Recipe Ingredient #9 To Make A Bad Radio Or Television Commercial: Script By Committee

What happens when too many people offer opinions into a script? (note: This is most common with commercials in the medical field.)

MYTH

  • All decision-making employees should have an opinion on what the commercial should “say”…which leads to…
  • Trying to cram as much info into the advertisement as possible, which leads to…
  • All those egomaniacs who think they’ve created a “great” or “good commercial” can brag about what a wordsmith they are.
When the above scenario happens, you end up with a certifiable, unfocused mess.

THE ISSUE

Usually, commercials in the medical profession have to go through layers upon layers of legal approval before they can be on the air. Therefore, I understand why this can and does happen.

But that doesn’t mean it should.

SCENARIO #1: DON’T GET SUED!

I’m sure you’ve seen at least one television commercial for some medication in which the disclaimer (the legal jargon at the end) greatly exceeds the listing of why you need the pill/shot/inhaler, etc.

You know the lawyers had a field day deciding what they can/can’t/should/shouldn’t/would/wouldn’t say. All in an effort to cover their clients’ rear end.

SOLUTION #1: Get all the “legal-ese” out of the way before a script concept is even considered. This will save considerable time on the production-end of the advertisement.

SCENARIO #2: WE NEED TO MENTION (X, Y, AND Z)

This ugly beast usually rears its’ head on your local hospital/medical center or rehab facility commercial.

Instead of telling the audience why they should go to your facility for a routine test or procedure, or something specialized, instead, you end up with the laundry list of unimportant garbage.

As in, “Our lobby just got painted…and we have a new plant on the 5th floor by the elevator, and the cafeteria now has forks! That’s why WE care more than the mean, sadistic bastards down the street. ”

SOLUTION #2: if your new state-of-the-art CatScan machine will give me more accurate results ten times faster than the other guys…promote that.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO

Scriptwriting for commercial advertising becomes a far more complicated process when a group or committee has to decide what is to be promoted.

Identify what makes your organization different from the others. Let the advertising professional and copywriter decide the best way to convey that message.

The committees can decide what plants should go by the 5th floor elevator.

Tim Burt

http://www.timburtmedia.com

About timburtmedia

30,000+ ads globally. Commercial Advertising Marketing - world-wide audio producer, voice-over talent, copywriter.
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1 Response to Recipe Ingredient #9 To Make A Bad Radio Or Television Commercial: Script By Committee

  1. Love it. True, true, true. And you say it like it is. Great!

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