What Makes A Good Commercial?

What Makes A Good Commercial?

What makes a good commercial? 

The question of the hour, huh? You might think there’s some complex industry secret, but Keith lays it out plainly in the video. 

“A good commercial is a message that is well-received by the audience, that interests them, and that makes them want your product or service.” 

You might be thinking, “well, DUH!” but seriously. Think of so many of the commercials you see. How many of them can you say are actually interesting? How many of them are you actually content to be watching, let alone enjoying? And then of course there’s the major question: how many brands are you engaging with as a result of those commercials? 

When trying to construct this seemingly mythical “perfect commercial,” it’s important to take three interconnecting elements into consideration: 

- Value

- Theme

- Quality 


What is the appeal of this commercial? This contains both the actual function of the ad (“Sale On Hammers This Week Only!”) and why that appeals to the needs of the audience you’ve identified (“Come Shop Our November Christmas Lights Special While Supplies Last!”). Understanding your value and how it manifests to costumers is at the center of your scripting and how you’ll construct your CTA. 


Theme is worldbuilding. The connective tissue of your commercial. Some ads feel like they’re jumping all over the place, and that’s because they never committed to a grounded theme. If you’re an insurance company, themes like “Safety” and “Fear of Chaos” play big roles. Goofy situations like in the All State “Mayhem Like Me” commercials would feel totally non sequential if they weren’t connected by ideas of protection and a central character that repeats. Grounding your commercial in a theme gives the creative team direction AND it gives your audience something to hold onto while you work to sell them on your business. 


C’mon. Make a quality commercial. Pay a good director of photography, hire a real producer, get some actual actors. Advertising is about the most saturated space imaginable, and you need to stand out for the right reasons. If you’re the med tech device company with the third-best ads, everyone will think you’re the third-best med tech company.

When it comes down to truly pinching the pennies, yes, there is room to be flexible on some stuff depending on your distribution. You may not need 6k video for a Instagram story. But this is the wrong hill to die on, and it shows in every local TV ad. Would we hate political ad season so much if the ads weren’t so unbearably poorly produced? Okay, we probably would, but it would still be easier to endure. 

These three elements interact in lots of interesting ways, and do become a little less or a little more important depending on your goals. If you’re looking for more specifics on making the perfect commercial for you, let us know. We’d love to talk with you about your video aspirations. 

Best of luck.

Hunter Smith