TV Commerical Video Project

Television commercials make their way into our living rooms every day. In many ways, they represent the best of videography, they convey their message clearly and persuasively in thirty seconds or less.

The key to a successful commercial spot is to make sure that the viewer receives the message.

While some commercials are loaded with lots of shots to speed up the excitement, most commercials average 15 to 20 shots. Counting the number of shots will give you an indication of pacing.

Most commercials are 30 seconds.

For ideas watch commercials on TV, think about an upcoming activity, about a product you are really interested in, or a message to stop smoking.

This project involves planning, writing, videoing, editing, and finishing a 30 second commercial for TV. This video will advertise an event, sell a product, or be a Public Service Announcement.

Possible Ideas
• A school play, concert, or dance.
• Sell a soft drink.
• Quit smoking.
• Don’t Drink and Drive.
• Ask for a date.
• Eat at a local restaurant.
• Buy a clothing product with school mascot on.
• Sell a service you can provide.

Things to remember

If using music, be selective, you only have 30 seconds for the commercial.

The Assignment

Part I

Before starting the commercial answer the following questions about your commercial.


  1. What product or service is being sold/promoted?
  2. What is the general mood or feeling of the commercial? Since you know the product or service being sold, what methods are you using to make us interested? How will you portray the product or service in a positive light?
  3. How will the soundtrack play a role in your interpretation of the commercial? Is the music cheery, dreary, suspenseful, whimsical, fun, or exciting? Does the music affect our perception of the mood? Is there a voice-over of someone telling us something? What is the voice over trying to tell us? Does the person speaking coincide with the overall mood of the commercial?
  4. How will the actors playing the characters affect the interpretation of the commercial? Would our interpretation change if the characters were of s different gender? What if the characters dressed differently or spoke differently? Spoke fast or spoke slow, with an accent? Would that change our perception of the character?
  5. How does the commercial try to get our attention? Does it use flashy graphics with fast music? Does it alter the way we see the world, either through the use of special effects or through the story line?
  6. Who is this commercial aimed towards? Is it you or someone like you? What age, gender? How will we know?


Part II

Create either a storyboard or script (see Big Bucks Loto example) of your commercial

You must include the action and camera shots used for each shot.


Part III

Collect any props needed, gather background music, sound FX , etc.

Check location for shoot, and begin shooting.


Part IV

Edit your commercial




Big Bucks Lotto example of Shot List

Big Bucks Lotto begins with a woman who is facing a typical Monday workday. As the commercial progresses, she discovers that she has won the lottery, and so no longer needs to worry about going to work that morning.

Video Audio
1. Est. of rain and window. 1. SFX Rain
2. CU of cat lapping up milk. 2. SFX Cat purring
3. CU of clock pendulum. 3. SFX Clock
4. MS fireplace 4. SFX Fire burning
5. ECU clock radio 5. VO: (radio announcer) Welcome to another rainy Monday morning. If you're just getting your day started, you might think about allowing some extra time during rush hour traffic. Incoming calls have indicated fifteen to thirty minute delay on business loop 80 and the 24 express cut-off. We'll keep you posted on delays and weather conditions the 24 express cut-off. We'll keep you posted on delays and weather conditions throughout the next half hour, so stay tuned.
6. CU woman's face, opening eyes
7. MS sitting up in bed/rollers in hair
8. MS turning towards radio/ legs on floor
9. MS reaching for glasses/ putting on
10. POV Blur to focus on lotto ticket next to radio
11. MS grabbing ticket, smiling, laughing and kissing the ticket.
12. WS turning off radio/ laying down
13 CU lady snuggling in pillow 13. VO: Big Bucks Lotto.
14. WS of room
15. GPX Keyed: The perfect cure for those Monday The perfect cure for those Monday
morning blues! morning blues.
GPX Keyed: Play Today Play today.

Key to Abbreviations

ECU Extreme closeup
CU Closeup
GPX Graphics
MS Medium shot
VO Voiceover
WS Wide shot
POV Point of view
EST Establishing shot
SFX Sound effects