The Basics on Writing a Commercial Script

How to Write a Commercial Script

Scriptwriting appears to be simple at first glance. But upon further examination, the script must contain punchy elements with a call to action, be relatable and hold lots of information. But a script can’t be choppy, and there can’t be too much or else the consumer will feel overwhelmed with the sales pitch.

Every word in the script needs to represent your company. Your mission. Your brand. And you have to convey all of this in 90 seconds or less.

Below are some basic tips to help jumpstart your script writing!

What is a Commercial Script?

A script for commercial voice overs can either be for radio or television. This article focuses on both, looking at the overall tips that work for both. Your commercial script will likely be a commercial voice-over AKA you’ll have an actor speaking in the background of the video, not on camera.

An average commercial script is only 30 seconds. So that’s 30 seconds to state your brand, explain why they should choose you. The catch, you can’t sound salesy. Your outcome and goal is to get people to buy your product or choose your service, but people tend to distrust companies they feel are selling to them. The key is to keep it conversational and light.

The Basics of a Script

Creating a Brief

The point of a brief is for you and your team to agree on the questions you want to answer in the commercial and the goals/outcome from said commercial. It may seem like this should be unspoken, but don’t skip this step. Remember how your teachers always told you to outline your papers before you wrote them? This is the same concept, but instead of receiving a mediocre grade, you might put out a mediocre commercial and maybe losing money.

  • Why are we making this video?
  • What do we want our call to action to be?
  • Who is this audience for this commercial?
  • What information should the audience know after watching the video?

Once your brief is made, you can move onto the next step of creating your script.

Script and Storyboard

A script and storyboard go hand in hand. Your storyboard is your commercial sketched out scene for scene. Your script is the words you want to accompany each scene, whether it’s through voice-over narration or acting on camera. To keep everything in the right tone, make sure your script states where each scene is. It’ll help you in writing, acting and post production.

Your actual script should be broken down to a functional, conversational level. You aren’t trying to impress your audience with high jargon. You want them to understand what you’re offering and why your business is better. Write the script as if you were talking to a neighbor. Eventually you will develop a script template that you can use for your future commercials!

Add Pauses in writing

Writing PAUSE/BREATHE into your script will help your script sound organic and help your actor. It seems like a small thing, but it goes back to creating a conversational commercial. Your actor won’t sound out of breath, your commercial won’t sound like one 30-second run-on sentence.