wonderfully chewy advertising copy

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Writing is an art and any performer in almost any medium will tell you that without good writing you have only a good chance at success. But with great writing, you have a very good chance at success.

As voice over talents, our profession honestly sees mostly average writing, especially when it comes to advertising copy. There can be a myriad of reasons that foster such mediocrity primarily due to the medium itself and the message.

In :30 or :60 seconds, you don’t have a lot of time to flush out an interesting premise AND get the product’s name mentioned and make sure they know what the special offer or point of difference is. Also, sometimes the product or service just isn’t that interesting.

I will grant you that one of the tasks a writer must deal with is making it interesting…that is their job. But sometimes that is really hard.

I got a piece of audition copy last week that I loved. I didn’t get the job but I thought I did a great job on the audition. Bottom line: the client obviously didn’t. That’s show biz and I’m OK with that. I spent a lot more time than normal on the audition (which, unusually, came with it own music bed) because the copy triggered my voice over endorphins.

There may be a better and even more accurate term for the rush I get when I read some copy but that’s how I’ve always defined that sensation I get when I read the copy, review the product and it triggers so clearly in my mind the perfect voice I must use to embrace the language on the page that to alter the clarity of my performance path would almost be insulting to the writer and the client in that order.

The bad news about this chemical reaction is that while it works for me, it may be an abysmal failure in the client’s ears. Yikes! There’s your truth in advertising, buddy!

But with such sparse meaningful direction for auditions done via email today, you absolutely have to go with your performance gut. Because while I didn’t get the job, in my ego-tastic voice over head, I produced a great spot…for, um, which I was….uh, not hired.

Do you get this sensation when you read certain copy? Does it affect your performance and/or audition? How would you describe it?

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2 Responses to “wonderfully chewy advertising copy”

  1. Hey Peter!
    …gee…do I spend too much time in your neck o’ the woods or WHAT???

    So to answer your questions:
    1) Do you get this sensation when you read certain copy?
    YES! Frankly though for me it’s usually in long-form narrations. I love it when a script is well written and I can really get in and express what the writer is saying….with medical scripts THAT can be a challenge…but it’s fun & feels great when I make that terminology SOUND GOOD!

    2) Does it affect your performance and/or audition?
    Yes again!
    Of course if a script is well written, it makes the performance/voicing of it that much smoother because you don’t have to worry so much about stumbling over badly written phrases or trying to figure out WHAT the copy is meant to say.
    I can concentrate on my delivery/style rather than getting the words right!

    This all can also be a challenge in my case when dealing with a badly translated script. The English can be wonderful, but in the hands of an amateur-translator-wannabe that beautiful script can come out sounding like Pig-French!

    There have been auditions that I have responded to that I KNOW were computer translated….if I really thought I could do a good job & it fit my style I’ll correct it to a point & indicate that in my response…sometimes it works…sometime…non! 😉

    3) How would you describe it?
    I thought I just did! 🙂

    Peace!

    Liz

  2. Liz.

    Great answers.

    I especially like the challenge you mentioned of poorly translated scripts which would be especially problematic in your vo niche!

    And you’re welcome to spend as much time on this blog as you like!

    Best always,
    – Peter

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