Top 7 Tips for Producing a TV Ad or Video

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Producing a television ad can seem a daunting and expensive task. Fortunately, with today’s easy access to TV production tools, creating a TV spot is well within your reach. One caveat: While making a TV ad can be relatively easy, producing a GOOD one is much more challenging. Don’t get so caught up in the production process that you lose sight of your advertising objective – it’s not creative unless it sells!

Here are 7 steps to producing your TV ad:

1. Set clear goals and a budget

Know and communicate your marketing objective. Determine your budget and develop a plan. What do you hope to achieve with your TV ad? Where, when and how frequently will it run? Ad placement can affect your overall production budget. Consider low-cost options, such as cable or the local affiliates of ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS. Or find your local cable provider in the CAB directory and contact the advertising sales division for rates.

2. Determine your target audience

Television is still a mass medium, but you’d better know your target before you shoot! Who are you trying to reach, and will your message resonate with your intended audience? For a reasonable monthly fee, offers access to comprehensive market data to help you understand your customers.

3. Write your script

Craft your message and determine your content. Be sure to refine your script and storyboard — a visual representation of each shot in your ad — until you’re convinced the commercial is ready to shoot. If you’re not a scriptwriter, consider hiring an ad agency or a freelance writer to craft your ad. offers scripting services as part of its TV ad production packages. Find screen and scriptwriters at

4. Plan the shoot

You’ll need to decide on the “creative” for your TV ad. Considerations include tone, pacing, mood, style, music, etc. Should it be humorous? Dramatic? Animated? The clearer your vision before the shoot, the better television you’ll produce., which specializes in producing low-cost spots for entrepreneurs and small businesses, will help you focus your TV ad on what makes your business unique.

5. Consider ready-made video

Cut production costs dramatically by using existing advertising video footage and simply adding your audio message to it. For about $500, lets you choose from an extensive library of high-quality ads that you can customize with your own message.

6. Use cable production services

Many cable companies and network affiliates offer production services to small businesses. If you’re going to place your ads with them, you may be able to negotiate deep discounts on production costs.

7. DIY

Cut costs and maintain total control by shooting your ad yourself. Software called “Visual Communicator” from Serious Magic allows you to create pro videos with just a Webcam and some pre-packaged graphics and effects.

Finally, a few other things to keep in mind…

oFocus on a single item in your ad – a product, a service or an event. Or highlight what makes your company unique – fast turnaround, high quality, free delivery or friendly service.

oIf you do decide to go it alone, creativity is still key. A good idea with lower production values is still better than a slick ad that doesn’t drive home your message.

oSome local TV stations will provide commercial production services for an additional fee when you buy an ad schedule.

oThink about other “venues” for your finished TV ad, such as streaming video on your website.

Source by Lou Bortone

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