By Mat Choat

6 common mistakes to avoid in 2024 when producing a TV ad or video campaign

January 16th, 2024
5 min read

Avoid these common pitfalls with your TV or video campaign

Video content can be key for increasing your brands presence and connecting with your customers. Whether you want to start adding video into your marketing strategy this year, or you’ve had video in your marketing mix for years, we’re sharing some hints and tips to get the most out of your video content. 

Not nailing the brief

Try to be clear about your goals. What problem are you trying to solve? Include strategic thinking, don’t just consider creative ideas in isolation. Are you seeking to increase brand awareness, or are response rates the key metric? You may already have a sense of the kind of TV ad or video you’d like to make but try to be flexible. Perhaps there’s a simpler way to realise a similar creative concept without needing an expensive approach. Having the support of an experienced production team is incredibly valuable in this respect.

It always makes sense to be open about your budget and timescales early in the briefing stage. To put it bluntly: there’s little value in a killer creative idea if it can’t be produced on time and in budget. When planning a campaign, allow enough time for creative - you are potentially making a significant investment, so get it right in the pre-production stages by briefing as early as possible.

Avoid unsubstantiated claims

Once you have settled on a concept for your campaign, make sure that you have the necessary data to back up any claims you want to make. TV is regulated by Clearcast, who require proof of any claims. It can take several weeks to get a script approved through Clearcast, but sometimes some simple copy tweaks early on could save a lot of headaches. Superlative words and comparative claims (like ‘best’ and ‘biggest’) will require the most supporting evidence. Ensure your script is worded with Clearcast in mind from the start.

Online video is not regulated to the same extent as TV and BVOD, but it still makes sense to follow these same principles to avoid any possible ASA complaints.

Not utilising the ‘halo effect'

Your TV ad needs to work reformatted for social and internet use. Don’t think of TV and Web separately - create an integrated campaign.

TV is a great medium for reach, but nothing beats the internet for targeting specific groups. Your TV ad needs to work reformatted for social and internet use. Don’t think of TV and Web separately - create an integrated campaign. 

Plan this in before your shoot for maximum value. A good production team will consider how they can create square and portrait formatted videos from your landscape TV or video content. Can the content be used out of home in digital screens? Remember that a significant number of people watch videos on their phone without sound on. Does the concept still work without audio, or does it need some helping text on screen?

Avoiding initial outlay

There’s no denying that TV and video production costs are an investment. A great TV ad or video campaign can keep running for years, with re-edits, tweaks and embellishments to avoid creative ‘fatigue’. While your TV media costs can be adjusted on a regular basis - the initial production itself is a one-off commitment. If you’re creating a live-action piece, you don’t want to find yourself needing to shoot again in a few months time. Use economies of scale wisely during production to get the most efficiency and maximise content for your budget. Social iterations and posts, photographic stills, and even behind the scenes videos can all generate additional valuable content during your main shoot, for little additional expenditure.

Not optimising and testing

Now that you’ve created your finished film, the work doesn’t stop! Keep optimising and improving your content. With online content, you can test numerous different versions. For TV you can make different iterations of your ad and A-B test them. For example, does a female or male voice over deliver greater response? Does a shorter cut-down of a longer edit deliver similar response rates? TV measurability is improving, and response rates are becoming easier to track with new technologies. The gap between the more targeted programmatic world of internet advertising and the more traditional TV media buying world are becoming ever closer.

Getting ‘stung' for on-going talent usage fees

A final quick tip - understand how you may want to use your video content in the future and negotiate all actor and talent options up front. Stipulate terms from the get-go at the casting stage! Don’t wait until your ad is shot and then try and negotiate additional rights with actors agents. Make sure you’re covered from the start. This can equally apply to music and other IP.

Appoint a video marketing agency

Our video team are experts in turning your ideas into reality. Get in touch if you’d like to add video content to your marketing plan for 2024.

Mat Choat

Producer and Head of Broadcast

Mat is an award-winning Producer with 2-decades of experience working in production for advertising and creative agencies. He has produced TV commercials and online video content for hundred of clients.