Voice Overs Of The World: April Fool’s Day 2012
There’s been a popular tradition in the advertising world for the past few years of creating fake advertisements for outlandish products (that seem real) and releasing them to the internet at large on April Fool’s Day (which, of course, was yesterday.) Google and YouTube have made many of these vidoes over the past few years, and we found a few new ones this year that feature prominent use of voice over!
The first one (above) comes from none other than YouTube, with their offering of “The YouTube Collection,” which is basically the entirety of YouTube on DVD. This one is styled to look and sound like a typical “As Seen On TV” infomercial, and I think it does a nice job. It expertly conveys a sense of salesman-iness with that overly-friendly-yet-bland style that infomercials do so well. Plus, the commercial is just plain funny, which is always a bonus!
This year, Honda also got into the mix with a commercial for a new line of car alarms called Terii. Another ad that relies heavily on humor, this one features two voice actors, the narrator and the voice of Terii herself.
Now, at first, I thought maybe the Terii voice was created using some sort of computerized text-to-speech program, because it does sound awfully robotic. But as I watched the ad, there are definitely a few spots where the inflection is too nuanced or pointed to be created by computer, which leads me to believe it’s a real voice actor performing in a robotic manner. What do you think?
Finally, we have an entry from the good folks over at ThinkGeek, who specialize in creating merchandise for the geek crowd. Every year for April Fool’s Day, they do a unique thing: they create ads for a handful of fake products, and the one that receives the greatest number of votes, they actually create and sell for real!
One of this year’s ads is for a Big Mouth Billy Bass-style singing Admiral Ackbar novelty item. The first half of the commercial doesn’t feature any voice over, but the second half features an exchange between Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper. Obviously, it’s just an imitation of James Earl Jones’s iconic Darth Vader voice, but it goes to show that you don’t even need to be able to sound completely identical someone to pull off a paying gig; a halfway decent impression will do the trick. Ironically, the Stormtrooper manages to sound exactly like the Stormtroopers in the Star Wars movies. Go figure.
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