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Five Steps to Creating Your First Commercial

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

So you want to create your first commercial, eh?

Smart decision! Data shows that videos are better than simple images and text at both grabbing people's attention and keeping it, resulting in higher click-throughs.

But how do you start?

Whether it’s for tv or social media, the process is basically the same. To keep it simple, we’ve broken it down into 5 simple steps that we use when creating ads for clients.

Step #1. Message Mapping & Value Proposition Discovery

Start by creating a message map about your company to help you discover the main value props that you need to convey to customers.

What are the pain points that your customers have? How does your product or service answer those pain points? What are the main values you offer?

Go around the room and write down all these answers. Once you are satisfied, review the list, and highlight the main points everyone agrees on. This step, like a strong foundation, is the most important part in the production process.

Step #2. Choose Your Focused Message

This short commercial may not define every aspect of your complex business, but it will represent something important that you want your audience to know. This may be simply that you exist. It may be to highlight a new product or special. Or how you solve a problem many people deal with.

Decide the simple message you want to communicate about your company in this particular commercial. Reference the message map you created about your business and create a sentence about what you want to communicate.

Step #3. Brainstorming

Now is the time to have a little fun -- bring your team in to start pitching commercial ideas.

You all know the message, now is time to figure out catchy and engaging ways to express it. There are no bad ideas (well, there are, but jot them down anyways!). Write down everything your team thinks of. Funny. Serious. Emotional. Once your list is created go back through it and see which ideas stand out. Try to highlight your top 3.

Step #4. Choose your idea!

This is your first commercial, but it shouldn’t be your last. If you are stuck on more than one idea, pick your favorite or most pressing ad and shelve the others for future videos.

Especially if you are creating ads for social, we’ve found the ‘burn out’ period for a video (that is, when the video stops actively engaging audiences) to be after about a month, so it’s good to have a steady stream of content to post.

Step #5. Working with your video team

You could bring us in at any point in this process, we’re experienced at pulling out value propositions and developing messaging maps, coming up with ideas to show off the best of what you have to offer customers and helping to narrow down ideas.

But this is the point when a video production team really gets to work. As an experienced video team, we will listen to your idea and provide the best options to make it happen. Together we will storyboard each scene, turning your creative ideas into a practical production plan.

Our video team will be able to ensure the video contains all the important elements of a good video, including sound, lighting and graphics developed around your branding and delivers the message you want. While also being eye catching, engaging and memorable to your customers.

To help you with this process, we've created a simple document you can download to use as a guide:

5 Steps to creating your first commercial - JustAddVideo
Download DOCX • 363KB

Using these principles, we decided to make ourselves a quick commercial, giving ourselves only 1 week from conception to delivery. Below we will break down how we used these steps to quickly and efficiently create the short ad above.

Step 1: We already knew step one for ourselves - our value proposition is creating well made videos for clients. It's also our ability to work in a variety of mediums, from live action to animation and visual effects.

Step 2: For step two, we decided on the message being 'is video the best medium for advertising', looking at videos vs images and text. This would help to prove why you should even care about video advertising in the first place!

Step 3: Brainstorming is our favorite part of the process. With a team of creatives, you definitely tend to get some outside-the-box ideas. We made sure to keep our value proposition and message in mind though to keep the process from going off the rails.

Step 4: Step four was the hardest part, as we had an overwhelming amount of ideas to choose from. Seeing that we only had 1 week, we decided to go with something simpler, production wise, while still showing off our personality and message.

Step 5: Okay, so this step is easy when you are your own production team. We only needed one day of filming to get our team acting out the various roles around our office and studio. Our Creative Director Brent drew the short straw and acted as the narrator. After some editing and visual effects, the ad was done with one day to spare!

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