Listen in as pro voiceover coach Maya Kuper directs students of all levels through real commercial scripts, in a real recording studio. The Voiceover Gym Class is now free for anyone, anywhere to listen to. Follow along with the scripts on http://thevoiceovergymclass.blogspot.com
Freschetta Pizza :30 TV
Even an announcer role has conflict and a problem to solve. When you get a commercial script, look for the line where the "lightbulb" comes on. It'll usually be when you hear the product name, or when we first see the product on-screen and realize what the commercial is actually for. It's where we go from thinking-out-loud about a problem, to knowing and sharing the solution to that problem. In this Freschetta Pizza spot, for example, we get several questions right at the top. Ask these questions as if you know there's only one possible answer. Make your listener want to know what's coming next. The answer to those questions is the product. Everything from the product on down to the end of the spot is the answer that only YOU have, so we want to hear you letting us in on a secret. Once that lightbulb is on, it remains on and lends its energy to the rest of the spot. The podcast episode for this spot is rather a marathon at 25 minutes, with both Mike and Heather discovering a lot of new things. Stick with me. As always, you can click the title of this blog post to get to the "real" spot on YouTube. VO: Who makes a better-tasting pizza? Who uses real tomatoes, and all real cheeses, Dough that rises naturally, with no chemical leaveners? Who uses only premium meats? Who makes it taste fresh? Freschetta Naturally Rising Crust Pizza. No other pizza tastes like Freschetta, Because no other pizza is made like Freschetta. And for a crispy, fire-baked crust, try our Brick Oven pizza.
2012 Chrysler 300 :30 TV
From the first line of the spot, this AVO is overflowing with opinion and point-of-view. The AVO is dismissive of the idea of a fuel-efficient car as an end in itself. And even contractions like "gonna" and "gotta" show that this AVO is a real person, not a disembodied voice. Of particular note is the use of the word "and" on the line "One with character, and conviction, and pride..." This is meant to sound like we're naming these attributes as we think of them, rather than reading them off a prepared page. VO: If you're gonna build a fuel-efficient car, The first thing you gotta do, is build a car that's worth building. One with character, and conviction, and pride you can notice from down the street. Then, and only then, do you put in an 8-speed transmission that gets 31 miles per gallon. That combination of luxury and efficiency only comes from one place in the world. (On-screen text: The new, 31 mile per gallon, Chrysler 300. Chrysler. Imported from Detroit.)
Clorox "Timeline" :30 TV
Pretty anthemic for a spot about something as mundane as washing your socks. Check out the "real" version on YouTube (click the title of this blog post to see it). You'll see the time-lapse footage of folks doing laundry since 1913. It's hypnotic. And it's one of those spots where we don't hear the product name until the very end. Because the "lightbulb" doesn't come on until the very last words of the commercial, the entire spot should sound like thought. Even the last line should sound like a nice, slow, deliberate realization. VO: Laundry is not new. Your mother, your grandmother, her mother, They all did the laundry. Maybe even a man or two. And although a lot has changed... The machines, the detergents, the clothes themselves, The bleach most trusted to keep whites pure white is still Clorox bleach.
Crayola Dry-Erase Crayons :30 TV
Another thing you didn't know you needed! This is an example of the rare spot that mentions the brand/product immediately. As Heather points out, "That's because everybody loves Crayola." Most spots take a little longer to draw us in. As you watch TV, pay attention to when in the commercial the brand/product is first mentioned. Very few will drop that name immediately. (Even Apple spots don't show you the Apple logo til the end. Of course, with Apple you usually know you're watching an Apple product spot before you see the logo. But that, too, is designed to make the listener/viewer feel smart, like they're in on the secret.) Meanwhile, in the Crayola aisle: VO: At last, Crayola dry-erase crayons combine all that kids love about dry-erase, with all they love about crayons. Crayola dry-erase crayons are washable, smudge-proof, won't dry out, and wipe away like magic. Now ideas transform, right before their eyes. Idea, after idea, after idea. For back to school, find Crayola dry-erase crayons and sets in the Crayola aisle.
Lunesta :60 TV
I typically don't use pharmaceutical spots in class, because about half of the copy is describing the side effects. I chose this because it's a good fit for Susan's voice, and I want to make sure she gets lots of time on mic this week after missing last week! We omitted the 30 seconds of side effects from the middle of the spot, and just left the "good part." VO: If your racing thoughts keep you awake, Sleep is here, on the wings of Lunesta. And if you wake up often in the middle of the night, Rest is here, on the wings of Lunesta. Lunesta helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. So you can wake up feeling rested. (The "legal" (side effects) copy is omitted here) Ask your doctor if Lunesta is right for you. Get Lunesta for a zero-dollar co-pay, at Lunesta.com. Sleep well, on the wings of Lunesta.
Kinney Drugs "Caregiver/Ready Scripts" :30 TV
When you get a rather boilerplate, generic-sounding piece of copy like this spot, look for moments where you can inject your personal opinion and point-of-view. This will make or break your read! Those first FOUR sentences of this spot are four platitudes, all in a row. Platitudes are sentiments that nobody in the audience should disagree with – which is great, because you always want your listener to say "yes" – but the platitude has no power if it's delivered as anything but an an authentic, honest opinion. A line like "With my busy life, it can be hard taking care of everyone" absolutely MUST be delivered as an honest admission, or the audience will be saying "Give me a break!" Heather delivers an excellent read starting at 7:44. Compare this to her first couple of reads, and hear how much more convincing she is, when she doesn't sound like she's trying to convince anyone. My mom's always been there, to take care of me. She's never let me down. When her health started changing, I wanted to make sure she always had her medications. With my busy life, it can be hard taking care of everyone. So I enrolled Mom in ReadyScripts, from Kinney Drugs. Our Kinney pharmacist refills her prescriptions automatically, so she doesn't forget, or have to wait. Kinney will even deliver them for free. Now, I take care of Mom, And Kinney takes care of us both. Kinney Drugs.
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Great Commercial Training!
I wish this podcast was still being produced! I have learned SO MUCH on doing commercial reads from just this podcast. The information in it is worth paying for!
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