3 Things to Know Before Shooting Your TV Commercial

Learning how to start a new business from conception to execution can be one of life’s most exciting, rewarding experiences! But before you jump in to creating a stellar TV commercial to promote your new business, you should understand a few things to help you stay on budget and keep your project going smoothly. 

This article will cover three things every business owner should know before shooting their TV commercial and how these specs can help you get what you want out of your spot. 

What They’re Watching

If you’re looking for maximum reach, target a commercial toward older demographics. For example, ABC Family and Nick at Nite are both cable networks that cater to an older crowd, with shows like Full House and M*A*S*H, respectively. 

In addition, look for older-skewing comedies like CBS’s The Big Bang Theory or sitcoms such as NBC’s Parks and Recreation on network television. Premium cable also offers some good options for targeting younger viewers. 

For example, MTV’s programming skews much younger than any of the other channels mentioned so far, while BET provides exposure to African American audiences. And if your product appeals specifically to teens, you may want to consider Nickelodeon or Disney Channel, which target kids aged 2-14. 

Be aware of where people spend their time–both what programs they watch and when those programs air–before creating content for your audience.

Where Your Target Audience Is Watching

If you’re targeting women, for example, make sure your commercial is scheduled on a show that has an audience with a majority of women in it. Likewise, if your business appeals to young parents, choose a show that appeals to that demographic. 

It takes time and research to find out where your target market will most likely see your ad, but it’s worth it—and fortunately, technology makes it much easier than ever before. Knowing which shows your target audience watches in their homes, offices, or local establishments will help you plan your campaign better. 

Establish Expectations and Requirements

You should establish a set of expectations and requirements before moving forward with filming. For example, is your company running on a tight budget? Are you open to shooting a commercial with an outside firm, or would you rather produce it in-house? What are your preferred locations for filming? 

How much footage do you want to be shot, and in what format, e.g., HD, standard definition, black & white versus color? Do you have any existing material that could be incorporated into a CTV ad? A clear idea of your message and intent is crucial when shooting a television commercial. 

Whether you’re pitching an ad for a new product or service or establishing brand recognition, running it by as many people as possible and ensuring all parties involved are on board will help you be prepared when it comes time to shoot. 

Create a Relatable Script and Storyboard

Most consumers don’t always have time for a long-form commercial or explainer video. In that case, a quick cut or 30-second ad can do wonders for your brand. These ads work best when they relate directly to a consumer’s struggles and offer an easy solution in 30 seconds. 

They also require the same research and preparation as any other marketing campaign – although CTV ad specs are different. You should know how many people will see it (CTV vs. social) and how much time you want to spend on the project before you start writing or filming. 

Remember: It’s always worth ensuring everything is set up before moving forward with production.

Avoid Too Many Dramatic Transitions or Effects.

Avoid too many effects or dramatic transitions if you want your commercial to be for television instead of online. Doing so will better ensure that your ad plays well on television screens. 

Next, make sure you have someone present to direct the actors: A lot of people are unfamiliar with acting in front of a camera, and if you don’t have someone there who knows what they’re doing, likely, your commercial won’t turn out as well as it could. 

The Key Is to Know Your Audience and What They Expect

Television commercials are worth considering if you’re looking for ways to market your company and have a decent size video production budget. However, due to their cost and complexity, you must do some research beforehand. 

Before you decide on television advertising as your next marketing strategy, please ensure you know these three things: where your target audience is watching and what they’re watching. Happy Marketing!


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