Over the past few months, we've featured sections of 'There's Money Where Your Mouth Is' to help you build a solid foundation of techniques. This month's tip is about Script Construction: Set-Up, Body, and Resolve.
Commercials follow a specific formulaic pattern. Recognizing and honoring the script construction helps you deliver the words more effectively. The three main components are the: SET-UP, BODY, and RESOLVE. On occasion, there is an additional short element at the end, usually for comedic value, called a BUTTON. This will either be scripted or improvised.
SET-UP - The opening section is designed to grab the listener's
attention and identify a pain point, the problem. It could be lack of time, energy, romance, excitement, etc.
BODY - The middle of the copy provides a solution to the problem as the client's information is mentioned. It answers important who, what, why, when, and how questions implied or posed in the set-up.
RESOLVE - This is the call-to-action for the listener to go into a
store, call, or go online to make a purchase.
BUTTON - Its function is to add personality and complete the
story. Descriptive copy information is generally not given. A button can be a very short responsive sound, word, or sentence that adds cleverness, humor, or finality to the end of the spot.
The following spokesperson spot is selling romance in the form of synthetic firewood. When you read the copy, make sure there is a definite transition between the three sections. One way to ensure a change is to shift weight from one foot to the other without moving the mouth from its position on mic or lifting the feet off the ground. The voice and emotions will change slightly with each new position. Another option is to cock your head in different positions or gesture with your right hand, left hand, and two hands together.
BURN-A-LOG - TV / 30 seconds
The visual starts outside a house in winter then cuts to the inside of the home. The woman has just completed her winterizing tasks. The man puts a log on the fire. The couple sits down together and get cozy.
It's that time of year again. You guessed it, winter. Time to drag
out the warm clothes, clean out the furnace, and cozy up with a loved one by a roaring fire. What better way to take the chill off of winter than with Burn-A-Log.
Burn-A-Log is the fast, clean easy way to have a fire. Just place
Burn-A-Log in your fireplace and light it. There's no messy starter fluid or kindling. One match is all it takes to start Burn-A-Log.
So the next time you want a romantic evening, or could use a
fire to stay warm on those cold winter nights, try Burn-A-Log.
Guaranteed to start with only one match.
Problem = a chill in the relationship and in the weather.
Lists: Drag out, clean out, and cozy up; fast, clean, easy; want a romantic evening, could use a fire, try Burn-A-Log.
Numbers: One match.
Comparatives: Messy starter fluid or kindling versus one match.
Resolve: The romance and the fire were started with one match.
Excerpted from third edition of "There's Money Where Your Mouth Is," by Elaine Clark. To order your copy visit Amazon.com