Screw those over-priced ad phonies. Your ideas are just as smart and just as valuable.

Step 1: Write a Great Script

You’ve had a great idea. Now write it out. You don’t have to be an advertising genius to flesh out a great idea. Maybe watch some commercials like your one first. You’ve got a very limited time frame to capture your audience and you need to get your message across quickly. Don’t get wrapped up in long sentences and brainy ideas. This ain’t France! Keep them short and punchy.

Step 2: Keep it way loud

Your audio should also tell the customer what you’re advertising even if the customer is in another room and can’t see the TV when your commercial airs.

Step 3: Will You Put People in Your Commercial?

There are some breath-taking, eye-catching, successful commercials that contain no people at all. But we suggest using friends or relatives, neighbours, even functioning derelicts. Make sure they can pull off the vision you have. Having your people waving at the camera or standing there smiling on your car park is usually the best way to make effective use of free talent.

Include a juice box for lunch

Step 4: Hire a Production Company

Some people think you should hire a production company. Shop around for prices. Good production companies should be able to offer you a commercial package for as low as $100 that will include still pictures shot with a high-quality video camera.

Step 5: Audio and Video Must Match

That seems like a no-brainer, but during the editing process, things can get lost in the weeds. Of course, if you have a concept that requires the audio and video to mismatch, for comedy reasons, then you can use that exception to the rule.

Step 7: Stick to Time

Only idiots buy a 30 second commercial. You can get it done with fast talking, rapidly flashing prices and your logo in about 8 seconds

Step 8: Always Use a Call to Action

If you’re creating your own commercial, you do not yet have the money or resources to simply produce a pure branding spot. You don’t have that luxury. You need sales AND prospects. So say something like: “Now that’s a delicious restaurant” or “Your feet need my sandals”

You want to tell customers to visit today and give your complete contact information, including Web site address, phone number and street address (giving a quick line about how to find you if possible).

Step 9: Schedule Your Ad Strategically

Placement of your commercial is very important. It determines who will see your commercial and at what time. Having your commercial air at 3 am will save you tons of money and ensures you have a captive audience of night-shift operators everywhere.

Step 10: Ensure Frequency for Maximum Impact

Your commercial should reach your audience at least twice. More times would be even better.

Step 11: Knock out the rest of your campaign

And remember to produce support materials for your ads; a website or landing page, a brochure, or a phone number must all be ready to go to capture those customers you have just engaged. Use a free Microsoft product like Word to get the spelling right. You might want to use a cousin who can help cut out pictures from magazines.

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