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Working as a commercial Script writer? 6-step guide to stand out from the crowd

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

Who of us can’t recall any of the commercials we watched in our childhood? Don’t we still remember some music and lyrics of some TV or radio Ads? Don’t we still get attached to some Ads that can touch us and talk about how great they are with our family and friends? all this never happened by chance; it needed some dedication and deep understanding of audiences’ minds and some super powers of affection, this all required a great script writer.

In this blog we will introduce commercial script writers a guide to make their work always remarkable and help them stand out from others who write to repeat and keep “clichés” alive.

Following are steps of writing effective commercial script to guarantee audiences’ attention and brand’s recognition among competitors:

-Do your homework:

First things first and in order to deliver the best script for your AD, you need to listen carefully to you client or the company you're writing the script for and ask as many questions as you can; get well informed about their history, values, competitive advantages among others and also messages they need to deliver to their audiences through you.

In this phase you also need to do some search on the company and the brand’s competitors as this will help you see how others market themselves and accordingly it will be easier for you to avoid being repetitive and make your AD unique, and in addition it will tell you much about the trends in the market as you can make use of some trending selling techniques even when delivering your messages differently after getting to know audiences preferences.

- Time to be your first audience:

After you’re done with your first stage of listening and gathering the needed information, you need now to move to the next one in which you’re replacing your audience, you’re no more the script writer but the one who will be sitting in front of the screen and watching the AD.

You need to give answers for questions whoever is watching the AD might ask; they need to know what quality your product or service if offering them as consumers.

Audiences care for high quality, durability and an affordable price too in addition a reason why to get your product specifically and not the one any other competitor is offering; accordingly you AD needs to give them satisfying answers that let them purchase the product or request the service without looking back.

In this phase you need to ask yourself also if you passed by chance by your commercial, would you be interested to watch it till the end or press skip if possible, if your answer is yes then you are on the right track, but its always a good idea to investigate and ask people around you if they find your ideas interesting too.

-Now write:

As you start writing your AD you need to be focused on delivering the truth and only the truth about the product or service you’re writing about in your script; never promise the audiences something they won’t get at the end, for example: avoid mentioning drastic changes or life changing experience when trying to sell a pack of cheese as cheese is meant to be put in bread or sprinkled over the top of a pasta dish, so whoever is seeing the AD should expect nothing but a wonderful taste but cheese won’t make miracles or fix someone or turn their lives upside down so stay as realistic as you can.

You also need to keep it simple, as a script should simply inform after all, you’re not writing a scenario or a theatre piece and waiting for audience to stand up and clap their hands with a loud shout, your audience should simply feel attracted and encouraged to purchase the product and don’t feel deceived at the end.

Your script should also be dedicated to the right audience and accordingly you will need to choose a language and a tone of voice that suits each category perfectly; a script written to sell a toy for a 7-year-old child is totally different from a one that sells a new diabetes medication for a 60-year old man.

You need also to consider delivering a certain solution for your audiences’ problems, for example if you know that they face difficulty in the morning reaching work on time due to inaccurate public transportation schedules, your transportation service should promise a different experience than the one they had, you need to promise them punctuate pick-up and drop-off schedule.

Defining what your product or service main offered values is very essential when it comes to writing as they are what the audiences should be searching for and makes it easy for them to choose your services and products among others without looking back.

Its always a very good idea to read your script out loud so that you can decide if the words are easy on the ear enough to write, as some words are easily read but don’t sound the same when people hear them in an AD, they can annoy audiences if they were for example off-topic or too dramatic.

Finally you will need to give your audience a guide to purchasing your product or reaching the service provider so that are left fulfilled and don’t keep asking questions that they will be mostly lazy to get an answer to and will simply ignore your AD.

A call to action should be included in your video to help audiences get in touch, you can leave a hotline number they can call, an address they can reach or a website link they can check or a link to an App they can download to make use of the product or service you have mentioned in your AD.

- Connect with your team:

It goes without saying that working in Media field needs someone who believes in the power of group work, you as a script writer need to engage with the rest of your team and never ignore those involved in the process especially when you need to figure out if your script is doable or not.

The director might tell you for example that your script needs special shooting equipment that are currently unavailable, or the DOP might advise you to change the shooting mood to a different timing as the they will face difficulties in taking the needed shots due to a sudden update in the weather forecast and you need to shoot as quickly as possible.

You might also face some financial obstacles if your script includes for example many models and the client prefers to pay your company the minimum and that’s why you need to engage with your team and client in this phase to share your first script draft with them to avoid bad surprises at the end.

You also need to mention the most important details in your script like shooting locations, number of models, included VO, narration and suggested transitions so that everything is crystal clear from the beginning and accordingly you will find the final AD the same as the one you wrote a script for.

Reconnect with your client:

As you’re done with your script and all the past phases you need to send a copy of it to your client to make sure that his key messages were highlighted clearly, and it goes without saying that the amendments on your script should be really rare as you should have agreed with your client on the most important details before you started writing.

When you receive the client’s feedback on the script, its time to feel relaxed and start coordinating with the rest of the team to start working on your script and take the further steps till the final video is delivered to the client.

Wait and see:

As your AD is finally on TV, Radio or internet, you need to get Audience’s feedback; you can start by your client to make sure you won their trust and then you can ask your family, friends or colleagues for frank feedback or even normal people who watched the AD without mentioning that its based on your script, this way you will know exactly where you stand and how people receive your work.

Finally you always need to keep working on yourself and improving and this always begins by seeing how others do their work and start searching for what makes you different and unique, repetition and delivering the minimum won’t help you but you always need to think and write differently and though some commercial script writers prefer always to follow the trend you can be the one who starts it.

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