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Steps to Producing a TV Commercial

August 15, 2011

Last week we talked about the importance of maintaining consistent brand marketing on TV advertising. Today, let’s dive into the production process; the steps that your marketing and advertising firm will go through to develop a winning TV advertisement.



As with any marketing project, a good amount of brainstorming, creative and client meetings are in order to hammer out exactly what direction you want to go. Your overall objectives must be clear. By answering the following questions in your first creative meeting, you’ll start the production process out on the right track:

• What is your advertising budget?

• Will you be integrating other forms of media?

• Who is your target audience?

• What is your brand message?

• How will you measure success or failure?


After you have completed your first creative client meeting, your advertising team will get together to hammer out some ideas. Each advertising firm has their own way of getting creative in brainstorming sessions, and in most cases the early stages of brainstorming sessions will not include the client. Creative brainstorming might include more market research, audience sentiment research, and testing.


The Big Idea

The creative genius behind your advertising team will spend a great amount of time and effort on coming up with some ideas for your advertisement. Once a few ideas have been established, there might be a few client meetings involved to decide which of the ideas has the most merit. Once the big idea is recognized, story boards will be created by the copywriter.


Storyboards are an integral part of the creative and development process. It’s through these story boards that the entire vision is realized and visualized. Story boards make it easy for the client to envision what the TV advertisement might look like, and they help the creative team determine how the ad will come together. Story boards will be extremely intricate, laying out nearly every second of the TV commercial. Through these boards both the client and the creative team can make revisions, discuss changes, and hammer out the final product.


Production – The Shoot

When the final product has been laid out, and all parties involved are satisfied and excited about the outcome, it’s time to start shooting. In most cases, the client does not attend the shoot. This is left to the experts behind the camera, and the actors in front of the camera. If the final product has been approved by the client in revision meetings, the rest of the production process should be smooth sailing. This is where trust plays a huge role in advertising. The client must absolutely trust that the advertising and production team will stick to the story board, stick to the budget, and honor the client’s wishes. A TV commercial shoot can take anywhere from a day to a year, depending on the approved final product and any revision or reshoots that need to be made.


After the shoot is completed, the production team will go into editing, dubbing, and musical scoring. All of these aspects of the project should have been already approved by the client before production. The music selection will have been made to maintain consistency with the client’s brand. The dubbing, voiceovers, and editing should also be consistent with the client’s requests.


When producing a TV commercial, go big or go home. Consider integrating your TV advertisement with other forms of media such as print, online videos, and social media. Create a buzz around your uniquely branded commercial by utilizing every form of media available.