I've just finished reading Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads, 5th Edition and thought I would pass along some quick tips on creating successful Ads from this book.* Successful video ads first grab our attention (with a surprise, something unusual, something funny, something weird, something shocking, a mystery) and then make us think.
The first two seconds and the last five seconds of an ad are vital. You need to make the most of both of them. In the opening, you got to make us pay attention to your ad and set-up the trigger that creates a "curiosity gap". You want us to say "That is ridiculous, what happens next?". Mystery. Controversy. Shenanigans. You want a selected slice of wonder to serve up to the audience.
In the last few seconds, you have to resolve the story and make an impact. It's best if this is tied to a call to action, but that may not always be possible. At very least it needs to make us think.
You need both the unexpected and something thought-provoking to make a spot worth watching. If you only have something unusual, then the spot won't be memorable. On the flip side, if you only have a twist-ending, the surprise will be gone after the first viewing. But if you have both, people will watch your spot over and over again.
Put yourselves in the customer's shoes by thinking about how they'll feel when using the product or service. Emotional appeals are far more powerful than logical reasons when we purchase something.
Write the last 5 seconds first. If you can't, then you don't need a commercial, you need to develop a premise for a commercial.
* Full disclosure, I'm an Amazon Affiliate and I do get a very small percentage of the money if you click on the link and buy. It helps out and allows me to create the content that I share here. So if you are interested in the book, please support this blog and buy through the link. Thanks!