Advertising Script

Advertising Script: a development story

This job for Brand Fuel Ltd was one of those special jobs when, as a freelance, you hate to say no. But, for me, it’s what writing is all about – an interesting challenge juggling words and images to get the message across.

Of course, given the choice, I’d choose not to be at my computer until after midnight, but sometimes it’s the price of freelancing.

It started with phone call at lunchtime, David Ball of Brand Fuel Ltd asked me if I could produce three original ideas for a series of TV ads by 15:00 the same afternoon – and subject to approval by his American client, whether I could then write three scripts developing the chosen idea by the next day.

Was it possible? I’m a freelancer, I always say yes if I can.

And, obviously this has a successful outcome.

I can do this for you – call me – let’s start the conversation!.

This is our e-mail correspondence.

13:27 Tuesday 9th May

Alan
The attached is what happened when the James Bond idea was on the table – however the front end – in terms of audience and market position – is still relevant.  Please ignore all the bond stuff.
Cheers
David
advertising-scriptwriter-client
Brand Fuel Limited
35 Britannia Row
London  N1 8QH

13:30 Tuesday 9th

Alan
The below are notes from my client on the Moneymakers Millions presentation that he has shared internally with his colleagues.  Chris – is his boss and a difficult customer to please!

The feeling is that concept one is probably the most direct and on brand but lacks humour and energy. So although I think all three have merit I think we should concentrate our energies on this one for the time being.
Chris likes the idea of the idea that ‘We’re giving away Chris’s millions’ He then looks over his glasses and looks straight into camera in despair.  ‘He’ll hate it, you’ll love it’ …. etc.
I can see this working from a humour point of view but am not convinced it is giving the right message – we gave it to him and now we take it away!
I think we should investigate as a possible but have concerns.
I think simple and direct to the point is the way to go on this.
Possible other options include fast edits, movie V/O!  Should also think up some press ads whilst we’re at it.
Best regards
David
brand fuel logo
Brand Fuel Limited
35 Britannia Row
London  N1 8QH

15:27 Tuesday 9th

Hi David
Sorry I’m 20 minutes late. Three ideas, let me know what you think, call me, let’s talk it over.
Best
Alan

Alan G Howarth
Writer – Photographer – Documentary Film Maker

17:30 Tuesday 9th May

Hi Alan,
This is a good start.  My first thoughts are that the face twitching route is a good one and works well with a non-actor.  What I can’t quite see here is how we get the “visual” shout of the $2.5 million dollar prize fund (a big differentiator from the competition) across – and the possible lack of linkage between VO and visual.
Also, PokerStars heritage is that they are the older – more established and therefore slightly “straighter” brand amongst  the competitors.
Does “Poker is a big part of my life” really deliver on the Chris Moneymaker – World Champion heritage?
What do you think?
David
brandfuel-logo
Brand Fuel Limited
35 Britannia Row
London  N1 8QH

17:51 Tuesday 9th May

Hi David
We would run a second story/view along side the main ad, an alternative reality as it were – as the voice over tells us about the $2.5m we would cut to the table stacked with cash – Chris stays cool the students bubble with excitement. One of Chris’s facial (non) twitches says: “that’s way more than any other free roll competition in the world!” we could add some humour with the VO using inappropriate expression or becoming more relaxed as the ad runs.
Running the second story/view also means we could say anything we want to. All the themes in the preferred pitch (cars, Caribbean mansions etc.) you sent could be shown as cut-away ‘thoughts’ and as part of the VO.
Poker is a big part of my life leaves the way open for the ‘. . .but not all of it’ punch line. But I could produce something stronger/different – or perhaps we could go with: ‘Poker is a big part of my life – I’m the World Champion’ ending – ‘…but not all of it, even though I’m World Champion.’
If you have any quotes you would like me to use – let me have them.
There’s a lot to get into 30 seconds but I can do it. I have the concept in my head, and now I need to write it so I can put it in yours.
Do I go for it? It’s your call! I’ll phone in twenty minutes to discuss.
Best
Alan

Alan G Howarth
Writer – Photographer – Documentary Film Maker

18:00 Tuesday 9th May

Thanks Alan,
I’m on a conference call with an American Production company talking through these “ideas” (the original ones) at the moment.  They are being very literal about the three ideas on the table – which I think is a mistake!
David
advertising-script-brandfuel-logo
Brand Fuel Limited
35 Britannia Row
London  N1 8QH

20:00 Tuesday 9th May

Alan,
The focus has shifted once again.  These three original concepts are seen as key to – work together.  Could you put all of your attention on these please and make sure that we stick with the core proposition for each being “Play for Moneymaker’s Millions – Enter the Freeroll on Pokerstars.net”  – It doesn’t have to be this literal – but it must be the primary proposition/call to action.  The secondary message is the size off the prize pot – $2.5 million.
Sorry about all the shuffling / positioning – just everyone is in a huge hurry!!!
Many thanks for all your help and efforts.
Best regards
David
advertising-script-brandfuel-logo
Brand Fuel Limited
35 Britannia Row
London  N1 8QH

21:52 Tuesday 9th May

Hi David
Just sat down at my computer totally confused. The ‘three original concepts’ what are they? I have the piece about ‘a day in the life’ are the other pieces ‘become a moneymaker millionaire’ and ‘has it changed you’? I’m working on that basis. I’ll produce one script, we can then proceed to the others if the first is OK.
If I’ve got this totally wrong I apologise, but it’s the only way I see it. I did phone but only to talk to your machine.
Best
Alan

Alan G Howarth
Writer – Photographer – Documentary Film Maker

00:09 Wednesday 10th May

Hi David
Generally, I’d sleep on a script before sending it – I usually wake up the next day and say: ‘what the f . . .  is this all about?’ and re-write everything
More scripts will follow in the morning. Rewrites are expected!
Best
Alan

Alan G Howarth
Writer – Photographer – Documentary Film Maker

09:01 Wednesday 10th May

Hi David
Second script, I’m busy for the next couple of hours – prior commitment – I’ll get number three to you ASAP. A bit of feedback would be good. These scripts are first draftish.
Best
Alan

Alan G Howarth
Writer – Photographer – Documentary Film Maker

11:32 Wednesday 10th May

Hi David
Third script, could cut some of the scenes in this one. This may stretch Chris’s shoulder acting?
Best
Alan

Alan G Howarth
Writer – Photographer – Documentary Film Maker

13:39 Wednesday 10th May

Hi Alan,
Great stuff!  Thanks for the speed.  Please see the attached – which is how I have tweaked the first script.  See what you think and perhaps you could revise the second and third in line with this too?
Do you think that these three together could work as a creative series or are they too disperate?
Many thanks
David
advertising-script-brandfuel-logo
Brand Fuel Limited
35 Britannia Row
London  N1 8QH

14:12 Wednesday 10th May

David
Ok with the changes, you’re more together with the poker terminology, however, don’t want to be too precise, but can one moor a boat close by a Beverly Hills Mansion?  (though who could tell the difference I don’t know)
I’ll bring your changes through to the other scripts. My thoughts are: the similarities in tone and content, along with the repeated lines – esp the same close to each makes me think that for a series they’re pretty together.
I’ve been editing interviews with war veterans since I sent these scripts off, I’ll stop for lunch, empty my mind of war and get back to your scripts in 30 minutes. You’ll have them, by four at the latest. Call me if there’s anything you want to talk through.
Best
Alan

Alan G Howarth
Writer – Photographer – Documentary Film Maker

14:15 Wednesday 10th May

Hi Alan,
Good point – made me laugh!!  Don’t think Beverley Hills would be an easy place to moor a boat!!
Thanks for revisions to come – that’s great.
Best regards
David
advertising-script-brandfuel-logo
Brand Fuel Limited
35 Britannia Row
London  N1 8QH

16:01 Wednesday 10th May

Hi David
Two updated scripts. Re the Beverly Hills/Miami thing – why not shoot the whole thing in the Caribbean – easy moorings there.
Best
Alan

Alan G Howarth
Writer – Photographer – Documentary Film Maker

16:15 Wednesday 10th May

Hi Alan,
Great stuff! Thanks.
Best regards
advertising-script-brandfuel-logo
Brand Fuel Limited
35 Britannia Row
London  N1 8QH