6.27.2011

What's in a Commercial?


We love commercials that grab our attention, make us laugh, or make us think.  We actively participate in commercial-watching during the Super Bowl.  Have you wondered about the creative side? Marketers have thirty seconds to tell a brand’s story.  They develop scripts as road maps to ensure quality and consistency and to make sure that everyone involved with making the spots has a clear understanding of the story. 

As a way to demonstrate what goes in to this process, below are two commercials that I have reverse-engineered.

Spot 1
Volkswagen and Darth Vader. 










 Video
 Audio
1.
Wide Shot (WS) from behind of a small child wearing a Darth Vader costume walking down the hallway of a home. Walls are white, focusing the viewer’s attention on the child in the middle of the shot
 The Imperial March from Star Wars (also known as Darth Vader’s theme)
2.
WS of the child in the laundry room attempting to give “The Force” to the washing machine

3
WS of child and the family dog. The dog is laying on a dog bed. The child has both hands extended out again in the same way, attempting to give “The Force” to the dog

4.
CU of the dog. The dog’s expression changes slightly as he tries to understand what the kid is doing

5.
WS of child in what is presumably his sister’s room.  There is a doll on the bed sitting upright.  The child becomes more dramatic with trying to impart “The Force” onto the doll by using his left hand first, then dramatically raising the right hand and “throwing” energy at the doll.

6.
CU of the doll sitting motionless on the bed.

7.
WS of child and doll in the room. The child again drops both arms at his sides in utter defeat at the lack of his ability to impart “The Force”

8.
CU of child sitting at kitchen counter with left hand on his head, still feeling defeated. When the child hears the car pull in, he perks up, as if given one more chance!
In addition to music, the dog barks off camera, signaling the car’s arrival
9.
WS of dad getting out of car
Car door closes
10.
WS of dad walking towards house. Child is running out to driveway.  Dad (briefcase in left hand) extends both arms out, thinking the child is running out to greet him.

11.
Child motions for dad to get out of his way and runs over to the front of the car. Dad shrugs shoulders as if to say, “hey buddy! Don’t you want to see me?”

12.
CU of car’s interior, showing the VW logo on the steering wheel.  Through the windshield, we see the child in front of the car.

13.
WS of child in front of car trying to give the car “The Force”.

14.
CU of child trying to give the car “The Force”

15.
Medium Shot (MS) of child in front of car. The car’s engine starts!

16.
The child is astounded and stumbles backwards a few steps.

17.
CU of the car’s remoter starter with someone’s finger being released from the starter button

18.
MS of mom and dad. We see the back of mom’s head as dad looks at her with a mouth-opened grin as they both play along with the child’s fantasy. Dad raises eyebrows slightly as if to say, “Did you see that! Got him!”

19.
CU of child in the driveway looking at back the parents. He is astounded as he believes he gave the car “The Force”.

20.
Black Screen with white copy. ”The All-New Volkswagen Passat.” VW logo in bottom right corner.  Very small copy reads: “*Available Summer 2011. MSRP. Base Model $20, 590; V6 SEL as Shown $32, 950; taxes, title transportation, options and dealer charges; Dealers Set Actual Price.

21.
White copy reads: Coming Soon – Starting Around $20,000*.

22.
WS of child still in driveway. He looks back at the car one more time.

23.
End
Music Fades



Spot 2
Tough Questions About Vegas
 

 


 Video
 Audio
1.
WS of young father and young daughter in the kitchen shot from behind the child The child is
Sitting at the kitchen counter. The dad is standing on the other side of the counter.
No music for entire spot
2.
Dad is holding two stuffed animals and says, “And basically that’s how babies are made”

3
He shakes his head affirmatively and his proud of himself for handling this tough question

4.
Child says, “Ok”

5.
Dad say, “ok!” again, proud of himself

6.
CU of child eating a bowl of cereal.  She quickly moves on her to next question while looking very
Contemplative at her cereal

7.
Without looking up, she says, “So why do grown-ups go to Las Vegas?


8.
CU of dad. Still holding two stuffed animals.  He is no longer looking her in the face, but instead
Is looking off into the distance. He fidgets with stuffed animals nervously

9.
He cannot find words.  He simply utters, “Uh…oh, uh…”

10.
He giggles nervously and nods at the child

11.
He looks up, looks all around, searching for an answer

12.
He stumbles again, “uh…”

13.
CU of child. She is now looking at him. Waiting impatiently for his answer.

14.
CU of dad. He says, “Well, uh…” then he yells for his wife, who is presumably in another room
In the house. “Honey!”

15.
Wife does not answer

16.
He looks at the child and says, “This is kinda her thing…she…uh…loves the questions”

17.
CU of child. She is irritated that he will not answer her.

18.
CU of dad.  He personifies the stuffed animals, he is still fidgeting with them. In an animated stuffed animal voice he says, “we have questions too”… he is very fidgety and laughing nervously

19.
Screen goes black with white copy: “what happens here, stays here”

20.
Vegas logo
Dad’s voice, “Answer forth coming”
21.
End


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