Edge No. 1 – Top 10 Tips

  • by Ian McCawley
  • 04/01/2022

We recently kicked off a series of regular “quickfire webinars”: 10 Top Tips in 20 Minutes.

So far, they’ve been going down a storm with attendees. We know that not everyone can join at the allotted time, however, so we’ve created a series of short articles that list the top 10 tips presented during each webinar.

Feel free to cut them out and stick them to your screen!

Creating Successful DRTV

First up in the series was our creative director for DRTV, Maria Phillips. Here are her top 10 tips for charities wishing to create successful DRTV campaigns - many of these are “back to basics”, in Maria’s own words:

  1. Start with a life-transforming proposition - place your powerful message at the heart of the ad to push potential donors’ compassion buttons. What will provoke a response?
  2. Don’t forget the “KISS” principle it’s easy to overcomplicate the donor journey. So, don’t bombard people from the outset - keep it simple with a single-minded CTA.
  3. Remember to use ‘heart, head, hand’ - three key ingredients for your ad, making people feel the core ask of the campaign; think about why your organisation can help solve the problem; and take action to support the cause.
  4. Make emotion your ad’s beating heart - TV is an emotional medium, so strong visual footage is key to building empathy. Feel proud about film that shows a genuine need: you’re helping real people, and that’s inspirational.
  5. Bring your solution to life with passion you spend your donations on amazing work - allow your compassion and humanity to shine through when displaying financial asks and ways to give, featuring staff and people you help.
  6. Work hard to get people to act NOW - stop people in their tracks with your ad. We call this “sitting forward TV”, persuading donors to act without delay using bold captions, ask amounts, and positive, simple language.
  7. Don’t confuse DRTV with BRTV - brand is a vital differentiator, but don’t let it get in the way of response. The sense of need in your ad must be front and centre, and don’t hide the ask behind brand guideline-based design.
  8. Realise the power of a great script - when your agency or copywriter supplies some words for the voiceover, read them out loud. Get a sense of rhythm, pace and emotion; check timings; and imagine the voice artists who would bring the script to life.
  9. Sound’s too important to be an afterthought - think about the soundtrack from the outset. Music - well-known, obscure, or made for the ad - and sound effects lift the creative mood, as well as taking the audience on a journey.
  10. If the ad’s not right first time, don’t panic! - if a campaign isn’t doing as well as expected, pause and stay open-minded. Is the message simple enough, with a suitable ask, clear CTA, and strong need shots and stories?

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