The Actor Makes a Difference

If you happen to hire someone to read your ad for you, you’ll find that the copy will change with the actor. The meaning can even change.

A local Mexican restaurant hires a man to do their ad. He has a rather broad speech pattern, and consistently mispronounces the name of the restaurant – in such a way that it sounds pretty stupid. Another local ad is read by a woman with a rather breathy, affected speech mannerism, and is so annoying that people turn off the radio when it comes on.

Even when you get a good voice actor, you must expect the ad to change a little. The actor will generally change a few words, to make them more comfortable to articulate, and simpler to speak. As long as the message stays intact, this is normal.

The best ad actors will not sound like they are reading. They’ll practice quite a bit before attempting a recording also, and even when they get to the point of recording, it may take several tries.

Sometimes the voice or mannerisms of the actor simply will not suit the message – like the Mexican restaurant, where they needed someone who could at least pronounce their own name in a way that sounded intelligent. A wise choice to start can avoid embarrassment later.

Whatever you do, don’t put it to music and have someone sing it unless the jingle is really good. A local bank has an ad that is an embarrassment because the words were put to a melody and rhythm that makes it nearly impossible to tell what they are saying. It does get stuck in your head, but not at all for good reasons!

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