You don’t need a big budget to have a big idea. In fact, lots of great TV commercials have been produced based on the merit of simple ideas.
Two or three years ago, Nissan did a TV campaign for its Z sports coupe using little more than dramatic, sepia tone still photography of the car in action. Viewers saw still shots of the car handling hairpin curves … smoking its tires on the pavement, etc. There was no script, only a powerful music track until the very end of the commercial where a single line of type appeared: “Words fail.”
Nissan could have spent seven figures on a single TV spot for its legendary Z, but instead, the agency chose to present a simple idea based on its own merits, rather than trying to hock an overly slick TV production. I seriously doubt that the goal was to save money. And I doubt the commercial was created for under $10K. But it’s a perfect example of still photography replacing an expensive motion picture shoot – successfully!
Still photography is a powerful tool. But there are more…
Take for example stock footage. If the core advertising message of a financial services firm is financial stability, consider dramatic footage of a full moon rising in the night sky and a voice over that says, earnestly and intimately: “Sleep well, even if the stock market goes bump in the night.”
True, using stock footage requires creativity. You have to find ways to adapt an idea or a message to something that already exists. But if done correctly, you’ll get a national looking campaign for a fraction of what it would normally cost.
Other inexpensive yet highly engaging spots use motion graphics, typography and witty writing to engage a viewer’s interest with the advertising message. A solid idea and a talented motion graphics editor can go a long, long way.
On the verge of exceeding your budget? Keep in mind, assets like custom jingle packages and animated logo treatments can be used again and again in future commercials, so there are major economies of scale working in your favor.
Even if you spend more than 10K for your first campaign, future campaigns may cost half that if you can reuse your most expensive elements.
Here, stock footage is used to promote a financial services firm. Our agency creative director produced this spot along with two others for $7,500.