Category Archives: Advertising

Man Licks Crumbs Off Another Man’s Finger

Love them or hate them it was another swirling circus for Super Bowl TV ads this year. And,  “Yeah, I really liked that ad but don’t ask me what it was for.”

I always find it interesting which ads are remembered and liked by folks versus which spots viewers  actually recall what product or service was being touted.  They are not necessarily the same. We all capture information differently.

Ad Age magazine has it’s annual Nielson report on likability vs. brand recall for this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads here.

Better Times Ahead for the Commercial Voice Actor?

A couple of the leading on-line radio trade magazines are quoting a report from SNL Kagan that predicts “bounce-back” growth in ad revenues for the  U.S. broadcast industry this year.  This can only be good news for the voice actor who’s genre of work includes commercials and promos.  From All Access:

SNL KAGAN has some good news for the broadcast industry — in the form of higher ad growth. After years of double-digit declines, the media researcher says radio advertising will rise 6.4% to $17.1 billion this year. This boost follows a drop of 17.7% to $16.0 billion in 2009. Ad revenue from online is expected to add to that total.

And the news just keeps getting better, with SNL KAGAN predicting a future 15% rise to $552 million for radio, and $19.8 billion in advertising within six years.

TV stations were expected to climb 14.3% in 2010 to $19.8 billion — rising from $17.3 billion in 2009.

“The bounce-back in ad revenues, combined with other positive trends, such as growing digital dollars, have reassured investors  who have bid radio station stocks up 36% and TV station stocks up 26% year-to-date,” stated Sr. Analyst ROBIN FLYNN.

SNL KAGAN is hosting the 27th Annual TV and Radio Finance Summit JUNE 16th at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in NEW YORK.

My own carefully thought out analysis of the report: “Whoo Hoo!”

Darth Vader Voices Your Tom Tom

Driving around with my GPS,  I ignore the voice commands often, triggering the “re-calculating” comment from the female voice so many times I half expect her to reach out of the device and give me a good smack upside the head.  I wonder if I would ignore Darth Vader’s commands so flippantly.  You can get his voice and other Star Wars characters on your Tom Tom GPS and Adage Magazine gives us a tongue-in-cheek look at one of the voice-over sessions. And it sure sounds like James Earl Jones to me. What do you think?

In Search of The Next Billy Mays

Tangentially related to voice over, the call has gone out to find a replacement for hyper-pitchman Billy Mays who unexpectedly passed away in 2009.  The joke around our house was that when one of  Mr. Mays’ TV spots came on, you could hit “mute” on the remote and still hear him.

Trade publication Advertising Age was invited to cover one of the auditions and columnist Larry Dobrow took a crack at the gig as you’ll see in the video.

Que the Announcer

A point of direction we see a lot in the voice over audition process is “no announcer” or “stay away from announcer sound” or “need real, genuine, no announcer” and 67 variations thereof. Why?

My voice-over coach has a theory: The classic announcer sound from the 50’s-70’s is representative of the generation of admen who lied to us. Can’t imagine what she means.

Photo of happy hardworking housewife

JC Penney Doghouse Part Deux

JC Penney is a locally based company that at one time ran a first class production facility where I had the pleasure of voicing non-broadcast projects for them. In fact it was one training piece I worked on for them where I learned just how long I could read before my voice started giving out.

Anyway, they are back with another installment of the Doghouse.  Guys, pay attention.
(Edited to change video servers)

What is the Context?

Been thinking about the word “context” this morning. It’s one of the lenses through which we should see the script as we prepare for the job or an audition. It helps us determine choices.

I think language scholar Oscar E. Nybakken has a very useful take on the word “context” for the voice actor:

Context not only casts a play of light and shadow on a word but frequently  suggests its primary meaning.

Adding light and shadow to the read is a wonderful thing as long as it serves the story.  There’s that “context” thing again.

What are the 7 Words You Can’t Say in Advertising?

Copywriter Steve Simpson has an amusing column in Adweek that speaks to the new guidelines for the advertising scribe.  I might have used the word “funny” to describe the column, but “funny” may not be an appropriate word choice during these difficult economic times.  So infers the ” Bureau of the New Era of Responsibility, Office of the Creative Czar.”  Read the piece here and have a chuckle. Just don’t laugh out loud, please.