Entries Tagged as 'political advertising'

political voiceover demos and videos

Political Commercials Male Voice Talent Peter K. O'ConnellIn the good old days, a voice talent could simply post their new voiceover demo on a web site, email the demo to his/her agents and carry on.

Well, I just finished recording and updating my new political voiceover demo for the mid-term General Elections in November. There should be a good amount of political voice work for voice talents between now and November.

I posted it to my web site and sent it off to agents but this time I added the extra element of producing a video that featured the demo.

No, Ken Burns is not shaking in his boots following this release of this new, epic voiceover demo video. It’s produced with some graphics that I crafted that match the theme to make it listenable and viewable.

Just before the internet got popular, I graduated from college with a degree in Radio & Television from the University of Dayton. We worked on ¾” video tape and reel-to-reel audio editing. I owned a video production company for 6 years after college and edited lots of videos.

Political Campaign Election; Male Voice Talent Peter K. O'ConnellSo you would think, with that kind of experience, that I should be able to handle something as “simple” as iMovie to slap together this little video. Further, you would think Apple would create a software that was extremely intuitive and easy to manage.

You would be so wrong on both counts.

Apple is not as cool, sleek and smart as they want you to think they are. You already know that I’m not.

Be that as it may, I imagine I will be dancing again soon with iMovie and producing a few more epic presentations.

Please don’t throw tomatoes at the screen.

the politics of voicing political commercials

Peter K. O'Connell Political Commercial Voice TalentEverything now seems to be politicized with people spewing absolute-isms about every conceivable topic.

Even about voicing political commercials.

Among voice talents, there is usually an annual discussion (often held near election season) about a voice actor’s stance on voicing political commercials.

Often (but not always) the discussion comes down to two positions:

TALENT A: ‘I am a voice talent who voices political commercials – I don’t care much about the candidate or the referendum in the script because I am a voice actor. Use of my voice in a political spot is my job and my service, not an endorsement of a person or an agenda.’

An example of their thinking: A voice actor may be the voice of a soft drink company but not drink or even like the product.

TALENT B: ‘I am a voice talent who voices political commercials – but they must be for a particular political party, candidate or position. If they do not meet those criteria I will not voice that spot as it would make me uncomfortable.’

An example of their thinking: A voice actor will decline to do a political commercial for a candidate who position on an issue conflicts with hers (some voice actors who will not even voice a specific a political party).

Which actor is right?

If you answered, “both” or “it’s an individual choice”, you’re correct. There is neither a correct nor simple answer.

But I would also guess that as you read both options, as a voice talent, you identified more with one option versus the other.

Every voice actor has his own moral compass and that gut instinct determines the voice talent’s comfort level working for an individual political candidate, a referendum or even a political party.

Some voice talents are so disturbed by the political process or the conflict it incites that they won’t voice political commercials at all. I understand that thinking as well.

And yet, there are few additional forms of media other than political commercials where the influence of a voice talent’s work is so greatly influences a targeted audience. Eliciting emotions, getting people to think and feel about a topic, product or service is the foundation of what a voice actor does.

I am a voice talent for political commercials. What about you?

doing voiceovers for political commercials


You know what’s so funny to me, as a political voice talent?

It’s not the politicians or referendums or the political action committees. Those are just grown-ups trying to do that which they think is right.

Well, in a few cases, it is grown-ups behaving badly.

But what I find so terribly funny about being a voice talent for political spots is that I myself am so completely not political. I’m just not.

I am intentionally not affiliated with a political party. I don’t donate to political causes. I’m not a rally attender.

I do vote, every election without exception. I am amazed when I hear how many people do not vote. People died for me so I’d have that right in the democracy of my nation! What the heck?! Vote people!

Me being not very political doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions, I do. Every voice talent does. Every person does.

I just don’t blast it upon the world (as I hear and see others do) Plus I stay far away from mentioning any thing political on social media. To me that’s just professional suicide, no matter what your job is.

Nope, I just give the client the best and most appropriate read for the script. Work fast, be fun to work with and then get paid. It’s been a winning formula thus far.

So what happens if I get a political commercial script that I really have a problem with?

Likely what I’ll do is contact a fellow voice talent whose personal views maybe more in line with the script’s content and see if I can foster a connection. Why?

First of all, this is a business transaction, it’s not meant to be personal. Some people see it otherwise, but I don’t. It’s business.

Often times, also, the campaign managers or political consultants who send me scripts work on a wide range of campaigns. So while I may not work with them on one campaign, we may have no problem working together on another campaign.

Politics is about relationships. Voiceover is about relationships. So I guess in a sense, I am a little political. Here’s a link to my political demo, if you’d like to listen.

why yes those ARE new voice-over demo players

audio'connell Voice-Over Talent featuring the voice of Peter K. O'Connell

A screen shot of the audio’connell Voice-Over Talent Commercial Demo page featuring a new demo player

As you can see from the screen shot above and from THIS LINK to my Commercial Voice-Over Demo page on audioconnell.com, my website has new demo players that will make listening to the demos easier and downloading them more effective for producers.

This player allows you to listen not only to the entire demo but also individually demo segments – in ANY order you prefer.

Check out the new voice-over demo players….






PLUS you can now DOWNLOAD either the entire demo or just the voice segment you like to share with whomever is making the voice-over decisions on your media production.

All this will make your voice-over production duties that much easier.


new voice-over demos deserve a new voice-over bow – political commercials

Political Commercials_wide_bdr_500

The thing with new demos is a lot like re-doing your kitchen.

With a kitchen, maybe you change out your cabinet knobs…which now clashes with your floor so you’ll have to change the floor. And you might as well change out your appliances if you’re pulling up the floor and before you know it you’ve spent $25,000 because you changed $20 worth of knobs.

Voice-over demos are a little like that too.

(Peter K. O’Connell NEW Political Voice-Over Demo – take a listen)

When I re-did my TV promo demo (which really needed it) it started me to critically review my other demos (and my web site). One of the demos that needed tweaking (I felt) was my political commercial demo. So I did that (with a little audio support from my friend, the great Dan Friedman). Reviews have been positive (woot!)

But then I looked at the political demo page and felt something was missing. It didn’t call out “political commercials” well enough.

Then I look at the other demo pages and saw the same pattern. So I drafted some graphic image ideas and settled on a format that has a unified theme but still allows for unique execution for each demo page. A graphic example is on the top of this blog post.

The “brilliance” of all this likely won’t break the internet but it makes me happy and more importantly I believe will make for clearer concept comprehension for first time web site viewers.

a political poll for voice talents

My friend John Florian who runs the on-line voice over news center Voice-Over Xtra! sent an email to me (and probably 1,000 of my closest friends) asking for some insight in to our workload for political voiceover projects during the 2010 mid-term elections that just blew through the U.S. like a cyclone.

The purpose of the survey, which I took, is to gauge (among other things) what types of political advertisements most voice talents voiced this season. Positive or negative? Issue or attack ads? Funded by PAC’s or other groups etc.

Nobody is asked to share their personal political beliefs or anything like that.

The most interesting result I want to find out from this survey is whether voice talents on average will or will not voice spots for issues or politicians they do not believe in. Some people will say no and some will say…it’s just a job and as a voice actor, I need to act like I believe in this or that; it’s not an endorsement.

I know for me, I have only one issue that I look at with possible political spots and if the spot or the candidate runs contrary to that belief, then I decline the business. Others might see things differently so I look forward to the survey results.

So if you did a political spot this year, go take the survey here.