Script writing for advertisements

What should my script include?

A study by Forrester recently determined that just one minute of video is equivalent to approximately 1.8 million words. A similar study by Insivia concluded that viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch a video compared to 10% when they read text, and with users spending on average 88% more time on websites with a video versus those without, video is becoming less and less optional for businesses who want to create engaging and high performing websites and social media feeds. 

Your video needs to look beautiful and have a clear and powerful message. It is easy to be daunted by the prospect of scripting a video for your business, for most people it’s not part of the day job! Get it wrong, and the effectiveness of your final video will be compromised, but get it right and you will create one of the most powerful and persuasive marketing assets your business has ever had.

In this post, I will provide you with a framework to help kick-start the script-writing process. All you need to worry about is telling your story in the right order; why, how, and what. This idea is called the golden circle in the marketing world, and it explains why some organisations are able to inspire where others aren’t. 

Why. How. What.

Every organisation on the planet knows what they do, 100%. Some know how they do it, whether you call it your differentiating value proposition, your proprietary process or your USP. But very few organisations know why they do what they do, and the answer can’t be ‘for profit’. Profit is a result, but the ‘why’ should be the purpose, the cause, and the belief behind the business. Why does your organisation exist?

Many organisations start with the ‘what’ when it comes to marketing. 

But this is a mistake. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe, and so our marketing message needs to be focused on the ‘why’.

Facts and figures don’t drive behaviour, emotions do.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”  — SIMON SINEK


Storytelling is crucial. As a culture, we are obsessed with stories, whether they’re long stories like books and films, or short stories like the John Lewis Christmas ad.

Why?  Because stories are engaging, they make an emotional connection with the viewer rather than simply presenting data. This is why your script should start with the why, not the what.

People want to know why you do what you do, so tell them the story behind your business. Tell them why you care about the industry you’re in. Tell them what inspired you to create your business. Tell them about the ‘why’, and they are far more likely to buy the ‘what’.


Next, we need to know how you do what you do. What is the philosophy behind your business? How does the ‘Why’ of your business affect the ‘What’?

This section would typically contain your USP.


Lastly, we need to know what you do. It may seem counterintuitive to leave this until the end, but in the context of the story spanning 60-120 seconds, the ‘what’ will be most effective in the final third of the video.

Simply put, this is where you will talk about the products or services you provide. Be clear about what you are offering, and how it will assist your end user, being sure to draw any points of difference between your own offering and that of your close competitors.


An example of a bad advert might read something like this:

“This computer is brilliant. It has a 4.1GHz turbo boost, 500-nit retina display and up to 3.2 GB/s SSD read speeds. It’s the best computer in the world. Want to buy one?”

That was the spec of an Apple MacBook, and even if it is the best computer in the world, it was an uninspiring and ineffective advert. Here’s how Apple actually market itself using the why, how, what formula:

Why? Everything we do is about challenging the status quo, we believe in thinking differently.

How? We challenge the status quo by making our products beautifully designed, impeccably built, and user-friendly.

What? We just happened to make great computers. Want to buy one?

This is a powerful strategy, and it converts people because people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Build your script around these principles and you will see a real change in the way people respond to your proposition. 

See how we use the golden circle principle in our client’s promotional videos.

You’re not alone! 

Start piecing together your script and we will help you refine and craft your message to best fit your video, and create engaging and high-performing websites and social media feeds.