Top 5 tips for producing a commercial

Top 5 tips for producing a commercial

The first TV commercial aired in 1941 before a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies and since then the industry of commercials producing has gone from strength-to-strength till today, where we are now at the point where creative agencies can charge large sums for single commercials.

The profession of creatives to promote brands and products has gone through many changes over the years, culminating in some outstanding pieces of work, such as the Evian: Roller Babies commercial from French agency BETC, which has now garnered over 80 million YouTube views.

To honour the trade, we wanted to provide you with a rundown of our top 5 tips for producing a commercial (in no particular order).


  • What does the client want…?

Sounds easy doesn’t it? However the fact is most clients don’t have a clue what they want. Seriously.Hopefully you’ll have a few concept ideas in mind when you head into that meeting room and through careful listening you can start bouncing ideas off each other, communication is really the key here.


  • What’s their budget?

Sigh, this is always an interesting conversation. It may be higher, it may be lower, but try and find this out as early as possible as it may be a huge hindrance to any potential plans you may have for a production. Clients will sometimes have lofty aspirations of what they want, but have absolutely no idea of the cost behind making their commercial dreams happen. Of course try your best to make the budget stretch as much as possible, but remember you may actually be able to get a poignant message across without the mega-bucks. Think about it.

  • Brand Values

The values the brand holds is not necessarily what I mean here, though they are important. What I’m talking about is the values you want your advert to convey. Whether it’s comedy, love, friendship, loyalty, the best ads produced a certain emotion – or perhaps even multiple – in droves. This allows the viewer to connect with the spot in a deeper way. Regardless of its length, an advert is still content, they can play on your emotions like any film or TV series can and some of the commercials that stirred those emotions in us so seamlessly are still watched and talked about to this day.


  • Think out of the box

In the past some of the oddest pieces of work have been the best. There is an Angry Birds trailer on YouTube that has garnered over 100 million views – yes, we should all be slightly ashamed – but it does tell us something. I remember in the noughties Cadbury’s had an ad featuring a gorilla playing the drums that went viral, there was nothing else in the production but that. Be original with your work, you don’t want to produce the same thing as everyone else. The greatest part – in my opinion – about making a commercial, is the creative freedom you usually have. If this is not the case your pitch may not have been good enough.

  • Be Organised

Making any film is stressful enough as it is, try and make sure you’re as organised as you possibly can and have a team that echo that skill. I remember having a deadline to deliver a final piece of work and my location fell through at the last moment because of a double booking. I was fortunate that my location manager wa

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