Voice Overs Of The World: MSNBC
With midterm elections right around the corner, there’s no shortage of bombastic, in-your-face political ads on television and radio. And while many of them feature voice over work, a lot of them are also attack ads, which isn’t really in the spirit of what we do here at Voice Coaches. That’s why I like these new ads from MSNBC; they’re inspirational, patriotic, and thought-provoking, all while remaining positive. And they feature some great VO work to boot!
In the first ad (above), we’re treated to a collage of imagery representing America and American culture. The voice over begins with the talent reading the most famous lines from the Declaration of Independence before moving towards original copy. What I like about the delivery here is that it would have been easy to go for a loud, booming, announcer-type voice to really amp up the patriotism of the piece. Instead, the voice over is subdued and calm, letting the imagery and the music take an equal share of the brunt of the work. Most of us don’t need patriotism shoved down our throats, and this ad does a great job of bringing about a sense of pride in the country without beating you over the head with it.
The second ad has a very similar approach, but this time with a female voice actor providing the narration. This ad focuses more on American people than culture, and it’s equally as effective as the first ad. Again, the approach to the copy is not to be over-the-top, but rather to use a more breathy vocal tone to really give a sense of thoughtfulness. Some people may think these VO’s lack a little energy, but I would challenge that. It’s not easy to take copy like this and instill it with enough energy to not sound boring, but to not fall into a “louder is better” mentality, either. I think both voice actors have done a tremendous job here, and I think both commercials are rather amazing.
And just as a side note, would you like to know who directed both commercials? That would be one Mr. Spike Lee. Perhaps you’ve heard of him?
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