Students learning about persuasive writing often study TV commercials as examples. Commercials play on viewers' desires and emotions, and students can learn about the psychology of persuasion by paying attention to the advertisements they see every day. They observe and analyze the way commercials use images, music, slogans and time pressure to influence viewers to buy products and the way commercials manipulate mood to keep viewers' attention. Students who are writing their own commercial skit for a project should utilize these techniques to create a persuasive advertisement.
Decide which emotions you want your commercial to evoke. For example, if you are advertising a home security system, your commercial should make viewers feel fear at the beginning and security at the end; if you are advertising a charity, you want viewers to feel sorrow at the beginning and pride at the end; if you are advertising a vacation package, create serenity or excitement.
Write a slogan that encapsulates your message. Make it simple and memorable, and match it to the emotion you are creating. It can be funny, uplifting or enticing, depending on the mood of your commercial.
Write the rest of your script to lead up to your slogan. Compose every line to reinforce the commercial's emotion. Keep it short, and put the slogan at the end.
Find pictures that will help sell your product. Choose pictures that have the same mood as the commercial. For example, if you are selling healthy dog food and your slogan is "Because a healthy dog is a happy dog," use pictures of dogs playing energetically in the sunshine.
Find background music that supports your commercial's mood. For example, if you are advertising an AIDS walk, use part of the soundtrack from an inspirational movie.
Gather any props and costume pieces that you need for your skit. Assign one person to manage the technical aspects, including the music and the pictures, and cast the other people in roles in the script. Rehearse your skit until you know it.
Things You Will Need
- Add time pressure to your commercial by incorporating lines like "This offer is only available through Monday," "Limited supplies available" or "These children need your help today -- before it's too late."
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