Exaggerate For Commercial Results
April 21, 2015
Often, when we're stuck for words when writing a commercial, we need to step back and forget the script, and think about the idea. What about the product, the service, the store, or the people, inspires us? Often, tasting, touching, researching or using a product or service will help us discover the most powerful point to make.
What's the most surprising way you can make that point? Often it's by exaggerating. Take the most salient benefits and play the exaggeration game with each of them. If you have kids or can find someone else's children willing to play with an adult, engage them in this exercise. They have great imaginations and will be much less inhibited than we are in coming up with exaggerations.
Start with the benefit: "Getting a new auto loan from our bank is so quick that..."
Now list as many possibilities as you can think of:
... You'll have an answer before you can hang up the phone, or ... we'll call you on your cellphone while you're on your way out of our parking lot, or ... your nails won't have a chance to dry, or ... you won't even have time for fast food, or ... you get the idea.
You can also develop the idea from exaggerating problems that can be solved by the advertiser:
"You're so tired of waiting in line that ..." "You're so fed up with high prices for bottled water that ..." "You're so frustrated with complex cell phone plans that ..." "If I could just find a reliable blacksmith around here..."
"Create-It-Yourself Pasta Bar has so many combinations of noodles, veggies, condiments and toppings that..."
You'll feel like the Leonardo DaVinci of dining, the Picasso of pasta, the Michelangelo of meals...
Now, don't just state the exaggeration as you've written it; use it to develop stories about people your target audience can relate to. Try to keep your stories focused on making one powerful benefit per commercial.
Exaggeration offers lots of opportunities to lighten up and if the image you create is distinctive enough, it will stick in the minds of your audience members and may inspire them to quote it to your client.
Exaggeration is a powerful way to bring a big idea to life. "It can make writing a good commercial so easy...your friends won't believe you did it yourself...you'll have to exaggerate how much time it took you to write it...it'll make gravity seem like work...you'll be making more money than you know what to do with..."