MEDIA RELEASE – O’Connell Brightens Crest Toothpaste’s Radio Campaign

Crest logoRALEIGH, NC – February 3, 2020 – – Oral health is a serious topic but Crest Toothpaste injected some creativity within the brand story of its Pro/Active Defense Toothpaste’s national radio campaign.

The radio commercial, featuring character voice actor Peter K. O’Connell as a race track announcer, imaginatively communicates that cavities are the only winners in a race among those who do not care for their teeth with the proper toothpaste.

About Crest Pro/Active Defense Toothpaste

Pro/Active Defense Toothpaste does more for mouths to keep them healthy for the future (vs. ordinary toothpaste). It takes a 360° approach to protect and future-proof the whole mouth. Its Active Defense Technology neutralizes plaque bacteria for clinically proven healthier gums. Activated foam is delivered to all areas of the mouth to shield & defend against potential oral health issues. It is ADA accepted to help prevent cavities, plaque and gingivitis, and prevent or reduce enamel erosion from dietary acids, and reduce sensitivity.

About Peter K. O’Connell

From Fortune 500 companies to companies that think $500 is a fortune, multi-award winning male voiceover talent Peter K. O’Connell has shared his voiceover and audio production skills with a wide variety of companies, world-wide. In addition to national radio commercial for Crest, Peter’s commercial and narration clients also include brands like L.L.Bean, IBM, Duracell Batteries, General Electric, Massachusetts State Lottery and Kraft Foods.

O’Connell owns audio’connell Voiceover Talent, a division of O’Connell Communications, LLC. He can be reached via audioconnell.com or peterkoconnell.com.

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NOTES FOR EDITORS

CONTACT:

Peter K. O’Connell

Your Friendly, Neighborhood Voiceover Talent

audio’connell Voiceover Talent

P.O. Box 5493 | Raleigh, NC 27512-5493

PH. +01 716-572-1800

EM. peter@audioconnell.com

W. audioconnell.com

COMPANY MEDIA CENTER

http://www.audioconnell.com/media

PETER K. O’CONNELL VO CREDITS

VO Credits Link

COMPANY NAME SPELLING

Use lower case letters- audio’connell or audio’connell Voiceover Talent

COMPANY NAME PRONUNCIATIONau·di-o’·con·nell (awe-de-oh-kah-nel)

the voiceover negotiator (establishing & defending your voiceover rates)

Get Paid Fair Market Voiceover RatesSome voice talent come into the voiceover business with blinders on…all they see are microphones, scripts and money. The business part they kind of “poo-poo” away dismissively, only to find themselves later to be playing catch up or out of the business entirely.

There are lots of books and videos and classes and seminars on all this voiceover business stuff.  Today, I thought I’d share my perspective on how to establish rates and execute negotiations after almost 40 years in voiceover. This isn’t all inclusive (you have to PAY for that 😉 ) but I will share some of what I feel are key points.

The business part of voiceover starts almost immediately, when you get your first job. Say it’s a commercial for a local bank…a local bank that has multiple branches across your state. It’s going to be on the radio and it’s :60 seconds. The client who offers you the job is a video production studio doing the production and hiring of the VO talent.

The studio offers you $50 for the gig.

Boy are you excited, first paying gig, heard across the state! All my family will hear it! This is my big break…here we go!

The excitement is understandable and natural.

SFX: Splashing a bucket of cold water on the new voice talent

Slow down there, Secretariat! Don’t jump into the studio yet.

That $50 fee is WAY too low for a regional radio spot.

If you accept the spot for that rate, you’ve established yourself as a VO who works way below rates and trust me, the studio KNOWS the REAL going rates for voiceover. You’ll spend the better part of your initial career either digging yourself OUT of the hole (because snide word travels fast on cheap talent) or you’ll be underpaid for the rest of what only you will consider a voiceover career.

But, you say, they said that was the fee, take it or leave it.

The “that’s the fee / take it or leave it” response can mean two things IN ANY BUSINESS:

  1. This IS all I am paying anyone for this
  2. This is my current deal and I don’t want to let you know I could pay more

Here’s how a business person (and now you’re a working voice talent so: you is one ;)) handles this:

  • If the answer truly is ‘that’s all I’m paying’, you have to make a decision:

–> If you desperately need the money for food, rent or medicine (re-read and understand the word desperate…that’s important here) then take the job and make sure your payment terms are cash on delivery (COD); waiting 60 or 90 days for such a low payment payment is a kick right in the “no-no” spot!

–> Otherwise I would politely decline and explain my rates for such a project are X (“I would love to do the project, but my rates for the project you described is X.”)

With that last sentence, you just began to negotiate.

I know, your blood pressure just spiked a bit reading all this and there is a slight ringing in your ears at the thought of negotiating. Settle down. It’s a part of the business and you need to be ready for it.

Notice, I didn’t say you needed to be perfect at it? It takes time to learn negotiating skills but being educated at the outset by knowing your rates and being able to discuss them (negotiate) is the best starting place. And it’s not hard. Truly.

Just remember this key rule in negotiations: you have to be willing to walk away from the deal.

You have to be willing to say no to a deal that is not beneficial to you. If you give that one element up in spirit or in deed, you will lose every negotiation and will be financially screwed the rest of your very short business life. That’s not a joke. I am not kidding. #truth

There are books and classes on negotiation so, if you want, start at the library or Barnes and Noble. Read a few chapters. It won’t kill you.

Maria Pendolino Voiceover Talent audioconnell

Professional Female Voiceover Talent Maria Pendolino

If books do give you hives, well, don’t become an audiobook narrator but do contact my friend Maria Pendolino who is now offering classes on VO negotiations. These classes are not free but they are worthwhile. See what she did there, knowing her market value? She makes people PAY fairly for what she knows. You need to have people pay you fairly for what you voice.

The initial business part of voiceover for EVERY TALENT should immediately focus you on setting up rates for your business. What will you charge? Every business of any size does this and so must every voiceover business.

There are variables in our particular business that impact how voiceover is priced. They include (but are not limited to):

  • Will the recording be broadcast (TV, radio, web — yes web is seen as a kind of broadcast now, but will be priced differently than radio and TV)
  • If it is broadcast, where will it play geographically (a local town, a city, a state, nationally, internationally?)
  • How long will it be broadcast? (A month, 3 months, a year, forever?)
  • Will the recording be non-broadcast (sales meeting videos, trade show videos, audiobooks)
  • Are the terms of the usage of the recording you are making for them very specific?
  • Or are you giving them use of the recording for anything down the road at no additional charge? (A radio spot could be used in a sales video or as part of a message on hold…the sales video and message on hold SHOULD be billed additionally – which is why you need to be clear on terms of usage

If you are kind of lost at square 1 (i.e. setting my voiceover rates), here are some resources to guide you on what you could charge.

Global Voice Acting Academy LogoA starting point for non-union talent (if you do not have a SAG-AFTRA union card, you are non-union) would be the Global Voice Acting Academy web site. The grids will help you break down the genre of voiceovers and what the average rate is.

If you wanted to see how Union talent charge, you can look at the SAG-AFTRA site. The published rates are the base rates and can be higher, but so too are the Union’s fees for membership, etc. It’s all above board and there’s value to being in the Union for some folks…just read all of it to have a full understanding of rates and fees.

You may ask…what about an agent? Can’t I just get an agent and let them do all the negotiations? You can hire an agent…but an agent has to want you as a talent. Are you there yet?

The bottom line is you need to be able to negotiate rates fairly on your own behalf and know your worth. It’s just that simple and there is no successful way around that business fact.

Remember just a few things about the service YOU offer:

  • If producers have come to you with a job offer, you have something they want that only you can provide...there ARE other voice talents but there is only one you and that is part of your value – you are like the super-fast motor on a brand new sports car or a beautiful new roof on an awesome house that no one needs to repair for 20 years!
  • You are licensing your voice (which, we’ve established, has a financial value to it) so in essence you are charging a licensing fee (based on all those areas I mentioned previously)
  • There is a minimum time requirement for someone to use your services – even if the length of the production is really short (for the aforementioned $50 for :60 second spot – the producer would be even more insulting if he said for a :30 second spot, I’ll pay you $25…. so meet your minimum fee to start with and THEN assess your final rate based on the other variable
  • And just a reminder, because you must believe this to succeed: you have value as a voice actor and that value should have a competitive price – that’s what you are establishing and negotiating

Maybe your hands are shaking a bit now, you feel a little sweaty too, but it’s not the flu…it’s reading all this rate setting and negotiation stuff.

Well, better you work all that out now that in front of a business prospect.

You are stronger and smarter than you think you are. To own your own successful business, you have to be.

Good luck!

Jeopardy’s Announcer, Johnny Gilbert, is Amazing

Johnny Gilbert Jeopardy Announcer

The original and current announcer for the syndicated broadcast of “Jeopardy”, Johnny Gilbert

As much as I focus and study the voiceover industry and it’s players, I still miss stuff.

I catch up eventually but I don’t know that I’ll ever catch to voiceover legend and RECORD HOLDING ANNOUNCER Johnny Gilbert, the announcer for Jeopardy.

Rightly so, a lot has been made about the health struggles of beloved Jeopardy host Alex Trebek. As Trebek has worked through his cancer fight, the most recent on-camera work of his now 35 year reign as host of Jeopardy continues to be a perfect as his first days.

But with Alex since day one of this version of Jeopardy has been his off-camera announcer, Johnny Gilbert. Gilbert’s opening line: “This. Is. Jeopardy!” is iconic and he continues his significant announcing duties more than 3 decades later with amazing perfection.

Gilbert is also the Guinness World Record Holder for longest career as a game show announcer for same show, now at 35 years.

Oh and this little side note of this working professional announcer: Johnny Gilbert is 95 years old!!!!!!!

Johnny Gilbert is an amazing voiceover talent.

Here’s some behind the scenes on Johnny’s work.

Requiescat in pace Frank Tavares

Frank Tavares NPRUnderwritingVO

Frank Tavares, underwriting voiceover talent of NPR for over 30 years, died in late December 2019.

You and I didn’t know Frank Tavares yet we both knew him.

Tavares, who died this week from complications resulting from ALS, was the underwriting (also known as the funding credits) voice of National Public Radio for about 30 years.  NPR fired Tavares in 2013, likely for the sake of change (just my opinion, I have no inside info).

Tavares’ opening line was usually “Support for NPR comes from…”.

His delivery was clear, attention getting and steady…just what you need in that kind of role.

Seven years later, it seems NPR is still trying to steady it’s underwriting voice ship, as you might expect when someone replaces a 30-year legend. As you may recall from my 2015 post, the first announcer brought into replace Tavares didn’t work out.

Subsequent to that, the then interim voice has become the regular underwriting voice….except I often hear a male voice now doing the support reads. So maybe there are two voices…maybe more?

I think NPR can’t quite decide who the network wants to sound like on these funding credits anymore.

In order to appeal to all their various, likely hyper-sensitive  demographics, I believe they’ll be the first network to hire a computerized voice for promos. A voice that appeals to no one but also offends no one.

Here is a link to NPR’s story about Tavares passing.

movies give out sound awards for a good reason

I was never going to use my Radio and Television degree in college for anything to do with movies. I liked movies but the production process is too slow for me.

But with my production knowledge and awareness, I respect the work that everyone in the film making process performs.

I bring up movies because this week is a bit of a movie production milestone (a real one, not an advertised one). The 9th and final episode completing the original Star Wars story will premiere on December 20th.

Yes there will be future episodes that will no doubt tie in bits of these past 9 stories and some of the past actors but this 9th movie really is a fork in the cinematic road for this franchise.

Huge history, huge budget, huge pressure. Editor’s note: I really enjoy Star Wars and have seen them all (even the bad ones). I am NOT , however, what you would call a Star Wars fanatic. I know some, not all, of the characters and some of the movie’s back stories but hardly all of them. I am not Star Wars obsessed but I enjoy the movie making spectacle that it brings. In other words, I like the movies but I do not live the movies.

I was watching the final The Rise of Skywalker trailer which was masterfully produced in all aspects. I’m thinking as I watched it that even if you are somehow new to Star Wars (maybe based on your age), should you know nothing about the series, you’d probably see this movie just based on this trailer.

Of course the visuals are vital to this trailer, the graphics smartly guide this short story…but the sound and the trailer sound design really actually grabbed me more than the visuals the first time I saw this trailer. And yes, it IS only a trailer but I think THIS is trailer is exceptionally well done.

Certainly there is the iconic Star Wars theme played in the second half of the trailer (the part of the trailer I like the most)…and the orchestral arrangement for this trailer I thought was especially moving.

But the sound mix with scene sound bites, sound effects and music are so good, this trailer could almost be a stand alone radio spot as is.

Listen here to the audio part of the trailer that I think could be a radio spot FIRST.

 

SECOND, watch the full trailer here. Then let me know what you think.

 

peter’s new sports radio imaging demo

SportsRadio Peter K. O'Connell Sports Radio ImagingWHY DID I PRODUCE my new sport radio imaging demo? Well first off, mine needed updating, so there’s that.

But with the traveling I have done recently, listening to so much radio I was reminded how important the sport radio format has become to listeners like me…and you.

LISTEN TO PETER K. O’CONNELL’S SPORTS RADIO IMAGING DEMO:

There are few radio formats where radio imaging is so important. While many cities are fortunate enough to have national AND local sports radio programs in their markets, my travels tell me many more sports radio stations fill up programs only with national programs – with no local, daily sports radio hosts.

So the audio branding that sports radio imaging provides becomes vital to these radio stations because the radio imaging is the ONLY way outside of the radio station web site that listeners know who what they are listening to…the radio imaging IS the brand.

The audio brand needs to sound like knowledgeable but likeable sports-nut driven to bring all the sports news and action to listeners. As an experienced radio imaging voice talent, I am glad to provide that service to sports radio stations. Please listen to the demo and…if you’re hiring, give me a call and let’s talk.