Voice Overs Of The World: Harvard Infomercial
For this edition of Voice Overs of the World, I wanted to take a look at a spoof video that’s made its way online. This fake Harvard Infomercial is a pretty funny parody that pokes fun at Ivy League colleges. What I like about it the most, however, is how it really nails the look and feel of the real-life infomercials and commercials that we see on late night cable ads.
Of course, that extends to the voice over as well. A little ways into the commercial, a great parody of the stereotypical infomercial announcer comes in. Not only does the voice actor get the timbre and pacing of the voice right for this kind of part, but the editing really sends it into overdrive. By piling the words on top of each other in rapid succession, the impression that’s given is of an announcer that’s reading titles that are so pretentious, he can’t even keep up with himself. It’s a nice touch that really highlights the humor of the piece. Also, note how the music changes to underscore the approach of the voice over; it changes from soft, pleasant music to a hard edged rock, to really kick in the announcer/salesman style of VO.
The voice over comes in twice more throughout the piece, and each time the actor approaches the lines with a combination of announcer energy and stilted line-delivery, to really accentuate the awkwardness that often arises from infomercial announcers who are clearly just trying to read their lines as fast as they can.
What’s also great about this video is that it’s not a commercial, television show, or radio advertisement. It’s an online video, which just highlights the wide range of opportunities out there for voice actors. These kinds of short videos are everywhere these days, and they’re being created by everyone from bored college kids to major corporations. You never know when you might be called upon to provide the voice for an internet short, and they’re just as valuable and exciting a job as any other voice over work out there.