So you have this great idea to make a commercial. You see a mom walking into a gas station after a rough day. She is wearing the frustration of the day on her face, but then she sees something. It’s your brand new, super refreshing soda sitting in a refrigerator at the counter. The bottle drips with the cool condensation as she opens the door to grab one for herself. She slaps the money on the counter, turns while opening the can, and walks out while taking that first sip of your refreshing beverage. The final frame is her finishing that sip with a huge smile on her face. The evening is saved, thanks to that perfectly placed beverage. You can visualize exactly what you want in your head, but you have no idea where to start.
So, where do you go from here? You know what you want, but have no idea how to make it happen. If it stops here, the perfect commercial dies as a dream, and you don’t want that to happen. Well, your next step is finding the right people to help you bring that dream to life.
What to Look for to Make Commercial Dreams a Reality
What you want to look for is an Idea Agency. I know that term sounds really vague, but it’s not. People like the folks over at c-istudios.com are here to help you turn these ideas into a reality from start to finish. They can use their creative methods to help you create a final product that’s even better than you imagined. So, how do they do it?
Creative agencies have a process that ensures that you are getting exactly what you are looking for. It involves understanding, planning, and executing every step of the way. Let’s take a look at that commercial we talked about before, and how idea agencies can turn those simple thoughts into stunning commercials.
Understanding the Goal
The first thing that your agency will want to understand is the overall goal of the campaign or commercial. Let’s just say that the commercial idea you had was for a drink you love, but is starting to be forgotten with time. That drink is an important part of your life, and that’s why you love working with them, but the times are changing away from the heyday of your favorite drink. You have secured a 15-second spotlight during the biggest game of the year, so you have to make this count.
By taking the time to understand the importance of the drink, the creatives will know they have to make their product ooze emotion. They also know that emotion has to be the right one; beautiful nostalgia.
Plotting Out the Process
The next step is taking the time to map out the process. This is normally done through the use of storyboard templates. These storyboards let the agency take the pictures in your brain and turn them into shot-by-shot timelines for your commercial. Typically, these storyboards will have room underneath for any dialog you want to include with the commercial. Depending on how intensive it is, you might want to actually write scripts, but since it’s a 15-second spot, you can probably just use these spaces below to figure out what casual things will be said, if any. You can also use these storyboards to make your specific notes about shots, styles, and other important features of the shot or people in it. This will be the first tangible step to making your dream commercial a reality.
Finding the Right Place
You need the perfect scenery for your commercial, and it has to be realistic. The agency might have studios on hand that can be used for the whole project. These studios are normally areas that have a ton of stuff in them, like the backstage area of a play. They will have tons of props and backdrops to make your ideas come to life within the walls. Everything from paint explosions to perfect lighting for a shot will be achievable there.
If there isn’t a studio, you might want to search around for the perfect spots to make your scenes a reality. As a hint, you can allocate part of your budget to “rent” shops for a little bit. Mom and Pop shops love to take small cuts to let you film in their space. They are often the best places to get that shop feeling without having to worry about the corporate branding of another company coming back to bite you later on. You might even be able to find the perfect actor in the person behind the counter if you are having issues finding talent. They talk to people all day, so they might be personable on the screen, for the right price.
Shooting Your Shot
After you have the basics in order, it’s time to record your footage. The agency should be able to help you with this part as well, as many idea agencies love to be a part of the entire process, so they can ensure the quality of the product you get. From high-quality video cameras to the best post-production editing software, your team should be able to get what you need. You want to walk away from the day of shooting seeing all the shots as they are intended in your mind. If you can’t see how your project is going to come together from the raw footage, there is an issue.
Editing Your Commercial
The agency should be able to help you create that perfect video from the raw footage they got on filming day. From there, they should make the cuts, add the transitions, and spice up the entire video with logos and anything else you want to include. As the client, there are three main things you want to focus on when you are watching the final product.
The first is the most important, and that’s the amount of time it takes to watch the commercial. Make sure it fits within your timeslot, or your commercial can get cut off before it’s done. No one likes that, so make sure that the time frame is correct.
The second is looking for anything you don’t like. Maybe a frame isn’t zoomed in enough or you can see a logo for a competitor directly in the frame, no matter the issue, you need to be able to work with your agency to create a solution for the issue at hand. It has to create that perfect feeling when customers watch it, so make sure it gives you that feeling when you watch it. If things aren’t perfect, you’ll end up distracted by something in the commercial, and ultimately your product won’t have the desired effect.
The third thing you need to pay attention to is the adaptability of the commercial you have made. Make sure you can find ways to split and cut the commercial to make it shorter. With the idea we had, it will be easy to shorten the length of the clips to create the same feeling. If you can’t keep buying the 15-second spots, you don’t want to turn your project into a useless item, so making sure you can create shorter versions will help increase the longevity of your commercial, especially if the short version is just as good as the long one.