voiceovers in political advertising


Although we’ve got something like 500+ days left before the next United States Presidential election, candidates from the Republican and Democratic parties are already having debates on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. The debates are summarily ignored by the majority of the voting public even though they are covered ad-nauseum by the networks. It’s a vicious cycle.

This Presidential election has gotten the earliest campaign start in history I have been told and yet I’m convinced more people vote for singers on American Idol than for a President. I’ve nothing to back this up, research-wise, it’s more of a “gut” thing. Yet what choice do candidates have, especially those running for president?

The branding and marketing of a political candidate, public referendum or issue has become a real art or a fascinating battle depending on your perspective. How would YOU create a brand (and hopefully buzz…positive buzz) about a candidate or policy while competing for the attention of an ever more diversified and distracted voting public? Oh yeah, and you have to do it on a budget based solely on how well your candidate can fund raise…assuming he/she can get enough people who know him/her as well as who thehave money to even contribute to a campaign. That is why I guess we’re starting so early on each party’s “horse race” for the presidential brass ring. In politics as in life: follow the money.

And with the election season comes the political ads…some good, some questionable (again, trying to gain attention) but always thought provoking. Political consultants will again do their level best to map out a salient strategy for their candidate clients. These strategies will include a “theme” or “message” that consultants and candidates hope will resonate with the voters. Likely, TV and radio political ad campaigns will remain the mediums of choice to spread that political message to the widest audience.

Voice over scripts for political commercials are a great deal of fun for most voice talents (for me I refer to some of these political spots as requiring “vocal summersaults“). But overall today’s political spots are really not that different than commercials for any other brand. Political advertisers need to gain the public’s attention, summarize a key message and elicit an emotion in anywhere from thirty to sixty seconds. Sometimes the audience is uplifted by the message (“It’s morning, again, in America,)” and sometimes some mud is slung (politics didn’t invent attack ads; a quick example: wasn’t “The Pepsi Challenge” mud slinging at some of its most famous?).

I’m looking forward to the coming political advertising season whether from a presidential, congressional, state, regional or local election level. It gets citizens more involved in the democratic process for a while and I just don’t see how that can ever be a bad thing.

2 Responses to “voiceovers in political advertising”

  1. Do you ever say “NO” to folks who have opposing views to yours?

  2. Hey Kasbah, thanks for visting.

    You know, I’m not too political but there is probably one close to my heart topic that would dissuade me from doing a spot for a candidate.

    Best always,