TV commercials are effective methods of advertising that many large companies rely on to promote and sell their products. Companies are always open to pitches for commercials that will present their products in the best light and help sell them. Your effective, creative idea for a TV commercial could end up netting you huge profits if you have the information it takes to create a commercial and pitch it to the right people.
Develop a solid idea and outline it. A TV commercial typically runs 30 seconds. In that short time, you'll need to engage and sustain viewer interest in the product your TV commercial features. If you can create a commercial that does this, chances are good you can attract the attention of the people who will buy your commercial.
Prepare a storyboard. A storyboard represents a rough draft of your television commercial's storyline, presented in graphic and text format. Create the storyboard on poster board. Use a ruler to divide the poster board into an even number of blocks. Each block will represent a scene in the commercial and will contain a rough drawing of what takes place and maybe a brief sentence of description.
Consider using Microsoft PowerPoint or another computer presentation software to present your TV commercial pitch. PowerPoint lets you pull together text, graphics and music to give a full, engaging representation of your commercial.
Practice your pitch. Know the aim of your commercial and be able to deliver a verbal pitch that will convince executives from your target company that you not only know its product but that you are capable of presenting a commercial that will sell its product. Record your pitch and play it back to ensure that you achieve the authoritative effect you're after.
Contact your target company. The best place to start is on the Internet. Most companies have a website with contact information. Get a phone number and an address. If the information is not readily available on the company website, call and ask whom you would send a query to. You may be directed to the company's advertising agency if it has one in-house or or referred to the company's outside advertising agency. Ask for the the name of the executive to whom you'll be directing your query. Never try to pitch your idea over the phone.
Compose a query letter that states briefly who you are and highlights any previous advertising or TV commercial experience you have. Outline your idea for the TV commercial spot you have. Close the query with a request to meet with someone to present the idea. You may be met by rejection, but if the idea is good enough, there's a chance you'll get your pitch.
Apply for a copyright of original material (see Resources). You can't copyright an idea alone, so make sure you have a fully developed commercial laid out in a tangible form. Applying for copyright is a way to protect yourself should a lawsuit ever arise. When you pitch to an agency, however, you will most likely have to sign a release that says you won't hold them responsible if they should ever develop a commercial similar to yours. This protects the company from claims they've stolen your work. The release also states they are not obligated to hire you simply by letting you pitch your idea, unless both parties enter into a further agreement. Don't worry. The odds of having your work stolen are slim. If your work is that good, chances are a company would rather develop a working relationship with you.
Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.