Saturday, May 9, 2009

Producing TV Commercials in (Lagos) Nigeria

Television advertising has become much more affordable over recent years but if it doesn’t work it can still be a very expensive exercise. The success of your television advertising campaign depends on the level of targeting and the quality of the commercial.

The following tips helps to avoid the potential pitfalls and create a television commercial that gets results.

Decide on a Budget
Without knowing your total budget for the whole campaign it’s impossible to know how much to spend on your commercial. Decide on a set budget and stick to it. The budget of a TV Commercial in Nigeria is determined by several factors. You have to decide on if you want to use a production house or you want to shoot it yourself (However I will always advice you give to professionals in order to truly save cost). You also have to decide if you are giving the whole job to an advertising agency; an agency which will probably prepare a script and contact a production house. You also have to decide if you want to use models or it’s just special effects, animations and motion graphics you want in your commercial (most low budgeted commercial use basically this for their commercial, so they would not have to pay models, location managers, production managers etc). However, professionally done TV commercials in Nigeria usually falls within the range of N1.5m and N40m (check the world currency converter for the current dollars equivalent). The cost break down usually depends on what and what is needed in your TV commercial.

Hire a Production Company
Few companies in the Nigeria produce their own television commercials in-house but this isn’t recommended. The agency you are using to plan your campaign should be able to recommend a good quality production company. Bear in mind that they are probably receiving a commission for making the recommendation so always do your own research.

If you’re searching for a production company on your own don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s best to arrange a meeting to discuss the commercial, as this also helps to identify who are the third-party agencies who simply receive your brief, pass it over to a production company, and charge you a fee for doing so.

Before confirming anything arrange for a contract to be drawn up that states the objectives of the commercial and a breakdown of the costs. This prevents any extra unexpected costs arising once the commercial is being produced.

Finally, after hiring a production company don’t take a hands-off role. They may be professionals, but they are professional producers, not marketers. Make sure that they always have the original concept and vision in their minds; otherwise they may drift and produce a fantastic visual commercial which simply doesn’t sell the product.

Decide on the Type of Response Required
There are two main types of television commercials – immediate response and branding.

Immediate response commercials are common in Nigeria and focus on encouraging the viewer to take action immediately, usually through phoning a number.

Branding commercials focus on image association, where the aim is to make viewers feel good about a brand through the imagery. Most commercials in the Nigeria, focus on branding.

The advantages of immediate response commercials are that you can tell instantly whether the ad is working through simply checking call statistics. The downside is that it only tends to work for business products and services, and some local consumer services if the commercial reaches a highly targeted audience.

Realistically, branding commercials are most suited to large firms advertising commercial goods. The resultant brands can be very powerful but it takes a lot of time and money to reach the desired result.

The Quality of the Commercial
The quality is likely to be linked to the size of your campaign. It makes little sense spending 50% of your budget on producing a great commercial, but at the same time you don’t want your campaign to fail because of a poorly produced one.

In general, keep the cost of producing the commercial to less than 20% of your total television advertising budget, and take into account the type of commercial that you’re producing and your product. Branding commercials tend to be more expensive to produce, and if you’re promoting a product where quality is an important attribute it may be worth spending a little extra on the commercial to ensure that the correct image is portrayed.

Take Length into Account
The standard length of a commercial is 30 seconds but you don’t have to stick to this – short commercials can be just as effective. Whatever happens don’t be tempted to add on an extra second or two at the end to try for the sake of a better commercial. This will just simply create problems when trying to edit to ad.

Use People in the Commercial
People relate to other people and one of the goals of an advertisement is to build up a rapport with the prospect. Including people in your commercial will make this much easier to achieve.

The Script
You have a very short time to capture peoples’ attention and get across your message. Therefore stick to short, punchy sentences. Don’t forget about the audio – any music or background noise should support the commercial so that people can recognize it’s your advertisement even when not present in the room.

The Next Stage
With your commercial produced the next step is to make sure that the frequency of your campaign is right. Television advertising isn’t as demanding as radio advertising when it comes to repetition, but you should still aim to make sure that your target audience sees your commercial at least twice.

Also, branding commercials require greater repetition whereas you should be able to assess the effect of an immediate response commercial after the first couple of times it is aired.

(If you need to write a script, draw up a story board, direct or produce your commercial in Nigeria, you can contact us and we will be willing to help)
Also check out www.hotadsafrica.com for couples of sample ads produced in Nigeria)

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For further inquiry

Please contact Victor Ariyibi at

+234 - 818 547 6473.

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