A Guide to Filming Your First Commercial


As you prepare to film your very first commercial, you must choose if it is about soap or cars. Statistics show that ninety-eight per cent of American commercials are about soap or cars. The other two per cent are about a yearning for self-actualization that will never be realized.

The most important thing to remember is that soap plus cars equals U.S.A.

The commercial should include a man and likely a woman. The woman should remind us of our mothers. We should immediately think “soap” when we look into her eyes. She should wear a cardigan that looks the way Valium feels.

The man should remind us of the concept of men. When he looks into the woman’s eyes, we should be able to tell that he is thinking “soap.” When he isn’t looking into her eyes, we should be able to tell that he is thinking “cars.” The man should wear a button-down shirt that conveys the same gravitas as the Lincoln Memorial.

It is possible that a son will be required for your commercial. If he is a Good Son he should wear a soccer jersey. If he is a Bad Son he should wear a soccer jersey with mud on it and be holding something dangerous—like a drone. He should have some semblance of what we in the business like to call a “personality.” If your commercial requires a daughter, please refer to index B.

For commercials about soap, we recommend that you show the woman washing a pile of dishes. If your soap has traditional values, the woman should be smiling and the dishes should have Campbell’s tomato soup on them. If your soap is more progressive, the woman can be frowning; a copy of “The Bell Jar” may be visible in the vicinity of the sink.

Remember, soap is fun for the whole family! Try to depict them having a wholesome and soap-adjacent good time. Studies show that fajita night is considered the best time a family can have. The fajitas should make a big mess that requires everyone to clean up, which highlights the significant impact soap has on maintaining the tenuous bonds of the nuclear-family unit.

Be sure to include a final shot of some gleaming bubbles catching the light. The bubbles should be friendly, hard-working, and patriotic. Soap without bubbles is like a son with a drone: untrustworthy and frightening. If your soap consists of less than fifty per cent bubbles, you will be tried in front of a jury of your peers.

For commercials about cars, we recommend that you show the car driving on a long, winding road. For reference, the road in your commercial should be the exact opposite of any given road in Cleveland, Ohio, where sixty-seven per cent of American citizens live. The winding road represents the unknowable economic future of a once great nation.

The person driving the car will probably be the man. If the woman is also in the car, she can be sitting in the passenger seat and smiling at the man or looking out the window, admiring how much the landscape does not look like Cleveland, Ohio. She can also be at home washing the dishes with soap (offscreen). If the woman is driving the car, she should either be picking up her Good Son from soccer practice or her Bad Son from drone practice.

Be sure to include a final shot of the trunk of the car, which should be spacious enough to hold a whole host of items, including but not limited to a cooler full of cold ones, a kayak, and another car. The trunk represents security and limitless abundance in the face of the unknowable economic future of a once great nation.

When your commercial is almost complete, it’s time to choose a slogan. A good slogan washes over the viewer’s brain, much like soap washes over a car to clean it after it’s been on a long, winding road. Your slogan can be whatever you wish, but it must contain at least one of the following words: “power,” “now,” “innovative,” “strong,” “America,” or “crisp.”

If you follow these guidelines, the end result will be a commercial that excites and inspires the modern American consumer. It’s like we always say: The power of your commercial now makes the America of tomorrow innovative, strong, and, most importantly, crisp.



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