We recently finished up our first TV spot for our international client CherryBerry Yogurt Bar. It was a total blast to create in partnership with whizkid Director of Photography Dakota Adney. In my experience with franchisees, "make us a commercial!" tends to be a popular request. A lot of stores turn to a local TV station or production team and slap a commercial together for as cheap as possible. The result is never pretty, so I thought I'd take a minute to discuss the process that goes into making an effective TV campaign.
The Backbone of a Good TV Campaign - the Brand:
First, you should have your brand in order before tackling TV. Before writing any concepts or scripts, we sat and made a list all of the brand's main talking points and target groups. If you don't have your brand messages in order, especially your main differentiators, you are not ready for a TV campaign!
The Head of a Good TV Campaign - the Strategy:
This is the biggest one missing from spots thrown together as quick and cheap as possible. Most of the time the brand says let's have tons of product! Product product product! But think about it, a spot that shows tons of yummy product and then puts your logo on the end - does it make the customer want YOUR burger, or does it just make them crave A burger? Chances are they will just leave at lunch and head to the NEAREST burger place, not YOUR burger place. On the other hand, you may try the "let's do something funny like Burger King" approach. Big brands can do this because everyone and their grandma knows the brand already. If you show something situational or conversational, and forget to show your product and your selling points, the spot will likely fall flat because you don't have the brand recognition to pull it off. You'll leave the audience chuckling (assuming you had the budget to pay great actors and hire a great script writer, or else it probably won't be truly funny...) but thinking "What was that a commercial for?"
Another oftten-missed strategy question is how can we create a campaign that works for a new store in an market with 3 competitors, a new store in that is first to market where the concept must be explained, or a store that has been open for over a year? Over three years? If this is the first commercial spot ever for your brand, you should probably focus on making a spot that works for a new store with competition and a new store that is first to market. For CherryBerry, we decided to create 2 spots, the first of which is product-focused and explains the concept. It's ideal for first-to-market stores (which is a large portion of CB's new openings). The second is customer-focused and explains the emotions and experiences of CherryBerry's "put your feet up and stay a while" brand mentality, which works much better for stores with competition in the market, or who have been open a while.
The Legs of a Good TV Campaign - Expansion
A good tv strategy can be built upon so that stores can also run print ads, billboards, radio and social media initiatives to supplement the TV spots. It will also allow for additional spots with the same vibe to be created in 6 months to a year.
The Feet of a Good TV Campaign - Execution
For your campaign to have a solid foundation, you need a great Creative Director who can write a set of concise, memorable scripts, a great Director of Photography who can make storyboards and capture the perfect footage, and then a great production team to be there on the day of the shoot and wrangle actors, adjust lighting, wipe down table tops, and finally edit all of the footage together with the proper music, pace, and end tags. Sound like a lot? It is! But if you find the right team, a few people can wear many hats and pull off a set of effective spots at a reasonable price.
Try and find the right team in your area to help you, it may take more calling, research and a bit more money, but it will be worth it!