Voice Overs Of The World: Cola Wars
Recently, I’ve been seeing a great Dr. Pepper advertisement on TV that I wanted to spotlight here. Of course, that spurred me to do a little research to see if I could find any great voice overs from soda giants Coke and Pepsi as well. What I got was a little bit of a history lesson, as well as some great voice over examples!
I really love this Dr. Pepper commercial. Not only do they capture the style of the classic Rankin-Bass stop motion animation Christmas specials of the 1960s, but there are some great voice overs at work here as well. The concept of the commercial is terrific, with A Diet Dr. Pepper delivery man in an “I Exist” support group along with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, a leprechaun, a fairy, an alien, and the Abominable Snowman.
The voice actor behind the delivery guy’s voice is a pretty average, everyday voice but he gives a convincing delivery of being frustrated at people not believing him. The Easter Bunny is also terrific, portraying the character as zany and off the wall (mad as a hatter, perhaps?). It cracks me up the way he says, “THAT is good!” But my favorite delivery is that of Santa Claus. His slightly British accent and deep tone of voice really brings the character to life, and I think the talent behind him did a fantastic job. I especially like when he says, “What do you know about it, new guy?” Not the Santa we all know and love, that’s for sure!
Next up, we have an intriguing Coca-Cola commercial from a few years back. I don’t remember ever seeing this one on TV, but it’s pretty darn cool. Visually, this is an intriguing ad, but what caught my attention was the sheer number of voice over actors involved. I count no less than 10 different voices in the commercial; that’s a lot of VO work for a one-minute spot. Keep in mind that it’s not just the commentators and news people that are voice overs, either; everything down to the helicopter pilot’s semi-distorted transmission was created in a recording studio.
I think the talent involved did a great job of capturing that “news anchor” feel, while the main female scientist who discusses the cans and compares them to humpback whales captures a nice air of intelligencia, while still managing to sound like she’s being interviewed. It’s a visually striking commercial that is successful because you don’t even think about how many voice actors were involved in putting it all together until you stop to analyze it.
I do wish the commercial had a better ending, though. It seems like there was more to the story of these giant cans, but I digress, as that has nothing to do with voice overs!
Finally, I found a great throwback ad from Pepsi from back in the 1960s. What I like about this ad is that it’s a really great example of the announcer-style voice that used to be the norm back in the day. We talk about this pretty extensively here at Voice Coaches; this narration typifies the style of delivery that was used almost exclusively back in the ’50s and ’60s. Today, of course, as I’ve tried to show here at Voice Overs of the World, there is such a broad range of voices doing commercials and narratives that it’s truly amazing to think it all came from this once-omnipresent style of delivery. (Though I do love how credible he makes it sound when he says, “People who think young say, ‘Pepsi please!’”)
Oh, how far we’ve come!
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