Using only words
…and words are all I have, to take your heart away.*
Who says all commercials are to be avoided?
I think the Super Bowl proved that maxim wrong several years ago. The commercials that run during the Super Bowl are often more eagerly anticipated than the game itself.
Great spots can be entertaining, highly emotional, and/or beautifully filmed.
But the one thing all great spots have in common — even if there isn’t a word spoken — is great writing.**
And I’d like you to pay attention to the words in this spot.
Willem Dafoe does a good read, but he got a great script to work with, didn’t he?
Now, think about this…
Most breaks, you have less than 30 seconds to make your point. If you were to script every word you said, to maximize the emotional impact of each break, how much better could you sound?
If your answer is, “Not all that much,” you must not have a very good imagination.
It always starts with the writing. Always.
So, what is it you want me to feel by the words you are about to say?
Write it. Write the words you will use to make me feel what it is you want me to feel.
Read it back to yourself, out loud.
Edit every word that doesn’t add to the emotional impact.
Read it aloud, again.
Can you make it better?
What? Too time-consuming?
You only speak 4 or 5 times an hour. And you only get a few seconds each time.
Stop being lazy. This is your job. This is your chance to make an emotional connection.
Stop wasting your chances, and stop wasting your listeners’ time.
Be the talent you were hired to be.
*”Words” by Maurice, Robin & Barry Gibb
**Think of the Budweiser 9/11 Tribute spot.