Oftentimes, it can be difficult for creatives in advertising to express their abstract ideas to clients. The best way to do this is by creating something tangible to visually present your ideas to your clients. One of the best tools at achieving this is the commercial storyboard. If storyboards are new for you, stick around. We’ll take a dive into how to create a storyboard that will elevate your advertisement. 

Watch: Pitching a Commercial Storyboard

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Creating a Commercial Storyboard

Understand you ad’s structure

Even if you are working with a pre-written script for your video ad, it’s important to understand the general structure. Most ads use the following structure: hook, problem, solution, combat rebuttals, and a call to action. 

These five components of an advertisement are meant to engage and entice a consumer into purchasing a service or product. Keep this structure in mind as you storyboard your advertisement. 

Which shots fall into each segment of this structure? How does this affect the ad? Which part of the structure has more shots? These are questions to ask when creating and troubleshooting your ad’s storyboard. 

Ad Storyboard Tutorial

Create a shot list

Once you understand the structure of your advertisement, it’s time to shot list. This means creating a list of every shot in your advertisement along with the details of each. You can do this by hand or by using intuitive apps like StudioBinder’s shot listing app.

Check out our tutorial on how to create a shot list in the video below. 

How to Make a Shot List: storyboard advertising videos  •  Subscribe on YouTube

In advertisements, shots can vary greatly. From close up shots of products to moving shots to aerial shots, you’ll want to list the details of each in your shot list. This will be the foundation of your storyboard. 

How to Make Commercial Storyboard?

Setup your commercial storyboard

After you completed your shot list in detail, you're ready to create your commercial storyboard. This process can be made incredibly easy by using StudioBinder’s free storyboarding app. To learn how to set up your commercial storyboard, check out the video tutorial below.

Create Storyboards with StudioBinder  •  Subscribe on YouTube

To set up your commercial storyboard, first select your desired aspect ratio that you the commercial will be shot at. Then you can select the various specs and details noted on each shot. This creates the foundation of every panel in your commercial storyboard.

Marketing Storyboard Template

Customize each shot

Next, add your shots into your storyboard. Once you add a shot, you’ll have various fields to help you customize your shot. The fields vary from shot description, subject, shot size, shot type, types of camera movement, types of lenses, and more. 

Commercial storyboard examples Add Shot To Storyboard

Commercial storyboard examples  •  Add Shots to Storyboard

Like we mentioned earlier, shots in an advertisement vary greatly. Utilize these fields to be extra specific. For example, in the subject line you can specify whether it is a product shot, b-roll, model shot, etc. 

A common tool and advertisements is the macro lens. Macro lenses are perfect for shooting close up product shots. If you do utilize a macro lens, be sure to specify it in the “Lens” field. 

Another field to utilize when storyboarding your advertisement is the “Equipment” field. This can be important for specific ads like car advertisements that require aerial shots from a drone. 

Marketing Video Storyboard Tutorial

Upload Images

To add the visual depth to your commercial storyboard, upload images for each shot. These shots can be images you’ve sketched, photographs you’ve taken, or similar stills that you will base your shot on. 

We created a sample commercial storyboard from a FitBit ad so that you can get a better idea of how to plan and create your own storyboard

Commercial storyboard examples

Commercial storyboards are meant to help you refine your ideas as well as prepare for the production of your advertisement. Utilize the spec fields in a way that best benefits your advertisement.

Ad Campaign Storyboard Tutorial

Download, print, share

Once your commercial storyboard is complete with details and visuals you can print and share it with other members of the production. Simply add collaborators on the StudioBinder interface to share the storyboard digitally. You can also print the storyboard to physically share copies of it with your director, cinematographer, client, etc.

Up Next

Most Inspiring Ads for Creatives

If you’re in the middle of pre-production for an advertisement but facing a creative block, check out our next article. We take a look at the most inspiring ads that will get the creative juices flowing. 

Up Next: Inspiring Ads →
Solution Icon - Shot List and Storyboard

Showcase your vision with elegant shot lists and storyboards.

Create robust and customizable shot lists. Upload images to make storyboards and slideshows.

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  • Kyle DeGuzman graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Television, Film, & New Media. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado spending his time writing, filmmaking, and traveling.

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