Effective writing for commercials and corporate video

Effective writing for commercials and corporate video

It all comes down to the medium.

Just because copy reads great on a website or print advertisement, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for a commercial or corporate video production. People don’t retain information they hear as efficiently as information they read, especially if that information is combined with video, motion graphics, music and other production elements.

When writing for video production, you need to focus on delivering your message in a specific way. Four tips to help you do that below:

Start with an Outline

This should start with the client. Before you start thinking about writing or even the general concept, it is essential to get the client to commit to a bullet-point list of information they want conveyed. Use those bullet points to create an outline from which you will build the script. Nothing complicated. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. Outlines, however, are crucial for organizing your thoughts before you start banging away at the keyboard. When it comes to commercial and corporate video production, the organization of your information is just as important as the words themselves.

Be Concise

Even if you don’t have a target length for the video, it’s crucial to be as concise as possible. Nowadays, people don’t have the patience for you to explain your message fully. Most online videos aren’t watched all the way through. People watch until they get the gist of the message, then move on. Every second you have their attention is extremely valuable.

Write your script first, without worrying about length. Then go over it several times, looking for ways to make the message concise. Don’t use a full sentence when a short phrase will do. Get rid of transitional statements except when necessary. Challenge yourself – “How can I communicate the same point using less words?”

Write the way People Talk

Writers not accustomed to writing for video production have a tendency to be too wordy or formal. When you write a sentence, ask yourself, “Is that what I’d say if I were conveying that same information to a friend?” Probably not. People speak in fragments. Grammar isn’t always perfect. None of that matters as long as it makes sense to someone hearing it. Which brings us to…

Read it Out Loud

Reading the script out loud is the real litmus test. Focus on how they words audibly communicate the message; don’t just read the copy on paper. Read it out loud to yourself. Read the script out loud to others. Ask them to recap the information. Do they retain the key points? Is there anything that sounds a little clunky when read aloud? Any phrasing that could trip up the voice-over talent?


KJO Media is a Video Production Company in Kansas City. Weather it’s social media, commercial advertising, non-profit marketing, or corporate video… the medium may change but our focus remains the same: Video with purpose.