The do’s and don’ts of the best competitive promo scriptwriting

If you’re in charge of your company’s next promo scriptwriting session or working with a writer on the tenth attempt at a script, the odds are that you need a creative boost. Or maybe you’ve been cyberloafing and are just keen to learn more about promo videos.

Either way, we’ve got you covered with our scriptwriting series. In particular, how to give your promo scripts a competitive edge – because, let’s face it – what company isn’t doing a new promo video? And our advice … is to focus on the power of words.  

Take ‘I’m sorry‘ as an example. It could be something you say when you spill coffee on a stranger at Starbucks. Or the final words to your iPhone 12 as you trade it in.  

‘I can’t’ could be something you say to your kid who wants a new iPad. Perhaps an excuse to your personal trainer? 

Those are just two words in each expression, but that kinda highlights the power of promo scripts. If they have the right words and tell the right story, your promo can succeed in as little as ten seconds.  

So, while we’ve delved into promo script samples before, this time, we’ll highlight do’s and don’ts for competitive promo scriptwriting that’ll grab your audience’s attention and hold it! 

Promo scripts that knocked it out of the park

promo scriptwriting: image of a sales pie chart
Image: Envato

Before we dive into our do’s and don’ts, keep in mind that promos are not commercials. The differences are like comparing raspberries and strawberries. They’re both red and grow in the same season, but one’s smaller and tangier, and the other sweeter and bigger. 

So, while promos and commercials can be done by the same company simultaneously, promos focus more on the story behind the product/service/feature. 

Let’s take a look at a 2-minute promo showcasing Google, evolved.  

It starts with the sound of dial-up internet that brings back long-lost memories. 

Emphasis on the long. 

The script promotes the changes across the platform and highlights real people talking about real situations. It doesn’t drone on about how great the features are. Instead, it uses personal comments that show how the features have changed lives. 

The bottom line? Competitive promo scriptwriting tells a powerful story, stays true to the brand, focuses on real people, and has a compelling voice over. 

Another giant that nails their promos is Starbucks. One excellent example is a promo that highlights their borrow and return cup system for earth month. It centers around awareness of the new system and Starbucks’ sustainability initiatives. And the script succeeds at pure simplicity. 

The bottom line? Competitive promo scriptwriting is not overly complicated or exaggerated. It sticks to a simple strategy: problem – fact – solution. It’s fast and easy; getting straight to the point when trying to generate awareness about products, features, or initiatives. 

3 Do’s and Don’ts to improve your promo scriptwriting

1. Be original and don’t lose your main point  

The Starbucks video was only 24 seconds. That’s great, but it doesn’t mean that this length will also work for your brand. Going back to our strawberries analogy, everyone knows they’re delicious when covered in chocolate. But have you ever soaked them in soy sauce and added them to a pie? If you did, let’s just say you definitely won’t be invited to Beat Bobby Flay. So, while certain promo elements stay the same, originality is vital in order to be true to your brand. 

And don’t lose your main point in an effort to be outstanding. The script should be built around a central theme that helps users get and keep the point of the promo. Don’t leave viewers thinking, ‘that was a nice video.’ Depending on your goal and Call-To-Action, hook ’em with thoughts like ‘I didn’t know that before’ or ‘I need to get that.’

2. Have a clear goal and don’t promo everything at once 

Are you promoting a new climate change campaign? The launch of a new product? 

Pick one and avoid creating a maze of awesomeness that a viewer could get lost in. Set one goal for one video. 

And don’t overpromote. Imagine that the latest iPhone has 5 new features. They’re all incredible, but does it make sense for Apple to highlight all 5 features in a 20-second promo? No. Your goal is to create fascination. Not fatigue. Choose several at the most, and for really competitive scripts, zoom in on the features that stand out from your competitors.

3. Write ‘real’ promo scripts and don’t start without a framework 

Aren’t all scripts real? Real as in they exist, sure. But we’re talking about real people and voice overs. Promo voice overs have a heartfelt tone and a resonating edge. There are pauses, highs, lows, whispery softness, and a powerful Call-To-Action that delivers the knockout blow! So write real words for real voice actors. Then choose real pros like the ones on Voice123 to bring it all home. 

And don’t write without a framework. That’s like driving without checking your gas tank. You’ll only get so far. Whereas a framework with an intro, plot, theme and main point will get you straight to the final destination. 

How to plan your next promo scriptwriting session

promo scriptwriting: image of a woman's hands on a computer keyboard
Image: Envato

Now that you’re up to speed on the do’s and don’ts, decide why you need a promo. This should be linked to your marketing strategy and roadmap for the year. Is it about building awareness, trust, or generating sales? Then decide on what product, feature, or service to promote. 

Next, work on some script magic by creating a framework that’s built around a central theme. This could also be used to set a catchy tagline and hashtag for social media. Leave notes for the storyboard if it needs animation, stage directions for actors, and delivery instructions for your voice actor. And while you could do the voice over yourself, unless you’re the CEO of Dollar Shave who studied improv, it’s best to leave this to the professionals. 

Remember the last time you tried to fix those broken pipes instead of calling a plumber? Well, you don’t want to say at the end of a failed promo that, ‘We should have called a professional.’ 

Lastly, you have to pick the right channels for your promo. This is where your marketing data should come in handy, as it will show you which platforms to focus on to reach your target audience. 

In conclusion 

Words have true power. 

But there are different kinds of power. The power to annoy, disgust, anger, or the power to amaze and inspire. If you’re going for the latter, you need to be original, tell a great story, focus on one thing, keep it real, and use an awesome voice over. 

Now that you know how to succeed at competitive promo scriptwriting – we wish you all the best! 

Be sure to send us the link to your next promo in the comments below. Otherwise, we’ll look out for you on TikTok, Facebook, or if your promo is that good – tomorrow’s headlines. 

May you be a force to reckon with as you write outstanding promo scripts, and don’t forget to call a professional voice actor. It really is as easy as, ‘Hello, Voice123.’


Book a voice actor now..!


Related Posts