In part one of this article, we explored the three basic rules to apply if you were interested in writing a cliche TV commercial. Judging by the number of these I see on TV in any given day, I think it is fair to assume that quite of few advertisements are put together this way. To recap, here are the guidelines:
1) Women are smart, men are stupid
2) Kids are smarter than adults
3) Animals are smarter than people
Using that info, let’s see if I can write a commercial that will resemble about 60%Â of the ones you see airing today. We need a product to promote. How about roadside assistance?
Our commercial opens with a man, his wife and two kids in a minivan driving to some unknown destination. The man, distracted by a billboard for cheap fireworks, does not see the animated beaver on a scooter crossing in front of them. His ever alert wife, after putting down her copy of Einsteins biography to mull over the Theory of Relativity, does see the beaver and warns her husband to veer left. Instead he veers right and hits a huge pot hole which causes a blowout of the front tire. The man covers his eyes and the woman steers them to safety.
After surveying the damage, the man says the situation is hopeless because he can’t remember how to change a tire. The wife then reminds him that she talked him into purchasing roadside assistance when they bought the van and that they could call for help. He no sooner agrees to do so, when a service truck pulls up. In the back seat of the van, we see two smiling pre-teens who point to their smart phones and say in unison, “We’ve already send out a Tweet!” To which mom and dad reply, “You kids, saving the day again. What would we do without you?”
As the service truck pulls away, fresh tire in place, the kids look out the window and say, “The tow truck guy forgot to put the lug nuts back on!” Just then, the animated beaver who nearly lost his life thanks to the hapless dads incompetence, rides in on his scooter and puts the lug nuts back on. Our family drives off to get some cheap fireworks.
Granted, I’ve taken quite a bit of poetic license here, but the final product is not that far off from some of the fare offered today as fresh and original. And it’s not that this is a bad commercial, it’s just that when a large percentage of ads follow this formula, they start to lose their effectiveness. And worse, I think it’s lazy.
If your able to put something togehter this easily, then you’re either a genius, or you’re in a rut.
Here’s part 1 of the post. How To Write A TV Commercial In Ten Minutes Part 1