How Many Words Are Typically in a 30-Second TV Commercial?

Understanding the approximate number of words in a 30-second TV commercial is essential for efficient message conveyance and effective audience engagement. This guide provides crucial insights into the pacing, delivery styles, and the underlying principles that determine the

word count in your TV commercial script.

Importance of Word Count and Pacing

The word count in a TV commercial is guided by the pacing of the voiceover. Approximately, for a soft, relaxed voiceover, 60 words fit into 30 seconds. A medium-pace voiceover holds up to 75 words, and for hard-sell voiceovers, which are delivered at a rapid pace, up to 85 words would be adequate.

Overloading the script with words can make it sound rushed and disrupt the natural sound, making it challenging for the audience to absorb the information.

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Considering Pace Variations

Here are approximations for different voiceover styles and durations:

    • For a soft sell, emotive, and authentic voiceover delivery:
      • 60 seconds: approx 120 words
      • 30 seconds: approx 60 words
    • For a medium-pace bright voiceover:
      • 60 seconds: approx 150 words
      • 30 seconds: approx 75 words
    • For hard sell, fast voiceovers:
      • 60 seconds: approx 170 words
      • 30 seconds: approx 85 words

Additional Factors to Consider

Other factors like phone numbers and URLs often increase the word count. You should count each digit in a phone number as a separate word. Similarly, although website URLs might look like one word, they may represent multiple words when spoken aloud.

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Radio Advertisements

If you’re crafting radio commercial scripts, here are some helpful guidelines:

    • 15 Second Spot – approx 30 to 40 words
    • 30 Second Spot – approx 70 to 80 words
    • 60 Second Spot – approx 120 to 150 words

In audio commercials, natural cadence and space for the script to breathe are essential. Cramming too many words into the time slot can result in the audience losing interest.


Creating an effective 30-second TV commercial script requires a balance between providing accurate information and engage the audience. By understanding word count dynamics, considering relevant factors, and adhering to suggested guidelines, you can create impactful scripts that resonate with your audience and successfully communicate your intended message. Remember, word count in TV commercials is a crucial determinant of how your audience will receive and act on the information you present.

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