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It's taken long hours of planning, shooting and editing, but with well-laid plans and flawless execution, you've created thirty seconds of advertising genius, right? Now it's time to get the spot approved and on the air. In this final segment of the Making Commercials series, we discuss showing the finished spot to the client, making revisions, and creating deliverable formats for television and the web. Making a commercial is a long process, and these are the final steps before you see your finished product on the air.
It's taken long hours of planning, shooting and editing, but with well-laid plans and flawless execution, you've created thirty seconds of advertising genius, right? Well, now it's time to get it approved and on the air. In this final segment of the Making Commercials series, we talk about showing the finished spot to the client, making revisions, and creating deliverable formats for television and the web. Making a commercial is a long process, and these are the final steps before you see your finished product on the air. We've stated throughout this series that you want the commercial spot to sell products for the client. But at this moment, it's your turn to do the selling. The first step is getting the spot approved by the client. Often times schedule conflicts, technological issues, or other limitations can dictate how and when you can get approval. The ideal scenario is to bring the client to your studio. This allows you to showcase your work in its best light, with the most control. Plus, You may be able to make quick changes to the spot when necessary. If your studio isn't presentable, or your client is too busy, a second option is bring the spot to them. You can use a tablet, laptop, or portable DVD player to show them the spot. The downside to this approach is that you're generally watching on a screen much smaller than a normal television, and the client might miss something in the details or generally feel like the graphics are too small. The third and least desirable choice is upload it to the web for approval. There are a few reasons you should try to avoid this. First, Most video hosting sites convert your spot to a compressed web format that can negatively affect the quality of the spot. This can make the client doubt the quality of the work, and often leads to a bigger list of changes. Second, you'll sometimes want to convince a client that a choice you made was the right one. Meeting in person gives you the chance to explain why you chose certain shots, made particular edits, used a specific color scheme, or any other number of choices. Finally, dealing with a client who isn't internet savvy can lead to issues that aren't even related to the commercial itself. If a video hosting site slows for loading or any number of other technical issues, The client may not realize it's a connection issue, and not an issue with your spot. No matter which method you use to present the spot to your client, you should prepare yourself to make revisions. Typically, the client will view the spot a few times, and then suggest some changes. You can discuss the client's immediate concerns, and make simple changes like swapping a shot, or changing the size of a graphic. After you've completed any quick changes, you should discuss the more complex ones, and provide the clients with a copy of the commercial that they can show to everyone involved in the approval process. You should also encourage the clients to watch the spot as many times as they need to, before they finally decide on what changes they want to make. Be sure to stress to the client that you'd like to make all the additional revisions at the same time in order to be as efficient as possible. This also helps to avoid the impression that they can continue suggesting revisions indefinitely. After the client gets you the final list of issues, you'll need to form a plan that you both agree on to address them. It's important to remember that ultimately, it's the client's commercial, and that your idea and their idea of what's best for the spot may not match up perfectly. Of course you should try to steer them away from any changes that you feel will have a negative impact on the message, but you should also do your best to remain positive about the changes that won't diminish the message. Also, Be sure to let them know if the revisions that they're requesting require an increase in the budget, like a reshoot, a new voiceover, or different music. Explain the reason for the additional charges clearly to the client, and don't forget to include your labor when you give them a quote. Just because a client asks for a change, doesn't mean they'll think it's important enough to pay more for it. Once you've agreed on the solutions, make the changes and then present the revised commercial to the client. You may find that they want to keep all the changes, or only keep some of them. Sometimes, a client needs to see a change they requested to realize it was a mistake, and you'll end up reverting back to the original. Once you've got final approval, it's time to create your deliverables. Your spot may be running on a local television station, cable company, or on the web. Many times, a salesperson from these outlets may have already contacted you looking for the commercial. If not, you'll need to contact each outlet that your client will be running the spot with. They should be able to provide you with a spec sheet that has the format and delivery information you need. For the web, contact the webmaster or hosting company for your client's website. They should be able to tell you the precise settings and file type that they need. Congratulations! You've created a sharp looking, effective commercial spot for your client. Once it hits the air, you can approach new businesses and begin building your client base. Don't forget to ask your client for a quote about your service, referrals to other businesses interested in advertising, and of course talk to them about ideas for future commercials.