Radio-Hed-Logo-2By Jeffrey Hedquist

Sometimes, the attention we put on making commercials “perfect” can stand in the way of getting results.

Smooth sounding spots, polished voices, impeccable mixes, may be off-putting to your audience. They can blend into the audio fabric and not catch attention.

Rough, unpolished, raw and real, is often more effective, especially with current over-communicated, skeptical audiences. It conveys an authenticity, and truthfulness.

This is why capturing the voices of real people (not actors or announcers) telling stories in their own words is more powerful than having them read a script.

Voices recorded over the phone can add immediacy to the message. Voices recorded in a noisy environment with crowds, live music, loud background sounds, wind, rain, surf or other elements obscuring the clarity can be clarified by a narrator “translating” the voices. The contrast between the passionate, excited distorted voice and the calm “translator’ voice can be humorous and effective.

SFX: major blizzard

Voice: (shouting - barely understandable)

Narrator: (calmly over location voice) As I stand here… knee deep in snow… at 27 below zero… with 40 mile an hour winds… I’d normally be freezing my butt off… but I’m wearing the new thermal parka from Arcticland Outfitters…

Music: does the music enhance the message or make it seem more like a commercial (something to be ignored)?

Customer testimonials, client stories – leave in pauses, slurs, repeats, even small negative comments about the client, service or product. It makes it more believable.

Voices heard from across the room (make sure they’re understandable) take the listener out of the studio and they become a witness to an actual event.

The emphasis on unpolished imperfections doesn’t mean you can be sloppy about the writing or the construction of your marketing message. It does mean that how you produce that message can make a difference in how it’s perceived.

Rough edges are more likely to catch… attention and hold interest.

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