Entries Tagged as 'video'

3 reasons why this such a good tv commercial

It’s hard for a TV commercial to get my attention, hold my attention and make me remember it. That’s because I’ve not only seen so many commercials but I’ve also been a part of so many commercial productions that I think I’m a little jaundiced about spots.

So the other day while just changing channels, I came across this Bayer Aspirin commercial having never seen it before. It totally drew me in and got my attention and I’ll tell you why I think it worked so well.

GREAT WRITING IN 7 SECONDS
You innocently watch a guy at a sporting event, enjoying himself. Some paramedics come towards him, which confuses him because he has no medical issues. But as they tell him, he soon will. WHAT?! That’s a great commercial hook. Bam! 7 seconds!

GREAT COMMERCIAL ACTING
Make no mistake, it’s not the voice-over that impresses in this spot, it’s the actors. Our protagonist not only delivers his set-up line well but his facial expression after he’s told he’s about to have a heart attack is spectacular, it’s real and it’s honest. But let us not ignore the great simple performance of the paramedic who firmly but calmly informs her soon to be patient that he’s going to have a heart attack.

SIMPLE EDITING IS NEVER SIMPLE
From the establishing shot to paramedics entry and conversation shots, it all flows really nicely and innocently until the viewer is as smacked awake as the protagonist when the heart attack line is delivered. The editing is simple because there seems to be nothing especially dramatic unfolding. Until it does.

Maybe you saw the ad and it didn’t grab you like it grabbed me but it was so impactful to me as the viewer I wanted to share it with you. There enough NOT so impressive spots out there that I think we should celebrate the really good ones.

What do you think about this spot? Great? Or did it seem like just another TV spot?

a thoughtful branding change

An updated logo for Levi's Jeans

An updated logo for Levi’s Jeans

OK, so I like logos. Anyone who’s read this blog over the years knows that.

But beyond the art of it, to which I am drawn, there should also be some real thought put into a logo’s place in the complete branding of a product or service and some sound reasoning behind the change.

Often times when companies change their logo or publicly address their branding, they issue fluffy, non-sensical press releases usually written by their design agency team who have drunk their own Kool-Aid based on the content of their reasons for making the branding change (hint: the real but never stated reasons are usually about low sales, change in management or a self-inflicted catastrophe). They also craft cool videos (for which many times I am a sucker ) telling the story of the logo’s development.

In this case, Levi’s Jeans (to whom I have been a pretty loyal customer) really kinda came clean on their logo missteps over the years and laid out a very simple, straight forward case for the new branding going forward. I’m not sure there is any business category where branding is more important than clothing (maybe alcohol or perfume).

But I think when any business is thinking about how to explain the graphic part of their branding, this video shares a pretty thoughtful base upon which you might start a discussion about your own branding.

Otherwise just enjoy the pretty pictures.

Requiescat in Pace Don Pardo

Legendary NBC Announcer Don Pardo

Legendary NBC Announcer Don Pardo

It’s unfortunate that two successive blog posts are remembrances of the dead. First Robin Williams and now legendary NBC announcer Don Pardo.

But the emotions for me surrounding the news regarding these two talented people could not be more different.

Of course when I woke up to the news this morning about Don’s death, I was startled but not shocked. For some reason (maybe I’m a long distance, harmless stalker who is just not that good at this stalking gig) I knew of Don’s age and that he had long been pre-recording his SNL intros. He was 96 years old when he died.

It’s a loss to be sure but that’s a great life run.

And he was STILL WORKING! I remember thinking at the beginning of each recent SNL season “how long can Don keeping doing this?” I got my answer: to the very end.

Awesome.

And kudos to Lorne Michaels for ensuring that as long as Don wanted the job, he had the job.

Yes, I’ve already been asked who I think they’d get to replace Don as the SNL announcer. I don’t know but I’m pretty sure the new person will be shaking in their boots for about a season and a half before feeling comfortable taking over for a voice-over legend.

“Legend”, you say? Oh yes, let me expound.

So let’s go back to early this morning. I learned the news of Don Pardo’s death by listening to an AM news radio station in Buffalo, NY. Not via their network feed, the local announcers read the news of Pardo’s passing.

Digest that for a second.

The local news radio station read a story about the death of an off-camera network announcer.

To be clear, I would not consider today to be a slow news day.

That told me one or two amazing things before I even got out of bed – this was going to be Don Pardo’s national day of respect and possibly a day of respect for the announcing / voice-over industry itself.

I was filled with joy, a much different emotion than I felt last week at this time.

As the day has progressed, I have seen my assumption become fact. I am so happy for Don right now and for everyone in our business. Everybody knows who Don Pardo is – and they should!!!!

He’s been a multi-generational announcer and been an active broadcaster throughout some of the most amazing transitions in broadcasting. Forget SNL for a second, Pardo was the booth announcer at WNBC in New York who broke the news about Kennedy having been shot in Dallas. Wow.

If you’ve never seen the series featuring an interview with Don at emmytvlegends.org (here’s that stalker thing again) there are some great stories from Don about his work in broadcasting. I’m hoping the YouTube views on that puppy skyrocket in the weeks and months ahead.

So today, I will pray for Don’s family and that they experience God’s healing power as they mourn Don’s loss. But I will also smile and enjoy for him (and us) the national tributes Don Pardo is justifiably receiving for his life’s work.

There are two great voice-over Dons in heaven now and I suppose both will have to either audition for the “voice of God” role or just split the week between them.

P.S.

The day after posting this I received notice of the tribute done last night to Don Pardo by NBC Nightly News Anchor and Managing Editor Brian Williams, who went so far to switch studios during the newscast and deliver the final segment of his broadcast from Studio 8H. Just one word to the Anchor and his co-workers: Classy. See for yourself.

two voice-over jobs i never would have gotten if I didn’t go to high school

Canisius High School

My parents were kind enough to send me to a good high school. Canisius High School in Buffalo, NY

But it was high school mostly know for pumping out future lawyers and doctors and CPA’s and other folks who contribute to society. This was not a school that was known for it’s media graduates who went on to be voice-over talents (was that even a job), video producers or radio production directors. The lone notable media exceptions being Tim Russert (but I believe he sort of slipped into media having graduated with a law degree) and comedian Mark Russell (but come on, he’s a comedian for goodness sake 馃槈

When I went there, the school did have a Media Production Center but the school didn’t really know what to do with it (the excellent teacher of the Media Center went on to join me as co-owner of a media production company after I graduated college and was a groomsman at my wedding)

With so little focus paid to media at the high school, you can imagine the school’s surprise in 1981 when I approached them about getting credits for a radio internship I fell into at a local radio station. No one had ever done that. And I helped put together a school radio station too….that evidently died after I graduated. But no, I did not have a pocket protector or tape holding my glasses together…most days.

For the longest time, I thought I was pretty much the lone media geek out of a class of about 150+ guys. Upon recent reflection, it turns out I was rather myopic in that thinking.

There were other media geeks who graduated in my class (friends then and friends now) and I’ve been now fortunate enough to work professionally with both of them! That realization simply makes me happy and I’m not sure why but who cares why. I need to enjoy happy, not analyze it!

After I came back from college at the University of Dayton (working in radio there while in school), I was surprised to find my friend Matt Young had gotten an on-air job in Buffalo radio. He sounded great and has worked pretty steady in radio ever since…in Buffalo, now as a station production director. In the past couple of years we’ve gotten to work on a radio campaign (I think it was only one series of spots but I can’t even remember who the client was — that happens in the VO business sometimes as the clients roll through).

Then this week, another talented media geek from my class – Phil Wnuk contacted me from the successful communication company he works for in Chicago saying he needed some voice-over work done and could I help him with that. Heck yea, no problem. Here’s how that project turned out:

How Design Phase is “Making Retail Fun” from Roark, Pirsig & Dobie on Vimeo.

All this reflection has just made me appreciate a couple of things. First it’s nice that some non-lawyer types succeeded out of my high school and occassionally get to work together. Second, be aware of all the unique connections you can make in life – or have already made, even in high school – and to try and remember to never (even today) to take any of them for granted.

What a long strange trip it’s been.

Thanks fellas.

MEDIA RELEASE – O’Connell’s Narration Takes Esker’s Cloud Solutions to the World

MADISON, WI, December 26, 2013 – – With their world headquarters in Lyon, France and subsidiaries in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia, Esker had a world-wide banquet table of voice talents to pick from when it was producing the narration for the company’s new “Quit Paper” marketing video. The document process automation solutions company’s video theme offered a simple message that required a friendly, engaging storyteller as its narrator. Esker chose veteran voice-over talent Peter K. O’Connell.

Many companies desire to innovate but successfully managing operational changes within corporate structures can be a significant hurdle. Esker’s “Quit Paper” marketing video provides a streamlined explanation of how Esker’s leadership position in document process automation easily helps organizations around the world automate their manual business processes with a suite of on-demand and on-premises solutions.

Here’s a look at the Esker “Quit Paper” marketing video:

Based on the success their “Quit Paper” marketing video, Esker has secured Peter K. O’Connell as the narration voice talent for a series of Esker marketing and explainer videos now in production.

About Esker
Esker is a worldwide leader in document process automation solutions. Addressing all types of business processes, from accounts payable and accounts receivable to order processing and procurement, Esker cloud computing solutions enable companies to automate the reception, processing and sending of any business document with one platform. Esker helps over 80,000 companies across the world to reduce the use of paper and eliminate manual processes while improving their productivity, efficiency and environmental impact.

About Peter K. O’Connell
America’s Friendly, Neighborhood Voice-Over Talent, Peter K. O’Connell, has worked with a wide variety of companies from around the world in addition to this most recent production for Esker. Some of Peter’s clients include PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), Shell Oil, Pitney Bowes, Bacardi Rum, Highlights HIGH FIVE Magazine, Deloitte Canada, Zaycon Foods, U.S. Army, Starz Cable Channel, BlueCross BlueShield, SunSetter Awnings, Time Warner Cable, New Jersey Tourism, First Financial Bank, N.A., Harlequin Enterprises, The Buffalo News, and Darien Lake Theme Park.

Described as a natural born storyteller, Peter K. O’Connell’s voice-over productions have been heard globally in radio and TV commercials, medical narrations, television infomercials, political commercial voice-overs, TV network promos, e-learning narration projects (computer-based training, internet-based training and web-based training), PSA’s, message on-hold as well as other video and media productions. Peter owns audio’connell Voice-Over Talent, a division of O’Connell Communications, LLC.

– 30 –

NOTES TO EDITORS

Company Media Releases ON LINE:
http://www.audioconnell.com/media

Company Name Pronunciation:
au路dio路o’路con路nell (awe-de-oh-oh-kah-nel) or au路di-o’路con路nell (awe-de-oh-kah-nel)

Company Name Spelling:
Use lower case letters- audio’connell or audio’connell Voice-Over Talent

Company Web:
http://www.audioconnell.com

Company Blog:
http://www.voxmarketising.com

O’Connell Voice-Over Resume:
See resume here

the thanksgiving tradition continues

WKRP

It has been said: “For those who understand, no answer is necessary. For those who do not understand, no answer will suffice.”

Every year I still enjoy this wonderful piece of TV and I hope you do too. Please share this post with your social media voice-over friends!

Happy Thanksgiving!