Campaign toolkit

TV spots

Suitable for:

Larger organisations with higher financial resources

What is it?

A TV spot is like an advert you see on television for services or products. It has a story, actors and a message and it aims to convince the viewer of the benefits of the product or service the advertiser is promoting. When, as is the case with most Occupational Health & Safety campaigns, the TV spot is non-commercial, it is called a “PSA”, or Public Service Announcement.


  • Creating a memorable spot may have a great impact on your campaign’s success.
  • If you produce a non-profit spot, you can ask TV channels to display it for free.
  • When you engage a celebrity, you get a “face” for the campaign.


  • Producing TV-spots can be cost-intensive, as you will probably have to seek for professional help, in addition to the advertising costs of airing it.
  • Air time is expensive so TV adverts tend to be short. The most popular formats are 30, 60 and 90 minutes. They are rarely over 90 minutes.

Setting an appropriate tone

  • The advert must be incisive and emotional.
  • Make sure the tone you use is in line with your campaign but bear in mind that you need something powerful to capture people’s attention.
  • Don’t be afraid to be honest about the seriousness of the issue at hand.

Creating the script

  • In your spot you can use the personal story of someone who is facing the same issue as the intended audience.
    • For example: Here is Susan (you see Susan coughing and looking ill). She suffers from xxx, an illness brought about by prolonged exposure to toxic substances. Her story...
  • The PSA often concludes with a slide with a question that is meant to engage the audience.
    • For example: (In the case of Susan). “Do you think it is acceptable to have to work in these conditions? Help us do something about it. Go to”

Enrolling celebrities

  • A frequent tactic used by non-profit organisations is to enrol a celebrity to feature in their adverts.
  • Be aware that some will want to be paid unless they are very committed to your issue.
  • Make sure you do an ‘image and credibility’ check of your celebrity before bringing them on. You don’t want to find that something that the celebrity has done in her or his life clashes with the values of your organisation and the campaign’s message.

Aligning content with your organisation’s image

  • Think very carefully about the images you wish to project. Make sure the image you are projecting with this TV spot is indeed in line with your organisation’s image. Otherwise you could do more harm than good.
  • Always include your organisation’s website and logo.

Professional help

It may be best to seek the help of a professional who will be able to advise you on your PSA.