TV Commercial Production

"Runner" - 15 Second TV Ad

Product: Cardiac Calcium Score

Ad Medium: 15-Second TV Commercial

Step 1: Research & Marketing Questions:

Q: What is a Cardiac Calcium Score?

A Cardiac Calcium Score is a computer generated score based on percentage of calcium or hard deposits found in patient's heart. Images made with the CT-Scanner are filtered through a computer program to determine the amount of calcium.. Calcium deposits can slow blood flow eventually causing serious heart issues. (Whew!)

Q: What is a 128-Slice CT Scanner?

A CT-Scanner is a million dollar medical imaging device. The scanner makes thin area pictures or "slices" of human tissue. The "slices" are compiled into browser friendly series of images. A Radiologist can explore a patient's body at a level of detail not known before. This scanner makes pictures fast enough to make sharp images of a human heart. The process takes about 5-minutes.

Now, how do you describe this in a 15 second commercial? Good question.

Thoughts: Heart attack is the number one killer of women in the United States. The test can help women who are at risk or have a family history of heart disease.

Step 2: Visuals - Story & Pre-Production:

What image can I use to get peoples attention on TV? What will women relate to and say, yeah, I need this too?

I chose a runner; middle age women who is being proactive with her health. She loves herself, her family and her husband. She runs for herself but also for them.  This is what being proactive looks like. She would get a Cardiac Calcium Score so she knew and could do something about it. Both the script and visual need to bring this out.

Step 3: Script & Pre-Production:

I wrote the script and crafted it though several drafts.  I story boarded out a woman going for her daily run and added a line about how the cold February Missouri weather does not stop her from a run.

I wanted to storyboard and script to reflect the narrator's admiration for who she and what she choses to do; a youthful and playful ponytail, she ties her shoes, jumps the camera runs against the odds on this solitary but important mission. I wanted her to be the girl we knew growing up. I know this may sound a little much for a commercial but if I could communicate this... the message would have more impact.

I reviewed a draft voice over with the client for approval.

VO Script: “Although it’s cold outside, she goes for a run anyway. Did you know 30-minutes of daily activity can improve heart health. It’s important to her. We all just need to do it too. For more tips go to Healthy Heart at ABC 17 News dot com. sponsored by Advanced Radiology. LOVE your heart.”

Step 4: Production:

On Monday afternoon we found a model and made plans for a "magic hour" shoot on Wednesday. Based on the approved storyboard, we made all of the shots we needed in a brisk 45-minutes because the air temp was a dangerous 10-15 degrees.

Step 5: Post Production:

Editing was smooth due to the detail of the story boarding and tight script. A final approved version was hand delivered to the TV station and we were given high compliments on the it.


We took a medical test and gave it a lovable human face. The commercial boosted Calcium Cardiac Score tests at Advanced Radiology, although we don’t have concrete numbers. At the mention of the commercial to Deb’s friends, the reaction was, “oh, I really want to get one of those scores done…my mom, my sister, my husband, my grandmother…is at risk…died of a heart attack….and I need to get it checked out.”