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Commercial Script: Guide to Write a Killer Sales Generating Script in 2024 [+Examples]

By Leah Clark Last updated: 16 minute read Branding, Content & CreativeMarketing Guides

Many businesses pour money into radio and TV advertising but don’t generate their target profit. The problem often lies in the commercial script writing. With an audience-centric script, a skilled marketer can leverage the full revenue potential of TV and radio commercials!

Investing in TV ads can increase your revenue effectiveness by 40%. And radio advertisers secure an average ROI of 7.7%, making radio the second-best media platform for advertising behind TV! 

While digital marketing channels like YouTube and social media remain the best for brand awareness, sales, and customer engagement, buyers still spend a lot of time watching TV. MarketingCharts confirms that people spend about five and a half hours per day watching TV.

But here’s the problem – without a strategic and well-written commercial script you’ll lose out on TV and radio advertising’s benefits.

So, how do you write a killer commercial script for TV and radio ads?

And what should your script cover?

We’ll put you in the right direction with a complete guide on TV and radio commercial script writing and the best format to use. Plus, we have real-life examples of fantastic commercial scripts!

Ready to learn how to write revenue-driven scripts for commercial ads?

Let’s get started!

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    Radio Commercial vs. TV Commercial Script Writing

    The main differences between radio and TV commercial script writing include your use of visuals, voice, and audio, the script length, and the time and money required to write these scripts. Let me explain:

    Use of Visuals

    The first difference between radio and TV commercial scripts is your use of visuals. Because TV commercials attract targeted buyers with ads they look at, you’ll need a lot of visual appeal. The images or video you use must grab the viewer’s attention to watch your entire ad.

    55% of TV advertising time isn’t paid attention to, so you must perfect your visual cues. You’ll use visual cues to highlight your product’s benefits and prove to buyers how they can add value to their lives.

    Radio commercials rely on engaging targeted buyers through audio content. You won’t use visuals because of this. Businesses must focus on optimizing sound, with no visuals at all.

    Use of Voice and Audio

    The voice and audio you use for TV, and radio commercial script writing must reflect your brand’s identity and speak your target buyers’ language. For example, if your target audience is teen girls, you’ll use a feminine voice with a tone and style to match these buyers.

    While your use of voice matters for radio and TV commercial scripts, radio advertising relies much more on vocals and audio. Think back to when you heard a radio ad that gripped your attention. You’ll most likely recall a bubbly and exciting voice that kept you listening to the entire commercial. There may have also been audio playing in the background to enhance the commercial. 

    You’ll also need to optimize your vocal and audio for TV commercials. Sometimes targeted buyers have their TVs playing while doing another activity like cooking dinner or answering texts. Using a brand-centric, bubbly voice will increase your chances of these buyers looking up at your ad or waiting to hear what brand this ad is promoting.

    Source: Markting 360

    Script Length

    Radio commercial scripts must be longer than TV scripts because radio ads can run at a longer length. Most radio commercials target adults driving home from work. Your ad can run longer because these buyers listen while focusing on another activity. And the only way to skip your ad is to change radio stations, which not all listeners may want to do. Instead, they’d listen to your ad to occupy their commute.

    TV commercial scripts are shorter because viewers can skip your ads, do another activity while waiting for their program to continue, or switch channels. These buyers aren’t as preoccupied as radio audiences, meaning you don’t have the luxury of playing a lengthy ad without the risk of viewers not watching your ad.

    Time and Cost

    How much money and time you need for radio vs. TV commercial script writing differs. TV commercial scripts require more work, and you must consider production and design. You can’t write a TV commercial script in a hurry because the content must match the visuals playing every second.

    If a section of your script lists the benefits of your products, the visuals playing at this time must be relevant to your content. Because TV script writing takes more time and work, TV ads are expensive. For commercials on local TV, this can cost around $5 to $10 per 1000 views. But for national TV ads, the cost shoots up to about $115,000

    Radio commercial script writing doesn’t require as much time and effort. While you have to nail down the perfect script, it doesn’t have to be as calculated as TV ads.

    You only have to focus on the script and how it aligns with any audio and vocal elements you use. Consequently, radio commercial script writing is cheaper than TV scripts. Radio ads roughly cost between $200 and $5000

    Summary: Radio Commercial vs. TV Commercial Script Writing

    • Use of Visuals
    • Use of Voice
    • Script Length
    • Time and Cost

    5 Steps For Writing a Killer Radio Commercial Script

    1.Start with Your CTA

    For radio commercial script writing, work backward and start with your CTA. Determine the purpose of your radio ad and what action you want listeners to take once hearing your ad. Do you want them to visit your online store? Know about your brand? Or buy tickets to an event or webinar?

    You’ll still keep your CTA at the end of your script, but you’ll consider this step first to create a direction for your ad. Ensure your CTA is clear and easy for listeners to understand. Remember, they can’t see your CTA. Be clear about your CTA so listeners remember enough of it to find your brand. 

    radio commercial script stats
    Source: Top Media Advertising

    2.Focus on the Buyer’s Pain Points

    Adults driving between locations are the prime listeners of radio ads. Make an extra effort to draw their attention to your ad because they’re not 100% invested. Their complete focus isn’t on the radio, so you need to relate to them from the get-go. The most effective way to accomplish this is to start your script focusing on your buyer’s pain points.

    Ask open-ended questions or state a problem your targeted listeners can relate to. Be specific and maintain your brand voice and identity to personalize your radio script.

    3.Convey Empathy

    This step works hand-in-hand with the previous step. When you convey empathy through your radio commercial script, buyers are more likely to listen to your ad because they feel you understand them. Use this step to really understand your audience and create organic content that speaks to them. If listeners know you’ve had similar experiences or challenges, they’re more likely to trust your advice.

    4.Use Attention-Grabbing Audio

    As I mentioned, radio commercial script writing relies on audio and vocals. Businesses must be strategic in using audio for their ads. Consider what sound would most engage and attract targeted buyers without boring them or coming off as a generic ad. You need audio that will stick in your targeted customers’ minds and have them recall your brand when they hear a similar sound or voice.

    commercial scripts_radio stats
    Source: Top Media Advertising

    5.Provide a Guarantee with Evidence

    Because radio audiences aren’t 100% focused on your ad, you really gotta persuade them and do as much as possible to engage them. Toward the end of your radio commercial script and before your CTA, make a promise or guarantee that you can fulfill. Perhaps unbeatable flight rates or a free consultation?

    After stating your promise, throw in some social proof to validate your claims. You can mention testimonials from past clients, awards, certifications, or any similar elements to establish trust and prove the authenticity of your promise.

    Summary: 5 Steps For Writing a Killer Radio Commercial Script

    1. Start with Your CTA
    2. Focus on the Buyer’s Pain Points
    3. Convey Empathy
    4. Use Attention-Grabbing Audio
    5. Provide a Guarantee with Evidence

    5 Steps For Writing a Killer TV Commercial Script

    1.Build Your Story

    As TV commercial scripts must consider design and production elements, you need a gripping story. Your commercial will carry viewers through this story, starting with who your brand is, your value proposition, and the best features of your product and how this relates to viewers. A set story for your TV commercial script will secure a natural flow between making viewers aware of your brand and persuading them to take your CTA.

    2.Define Your Target Audience

    Consider your target buyer for successful TV commercial scripts. Doing this will help you write audience-centric content and include elements ti appeal to your ideal viewer. You’ll also know the best times to run your TV commercial and what story best relates to your target audience. Be specific about your target audience because all your ads can’t target every buyer in your customer base. You’ll target audience segments for each TV commercial script.

    commercial scripts stats
    Source: MarketingCharts

    3.Determine Your Theme

    Well-written TV commercial scripts always follow a theme. Do you want to motivate or inspire viewers? Must your script evoke emotion from your viewers? Or do you want to pump them up and get excited about your offering? Building your story first will help you narrow down your theme. For consistency, ensure all aspects of your TV ad script relates to your theme and story. While you may have loads of ideas on epic TV ad scripts, the more specific you are, the more likely you’ll engage your target viewers.

    4.Leverage Social Proof

    Like radio commercial scripts, TV scripts require social proof. You can make a whole lot of claims about your product. But without social proof viewers will find it hard to trust your brand. Or perhaps they do trust your brand but aren’t convinced enough to act on your CTA. Fortunately, social proof like industry experts or influencer features and stamps of approval can give your targeted viewers a push in the right direction.

    5.Perfect Your CTA

    CTA’s in radio commercial scripts hold the same weight as TV ads. A personalized and direct CTA increases the chances of pushing buyers through your sales funnel. You also have much more flexibility with CTA’s for TV commercial scripts for radio. Because you’re focusing on visual appeal, ensure your CTA appears at the same time persuasive visuals would. End your script on a powerful note to compel viewers to take action. 

    Summary: 5 Steps For Writing a Killer TV Commercial Script

    1. Build Your Story
    2. Define Your Target Audience
    3. Determine Your Theme
    4. Leverage Social Proof
    5. Perfect Your CTA

    TV Commercial Script Formatting

    Your Overview

    The first information you have to add to your TV commercial script is a short overview of the ad. You’re going to include factors like:

    • Your script’s title
    • The media buying platform’s name
    • The production location
    • The actor/actress
    • The director
    • The editor

    You may not have to include all these factors in this section, depending on what information you’re required to add.

    Take a look at this example:

    commercial script overview

    The script writer included information about the production itself, focusing on the talent involved and the chosen location.

    But if you look at this one, it’s different:

    tv commercial script overview
    Source: Boords

    Here, the writer focuses on more formal information like the agency and client’s name, business address, and date.

    Both examples are correct. Consider what information is crucial to you and the TV station you’re working with, and use that as your overview.

    Your Video Column

    TV commercial scripts are divided into two columns – one for video and one for audio. Your video column details your visual scenes and how you align these visuals with the relevant audio. Detail what your audience will see on screen and how this correlates with the audio they will hear.

    Here’s an example of what I mean:

    TV commercial script format
    Source: No Film School

    Be specific and mention whether you need a close or wide shot for each scene. The more visual clues you iron out and list, the smoother your TV commercial production will go. You can also mention specific locations of each scene if it’s relevant to your TV commercial. And most importantly, the content in your video column must relate to your target buyers and what they would want to see.

    Your Audio Column

    Your audio column details your actors’ dialogue and any audio you choose to add for each scene. For example, if one of your scenes has an actor dropping a plate, you’ll add an audio cue of a plate shattering at that point.

    Refer to the image above, showing both visual and audio columns. Notice how these two columns are in sync to describe the exact actions and dialogue for every scene and flow into an organic story.

    Another aspect to consider for your audio column is how actors’ must express what they say. Should the talent use a sleepy or angry voice? Must they shout in delight or shock? Include run times for each actor’s dialogue to keep your script within the allocated runtime. By detailing all this information, it’s easier to see how the final commercial should play out. 

    5 Great Examples of Commercial Scripts

    1.Mash-Up Blenders Inc.

    Mash-Up is a brand specializing in smart blenders. They ran a TV commercial using a 30-second script. Have a look at this script: 

    TV script example
    Source: Voices

    At first glance, this script is lengthy and doesn’t follow the exact TV commercial script format we discussed. There are loads of reasons for this, and perhaps for this specific project, the writers preferred this format.

    The key takeaways:

    • Adding a note before the script begins is a great way to add some extra (but crucial) information about the scene. Keep these details short and sweet.
    • Adding the first paragraph in brackets is a fantastic way to set the stage for your commercial and create a visual idea of what you want.
    • Adding the pieces of content in brackets describes what the scene is and what the actors are doing. 

    2.Mock Coca-Cola Script

    This script is fantastic inspiration to learn from for your TV commercial script writing. 

    commercial script example
    Source: Behance

    The format of this script is exactly like the one we discussed. This script intends to raise awareness and connect Coca-Cola’s Cherry Coke to young adult audiences. The scene is set on graduation day and follows a light-hearted, comedic style.

    The key takeaways:

    • Be specific about your TV commercial’s theme and how you plan to write for this theme.
    • Detail as much as possible from every sound, gesture, reaction, and interaction for a complete idea of your script. Doing this also helps optimize your time.
    • Use a customer-centric approach to relate to your target viewers. Based on this script’s content, it’s clear the ad targets young adults.

    3.TV Commercial Script by CyberCollege

    This TV commercial script doesn’t have loads of information in the overview. However, it doesn’t mean it’s not well-written. But you’re better off including all the vital specifics of your script and commercial. 

    Commercial example
    Source: CyberCollege

    While this TV commercial script is basic, there’s a lot to learn from the writing. The purpose of this ad is to promote lipstick, and the creators chose to use a seductive angle to hook targeted viewers.

    The key takeaways:

    • Using a female as the talent is relevant to the target audience this script is trying to reach (women). 
    • Detail how the camera angles must transition during the script and what audio relates to these transitions.
    • Make your offering and its benefits clear. Don’t skimp out on promoting your product and explaining why buyers need it. 

    4.Auto Dealership Radio Commercial Script

    Let’s look at this short, punchy radio commercial script targeted at automobile buyers. Because this is a radio script, the format isn’t too specific. Instead, the writer created one paragraph detailing the commercial. 

    commercial sample
    Source: Decibel

    While the content in this commercial script example is fantastic. We’d suggest being more specific about what times each line should be said and what audio must align with this.

    The key takeaways:

    • Start with a question to relate to your target buyers’ needs and grab their attention. Without much thought, listeners know this is an auto dealer’s ad.
    • Right after creating interest in your first line, state who you are, why this matters to your audience, and what solution you have for them.
    • Mentioning aspects like in-house financing and warranties is a fantastic way to show your value and convenience and give targeted buyers information they’d find valuable.

    5.Travel TV Commercial Script by Voices

    Here’s a 30-second TV commercial script promoting a travel agency. While this script doesn’t follow the ideal formatting we’ve explored, it still has a few valuable content points to learn from.

    The key takeaways:

    • Starting the first line with a question was an excellent idea. This approach does two things; 1) You hook targeted buyers in (travel enthusiasts), and 2) you state your theme and offering (travel).
    • Use content that relates to the buyer and emerges them into your commercial. For instance, the scriptwriter mentioned having strained legs and seeing other hikers.
    • Ending the script with another question was fantastic because the CTA is clear. The commercial confirms the viewer hasn’t had this experience (making them question why they haven’t) and ends with the brand’s slogan. 


    Commercial script writing is different for radio and TV advertising. The main differences between commercial scripts for radio vs. TV include the cost and time, the use of visuals, vocals, and audio, and the script length. Follow these top steps to write a commercial script for radio and TV and the best examples for killer commercials in 2022.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the difference between TV vs. radio commercial script writing?

    The main differences between TV vs. radio commercial script writing includes the time and cost, the script length and the use of visuals, audio and voice. Read this article to for the best steps on writing radio and TV commercial scripts and the best examples to learn from in 2024.

    How do you write a TV commercial script?

    To write a TV commercial script start by building a story, defining your target audience, determining your theme, leveraging social proof and perfecting your CTA. Read this article for the ultimate steps on writing TV commercial scripts, the best format to use and the top examples to learn from.

    How do you write a radio commercial script?

    To write a radio commercial script start by nailing down your CTA and focusing on your buyer's pain points. Brands must convey empathy, use attention-grabbing audio and provide a guarantee with evidence. Our article covers the best steps for writing radio commercial scripts an the top examples in 2024.


    MarketingCharts: Who’s Spending Time Watching Traditional TV – And How Does It Compare with Other Platforms?

    Think with Google: TV Advertising Statistics

    SkyWorksMarketing: How Much Does a TV Commercial Cost?

    Statista: Average Cost of a 30-second Commercial on TV in the United States from 2014 to 2019

    Ad Results Media: Is Radio Advertising Effective?