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Sell Your TV Commercial Ideas

Updated on April 20, 2013

Can You Make Money Selling Your TV Commercial Ideas?

At one time or another almost anyone is likely to think of an idea for TV Commercial Production. Now the question is, What can you do with that idea? An advertising agency will employ writers who have the job of thinking of ideas for TV commercials. If you are good at always coming up with ideas for TV commercials then maybe you should consider a career in advertising.

For now you just want to know "How can I sell my idea for a TV commercial?".

Is this who we are trying to reach with our TV commercial?
Is this who we are trying to reach with our TV commercial?

TV Commercial Production

If it were that simple everyone would do it!

Thinking of a fun or clever idea is only part of the process is selling a product or service. The TV commercial idea is actually the last step in the process. First we look at what type of person are we targeting. We used to do this by deciding if we are trying to reach men or women then consider their age. This process is known as selecting your demographic target audience. Today we tend to think more in terms of a personality type, then look at who fits that type. For example let's say that we have a new client who has a product which will only be sold in a health food store. We would want to know who is most likely to shop in a health food store. We may discover that women are 10% more likely to shop in a health food store. People with gym memberships may be 15% more likely to shop in a health food store. Women who dye their hair pink may be 5% more likely to shop in a health food store. With this information we may decide to target people who live a healthy lifestyle. There is an old saying "Birds of a feather flock together". What this means to us is that we can find people with similar interests engaged in similar activities. So instead of trying to target women of a specific age we are now looking for people who rent canoes, go jogging and who have similar healthy interests. So we could consider advertising in specific places based upon what our group of consumers like. We just might decide to sponsor a mountain biking events like the makers of Nature Vally Granola Bars do.

How Can I Sell My TV Commercial Idea?

Do You See It Isn't That Simple?

Here is what typically happens. Someone calls our ad agency and says something like this... I have this great idea for a TV commercial and I'm looking for someone to be my partner and make some money on this. The other thing they usually say is more like this... I have this great idea for a TV commercial and I want to sell it to you.

Now here is the problem with this plan. People always come up with an idea for a specific product; let's say in this example it is for XYZ Beer. Now you think that you'll get people to buy more XYZ Beer if only someone would buy your idea for a TV commercial. So you decide to call ad agencies and pitch your idea. The first problem is that there are thousands of ad agencies in the United States and you will soon discover that if my client isn't XYZ Beer then I can't go pitch an idea to them because they have a contract with an ad agency already. You can't call XYZ Beer because they will only direct you to their ad agency. The ad agency has people who get paid to think of ideas and you don't know who they are specifically targeting. They may have plans to go after hockey fans in the next quarter and your idea involves girls playing volleyball on a beach. Maybe they are trying to target people who like outdoor concerts and festivals.

The point is that the plan of who to target comes first, then how to reach them, where to reach them and with what message (the TV commercial in this case) would come last.

So if you weren't at the meeting in which the ad agency and the client, XYZ Beer discussed who to target next quarter then you can't be involved with the creative idea for the TV commercial. An idea may be funny, creative, brilliant but whey you don't know the plans the client has your idea just isn't likely to fit.

OK now let's say you've watched all the commercials this client runs and you feel confident that your idea for a TV commercial would fit right in with their marketing. Now you have a new problem, specifically how do you get someone interested in your idea without giving away your secret. The problem is that you cannot trademark an idea. So once you tell someone your idea they can simply tell you that they already considered doing something like that but haven't produced the spot yet. Anyone can think of an idea and there is no point in trying to prove that you thought of it first because you cannot trademark an idea.

Now you might think, OK I'll make them give me money FIRST and THEN I'll give them my idea. Ad agencies are not sitting around waiting for you to call so that they can buy an idea. Let's say that I have a great idea that I think YOU could use. How much would you pay ME upfront for the idea before I tell you the idea? What if I insist it is a really good idea, then how much would you pay me?

So now you see the problem:

1. Nobody would buy an idea upfront and then hope that after they have given you the money they like the idea.

2. Nobody owns an idea, nobody can trademark an idea so once you state your idea anyone can claim they were going to do that anyway.

TV Commercial Production
TV Commercial Production

So What Can I Do With My Idea For A TV Commercial?

I Just Want To See It On TV

My best advice as the owner of an ad agency that makes TV commercials and gets plenty of calls from people who want to sell an idea is this:

1. Consider a career in advertising where you would get a paycheck for thinking of creative ideas.

2. Offer the idea for free to an ad agency in exchange for a letter thanking you for the great idea. This would look good when you later apply for a job at an ad agency.

3. There are many different companies that will have a contest in which the winner of the best TV commercial wins a big cash prize. Search the Internet for something like "TV commercial production contest" and see what you find.

For many people I think that if they just saw their idea on TV that would be enough of a reward.

TV Commercial Production - Green Screen

We shot the first commercial shown below in front of a green screen. This allows us to select "green" in the editing process and eliminate all green. Then we can add in any background that we would like.

The second commercial below was produced in our office without ever taking out our video camera. It was produced entirely in our video editing computer using stock photos and we hired a professional voice over talent.

Most of our clients are from the Miami Dade and Broward areas of South Florida. With our office centrally located in Hollywood it is easy for clients from Miami and Fort Lauderdale to get to our location. We shoot some commercials in our office but many are shot on location.

TV Commercial Production - TV Advertising

This was a commercial that we made which was never intended to be on TV. We made this only so that we could run it on YouTube and get traffic when people search for "creative ad agency" and "funny ad agency". This commercial gets about 1,000 views per month.

TV Advertising - Learn More About Advertising

Think you have what it takes to write TV commercials that people want to buy? Learn more about advertising here.

We look forward to your feedback about TV advertising and TV commercial ideas.

Add Comments About TV Commercial Ideas - How To Sell My Idea For A TV Commercial

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    • profile image

      Nobody 

      2 years ago

      Soooo, as the owner of an ad agency, you will gladly accept people to hand over their ideas for free, but are unwilling to pay for it? Wow, how so very kind of you!

    • profile image

      Sanjay Rathod 

      3 years ago

      Hi!

      Sir! I have a damn good mind for Commercial IDEAS! But I dont know how to send it to the proper place, I mean How can i become a freelance ad.writer?

    • profile image

      Stornsja 

      3 years ago

      Well this killed my dreams , i had a really good idea for a commercial against smoking . Give it for free i don't think so i have to get to

    • profile image

      ynameissiva@gmail. com 

      3 years ago

      Sir I have idea for beer ad.

      Concept is somebody playing game like football cricket . They dont win those history. So that's team s are so upset loose matches.One day a unknown person came with beer, that's team practice time he put down the beer

      Simple take ball put goal after he is go away . That's one of player drunk that beer after he put goals

      That's are erased world record

      He writes New world record s put In goals.

      THE END.not soon.

    • profile image

      Goran Dulic 

      3 years ago

      I have a great idea.The idea can reach popularity as the world's largest internet sites.It's about shopping in a totally new way.I want to import all the shops and businesses on the site and people in a new and very good way can through this site to buy.

      Do you interested in this story,of course I'm looking for someone who wants to fund my idea.

      Goran

    • profile image

      robabob 

      4 years ago

      so i've read the stuff above here, and i'm wondering what to do with an idea i would like to sell but the truth is it would work for any type of product and after other people see it they would use the idea too. ???

    • williamslaw profile image

      williamslaw 

      4 years ago

      I remember doing/making TV commercials on my own in my room.. with friends. We always thought it better than the one's we see on TV but we never once thought of making it as a career. Sometimes it used to be funny and sometimes so boring that we'd talk and laugh about it like crazy... those are the types we always tend to remember.

    • profile image

      david-sayle-94 

      4 years ago

      look l have excellent idea for bud wiser commercial ! ever even better than sand diving ! HA! who will listen ! see on face book the story ! sorry can't make video ! no camera !or friends so dumb !see or read sorry! the idea for bud commercial @pinkney3rd@gmail.com

    • profile image

      nfswsinner 

      4 years ago

      for about 2 minutes i thought i was gonna be rich but then i read this,thnx for waking me up lol

    • shelleymax profile image

      shelleymax 

      5 years ago

      Great info. I often come up with quirky ideas for ads. Cute or funny ads are the ones that i tend to remember. Hummmmmm may have to look to see how i can dangle a toe in this career path.

      Thanks again

    • AdEx LM profile imageAUTHOR

      AdEx LM 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Sir, I am 57 and I don't think I'm old at all. You may want to send info to agencies as a freelancer for projects. I get writers, voice over people and actors contacting me all the time. Some get projects from me and some don't.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      how to apply job in an ad agency?

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Thanks. This was very informative. Wish I'd read it before I sent my email to an agency. In my case though my ideas are around lyrics for songs ideally suited to specific products or companies. I don't have ONE idea, I have many and feel I could adapt to produce for any request (been writing now for over 30 years but not in advertising).

      I had already considered your point that the agency I was emailing may not have those clients on their books but I suggested that maybe they could at least see I had a talent in that area and perhaps I could be used for a specific project. But thanks for the 'heads up' anyway.

      I'm perhaps too old to be looking for a job in the industry (53) but I do feel I would be of value to a team on certain projects. Can't see me applying for work in an agency though. Too many young people to compete with for a start and being self employed for so long I'd want to work from home. :-)

    • AdEx LM profile imageAUTHOR

      AdEx LM 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Just like any other job, check websites to see who is hiring and submit an application.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      @AdEx LM: what do most advertising agencies DBA under? to find a place of employment so to speak?

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      @AdEx LM: Yes, that would be nice!

    • AdEx LM profile imageAUTHOR

      AdEx LM 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: That's great! Maybe she will get a job in advertising one day and improve the quality of what we see on TV.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      For fun, my daughter makes commercials all the time and puts them on YouTube. I like her commercials better than most of the commercials I see on TV!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      This has been very informative but fir myself, who is 76 years old, looks like there is nowhere to turn.

      As we all do I feel like I have a real winner and a lot of benefits for many because of it, but none to

      the founder.

    • AdEx LM profile imageAUTHOR

      AdEx LM 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: This specific TV commercial was produced during the worst recession since the great depression. Therefore it was a fact that for many people they were not to blame for their inability to pay their bills it was the economy.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      the commercial should speak more about average bill bailouts rather than just bankruptcy people need not to feel like there about to lose everything, but get everything back also don't blaim the economy its not good for morale

    • AdEx LM profile imageAUTHOR

      AdEx LM 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: The point of this entire blog is to explain that ad agencies don't want to buy ideas that people have for TV commercials.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      i have some ideas on tv commercials.i want information whom to contact about the idea and what is process to submit my ideas to ad agency.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      WE HAVE AN IDEA FOR A COMMERCIAL AND WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE FOLLOWING. . . HOW DO WE BEGIN THIS PROCESS? WHO DO WE CONTACT ABOUT THE IDEA? WHAT IS THE INITIAL COST?

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