Voice Overs Of The World: Raisin Bran Crunch
In this installment of Voice Overs of the World, I want you to see an interesting and innovative viral video from Raisin Bran. (I know, I know… Raisin Bran?) In this new online promotional video, a rather grotesque looking alien creature rambles on about life in general, and eventually gets around to mentioning his new diet (which includes Raisin Bran Crunch, of course.) It’s an extremely clever ad (and I recommend a second viewing; some of the jokes really take a second to sink in), but it’s clear that the voice over is what really makes this piece work.
By casting a Ricky Gervais-like British voice in the role of the alien, the ad makers have given us a classic staple of ironic humor: subverting our expectations and giving us the complete opposite of them. While you might expect an alien that looks this ferocious to have a deep, growly bark for a voice, instead it’s a pleasant British chap who goes on about bowling and online dating in the same tones as he does devouring the garbage man. The voice over actor does a really terrific job of sounding like your average, everyday neighborhood “hellbeast bent on destruction,” who’s really just a misunderstood guy. He also does a terrific job of sounding like he’s just rambling on and on, in kind of a “customer testimonial” sort of way. Now, I’m not privy to the behind the scenes of this video, but I would guess that while he may have ad-libbed a few lines, there was probably a pretty tight script at work here.
What’s subtly effective about this ad, too, is how much of it isn’t about Raisin Bran Crunch. Aside from a few lines at the beginning and again at the end, the product is hardly mentioned at all. Sure, the box of cereal is present in almost every shot, but the focus is really on the alien and the character the voice actor creates. It’s his performance, along with the humor of the dialogue, that keeps you watching for the entire 3-minute running time. I think it’s pretty brave of a major company to put out an internet video that barely talks about its product at all (and even when it does, it doesn’t truly convey any meaningful information except that it has fiber in it), but thanks to a creative approach and a really top-notch voice over, it works extremely well.
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