isn’t always about selling a product. It can be to inform consumers of a need they’re unaware of, like a safety concern. Video content can convey just about anything, so research helps determine what message is most effective in various situations (the where) for particular segments of society (the who).
Love Communications puts great value on research. We have a team dedicated to making sure we ask the right questions of a sample audience and dig into the resulting data with wide-open eyes.
Research is fundamental to creating compelling content. This deep-dive exploration answers: (1) who you need to reach, (2) how to best craft your message, and (3) where to best reach your target audience.
#3: Build a Roadmap
Once we have the why and who, it’s time to get creative. This phase is two parts: creative direction and actual production.
At this stage, clients gain the maximum benefit of using an agency. We fill a room with bright, inventive veterans and brainstorm everything from the mundane to the absurd toward the goal of the particular client. We all come from various backgrounds, and we don’t always agree, but we do listen to each other and allow ALL ideas during a brainstorm without fear of reprise or embarrassment. No ideas are bad ideas at this point. Some ideas survive, while some die gracefully during the brainstorm. Other concepts morph and grow, then become a full-blown creative campaign. All this leads to creating our roadmap for creative commercial content production: the script.
Out of the brainstorm, our writers pull the best ideas together into scripts designed to hit your target messaging and market while staying on brand. As brand ambassadors of our clients, our teams get to know the ins and outs of the businesses we work with and coordinate with our clients to confirm we’re representing them as desired throughout the process.
This roadmap is paramount to the success of the content creation, i.e., staying within budget. Budget is like fuel for a vehicle. How much gas do we have in the tank? Are we going to have a full tank of gas by the time we’re done? Are we going to be running on fumes? What can we do now to get to our destination with the gas we have? Some creative ideas cannot be executed within the appropriate budget, so we revisit the process until we arrive at a proper solution for the client.
The second part of this phase gets down to details: cast, crew, locations, music, and any other creative elements imagined by our team with an eye to budget. Sometimes, the creative requires more than the budget can handle, no matter how we arrange production. Occasionally we have to revisit our notes from the brainstorm and see what other options came up that are more financially viable while still on brand and creative. Or a particular track of music is too costly to license for our client, so we have to search out other options.
Before shooting one frame, every detail is set. We write the script, enlist our talent, and select a location with our research and why in mind. This complete roadmap ensures optimization of the budget as we go into production mode.
#4: Lights, Camera, Action! Edit, Polish, Deliver!
Once the script is approved and our production team is in place, we begin actual content production. Studio Love works with an extensive collection of world-class talent to execute the determined creative under the given budget, whether the project requires traditional location camera work, a green screen studio, drones, or even a fully animated production.
We edit to script and music, then once content is approved, we color grade all footage and sweeten all audio. Many producers frequently skip these steps due to cost. We build these steps into every production – our clients expect quality, and we deliver.
Our commitment does not end with the edit. Our in-house team delivers a variety of file types as required by various media outlets: television, web, video mailers, stadium jumbotrons, etc. Every media outlet has its specifications for content delivery, which can be daunting to the uninitiated. We deliver the correct file types ready to run, wherever that may be.
#5: Review and Adjust
Here at Love, we don’t set and forget. Once we have created a commercial, we continually optimize to drive the best results possible. Once an asset is completed and delivered, we continue to track, learning along the way.
Love’s expert team of media buyers curate a channel mix consistent with what we learned about our audience during the research phase. Once the commercial content runs, we gather feedback metrics utilized by our data analytics and research team.
Our data analytics and research team sift through the data to quantify what aspects of an ad are working, what isn’t, and what changes to make to maximize performance. This process involves digital tracking methods such as visits to a website, ad engagement, and more. This knowledge helps us create future commercial assets for that client, always striving for improvement.
In need of wow-factor video production? Need to know who your audience is first? Where should you advertise? Reach out to Anthony at [email protected] or 801-519-8880.
With more than 25 years producing, directing, shooting and editing everything from training videos and testimonials to award-winning television commercials, Anthony’s visual passion energizes Studio Love’s dedication to our clients’ branding visions. A native Utahn and graduate of The University of Notre Dame, Anthony’s production history includes an early partnership at Lone Peak Productions, followed by statewide Production Manager for TCI, AT&T and Comcast. Anthony’s involvement in production spans decades: in fact, it’s difficult to swing a dead cat by the tail and not hit one of Anthony’s numerous clients. (Disclaimer: Love Communications does not endorse the swinging of cats, dead or alive!