How to Write Scripts for Infomercials
If you ever find yourself up late at night watching television, you have probably seen an infomercial. Infomercials are long-format commercials that appear similar to regular television programming but sell a single product or series of products. The scripts differ from regular commercials both by length (many infomercials are a half-hour long) and content (most infomercials have a format similar to a documentary or talk show). Writing an infomercial script lies within the grasp of any seasoned writer, particularly those whose stock in trade is copy writing.
Brainstorm. Sit down with the product you plan to write a script about. Think about what features it has. Try to think of every reason that a person would want this product in her home. Keep a running list of how it will make the customer's life easier or more enjoyable.
Write a treatment. Infomercial scripts begin with a treatment, which is a bit like an outline but is not written in outline format. Rather, the writer presents a linear overview of the entire script before it is written. This helps you to pitch your script later in addition to providing some parameters for the writing of your script. Your infomercial script treatment should include what will happen in the script, what subjects the script will highlight, and what the performer needs are.
Write the main copy. The bulk of an infomercial script is the host or hosts talking up the product. Plan for how much time you will fill with this type of copy. Write the dialogue in a way that informs the reader about key features of the product and why it is a bargain. Include several demonstrations of the product.
Insert location information and visual direction. The script should provide information about where the action is happening. You should also write basic cues about information that appears on the screen, such as prices or phone numbers.
Write testimonials. Testimonials are a key part of any infomercial. Write from the perspective of average people who used the product and loved it. Make your language as natural as possible. If possible, interview people who have actually used the product and see what they have to say about it.
Write pitches. A good infomercial pitches the product multiple times. However, the basic pitch remains the same each time. Declare simply that the customer can own the product for a low price and that operators are standing by. To include subtle pressure on the customer, state that there are limited supplies or that the product can be purchased only during the infomercial.
Integrate your pieces. Take your main copy with visual directions and insert the testimonials and pitches where appropriate.
Nicholas Pell began writing professionally in 1995. His features on arts, culture, personal finance and technology have appeared in publications such as "LA Weekly," Salon and Business Insider. Pell holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.