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3 Essential Tips for Writing a Standout Commercial Treatment


Too many incredible commercial concepts have been lost to bad salesmanship. If you want the opportunity to craft a commercial to sell a client’s product, first, you need a standout treatment to sell the client on your idea. Creating great treatments isn’t just about selling your ideas; it’s about discovering them and refining them. It’s an act of creativity in itself. Every commercial director I’ve talked to views treatments as an essential part of their process.

“Somehow, during those late-night hours I spend writing treatments, I get to discover so much of who I am as a filmmaker,” says Diego Contreras, a director whose commercial work has spanned clients like GE, Lincoln, and Reebok.

I asked a few celebrated brand filmmakers to share their best tips for creating great treatments. Here’s what I learned.

1. Include your personality

It’s not just an idea you’re selling; it’s you. Not only your vision, but who you are. Don’t be afraid to include a healthy dose of your personality. Forget slick, market-y language. Talk like yourself. Get quirky. Be weird. Contreras explains:

“I believe everything about [your treatments]should point to who you are. They should read and sound like you. There’s no need to sound all professional and try to impress anyone with flashy marketing words or lofty language. Just be yourself and write in a way that shows how much you love and care about the project. Try to make it fun. Drop in a life story or a few jokes. Throw in a few emojis. If they don’t like it, that’s fine. The project probably wasn’t meant for you then.”

See more at No Film School.


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