Written by Buddy Vaughn
Managing Partner of DX Media Direct
How to write a commercial that grabs your customers attention & gets response.
After 20 years of crafting Direct Response TV, Radio and Print ads here are some tips to help you win.
- Present the problem: This can be short and to the point because you want to have time to provide the solution. Be direct. Who are you talking to? Talk to them. Help them identify immediately with your message so they can say “oh that’s me.” Here are some examples…
- “Are you tired of being overweight?”
- “Behind on your bills?”
- “How would like to save hundreds of dollars a month on your mortgage?”
Now you are prepared to grab their attention.
- Grab your audience’s attention: Once you have presented the problem now you are ready to grab their attention and hold it for the rest of the spot. This next line is critical. Don’t waste it. Just like the title of a book can summarize it’s contents and make you want to pick it up to read it, you want this part of the spot to give your audience a tantalizing taste of what’s to come.
- “What if you discovered the secret a housewife in Maine found that just made pounds melt away.”
- “Get ready to find out how to cut your car payment in half…for FREE.”
- “What could you do with an extra $5,000 a year you save on your mortgage
- Provide the solution: Deliver the goods. This is where you want to talk about how your product or service can solve the customer’s problem. Or provide them with the benefit they are looking for. In this part of the ad it is important not to confuse features with benefits.Most companies want to talk about the features of their product or service and fail miserably to connect with the benefit to the end user.
For example, instead of saying… “Max X is the new weight loss supplement that has vitamin C, Vitamin D and Chinese Herbs.”
You would want to say “Max X is the powerful new weight loss supplement that melts fat like butter, curbs your hunger pains and increases your energy without that jittery feeling.”
- Provide testimonials and be specific: Where you can and when you can use the legitimate success stories you have to tell the world. It makes the most sense to use the testimonials that are most like your target audience. Also be as specific as you can about the performance of your product or service. If you can save your average customer 64% off their printing cost – then say it. If you can deliver in 3 days when most companies take 14 then say it. But again make sure you relay the benefit.”You’ll save time and money in production costs and down time because your order will be there in 72 hours.”
- Create a sense of urgency: You need to give your audience a good reason to respond now. Whether it’s a deadline for savings or a limited time offer, create a reason that will make someone that may be interested what you have to offer get off the fence and respond.
- “Save up to 40% this weekend when you enter promo code XYZ.”
- “The first 25 to order will get a special bonus gift.”
- “Log on now to take advantage of the 48 hour sale.”
- Only 4 days left until…
- Give a call to action: Tell the customer exactly how you would like them to respond. If they need to “log on now” “Call Toll-Free” “Stop in for savings”. Call the audience to a specific response.
- Repeat the call to action: I have seen many spots fall flat because they will only tell the audience one time what they need to do. Or they want to end the spot with the tag line. Here some secrets within these secrets.
- For Television spots leave the call to action and way to respond up during the entire length of the spot. Don’t just bring it in at the end.
- For Radio spots have the call to action and way to respond be the very last thing the audience hears.
- For print and web ads make the call to action clear and concise. Let it dominate the bottom portion of the ad.
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