Script Writer’s Toolkit: advert script ideas come in all shapes and sizes

If you’re struggling to come up with game-changing advert script ideas. If that ‘big’ idea is proving elusive. Stop right there – I’ve got a secret to share.

Great advert script ideas come in all shapes and sizes

Sure, big ideas are important. But they’re only half the picture. I like to group my ideas into two (fairly self-explanatory!) categories.

1 – Big, bold ideas that change the shape, look and feel of a given piece of content – effectively theming it.

2 – Smaller, subtler ideas that may only take up a few seconds of screen time, yet create standout moments that make your content memorable.

The most effective content makes use of both. A big, bold idea to give it a distinct flavour, and small, subtle ideas peppered throughout to hammer home key points and make sure no one can forget a product’s USPs.

BIG AND BOLD

One of my favourite projects to date was for SAP – a technology company who’d built back-end software that connects a retailer’s stock control system directly to the UBERRush delivery platform.

These retailers could, of course, use UBERRush without SAP’s system – so our job was to persuade them they’d be crazy to even try.

We started with an analogy: getting products into the store and out to the customer is a juggling act. And juggling with two balls is easy, but the more you add, the harder it gets. Eventually, you’ll drop the ball.

Don’t choose the obvious idea.

We could’ve illusrated this idea with some super-literal visuals (factories, products, shipping) – instead, we decided to go the whole way, representing each part of the supply chain as a juggler, and showing just how much harder that juggling act gets when you scale up.

As the video progresses, you realise that each of these jugglers is stood in position on a map. At the end of the video, we tranform the analogy back into a literal representation to tie everything together – each of the balls becomes an UBERRush vehicle fulfilling an order, and the route taken by those vehicles ultimately ‘draws’ the SAP logo.

As advert script ideas go, it’s pretty big. And its pretty bold. Yet it’s still super simple, and so super-effective.

We could easily have made something predictable and boring here. After all – let’s be honest – it’s not the most exciting product in the world. But by coming up with a simple analogy, and threading that through the entire video, we made some compelling content that’s more engaging, and so much more effective.

See for yourself: https://youtu.be/EjoQ_mAt6kU

SMALL AND SUBTLE

While the big, bold ideas help you theme your content, it’s the small, subtle ones that will force us all to sit up and pay attention to your product’s USPs.

One of my favourite examples of this: an explainer we made to help launch Fatiha, a new App for audio-only religious lectures.

Their main USP wasn’t particularly revolutionary: the lectures can be saved for offline listening. But – we came up with great way to represent that on-screen.

The main pain-point for users listening to these lectures elsewhere was the constant buffering – so we showed this literally: one minute the speaker is right there next to them, the next they’re paused and pixellated.

Simple, but effective.

As advert script ideas go, It’s a small one – but it still packs a powerful punch.

If the voiceover had simply ‘stated’ this was a big issue, you’d have barely paid attention. But with a quirky way to represent it on-screen too – you’re instantly on board.

See for yourself: https://youtu.be/L_4sCyPauZk

And if you want to see more examples of adverts I’ve scripted that make use of ideas of all shapes and sizes, feel free to have a poke around my portfolio.

Got a topic you’d like me to cover in a future blog? Either post your questions below, or get in touch directly!

About the Author

Adam Hunt is a Script Writer and Creative Consultant. Based in London, he works remotely for clients around the world.

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