AND NOW A BRIEF ANECDOTE...
A HUNNERT Dollars off!
The radio spot sounded good enough, as it played through my car’s speakers. The furniture store owner, probably his first time behind a microphone, timed the :30-seconds pretty well. The copy, obviously written by a pro, was what you’d usually hear all day long in retail spots.
Then I heard The Pitch:
“Come in today - and we’ll give you a hunnert dollars off any purchase…. That’s right. An entire HUNNERT!”
After debating whether I should drive to the store to see how much an entire HUNNERT was, it dawned on me what was wrong with the commercial -- beyond the obvious.
The Owner’s voice, while pleasant enough, had no depth or edge, and was hard to hear over the road and traffic noise. Worse, it conveyed no conviction. It was obviously read, not felt. It created no drama, no additional motivation for the listener to act - or even think about acting. And in some subtle way, the sponsor's voice told potential furniture buyers three things:
1) I run kind of a low-end furniture place, not a class operation;
2) I didn’t respect you enough as a prospective customer to hire a voice pro to deliver my message properly;
3) You might even think twice before coming in to get that “HUNNERT" off.
By voicing it himself he also made another mistake many sponsors make: To avoid what they think is a "stuffy" Announcer Voice, and to add “sincerity” to the spot, they voice it themselves. Big Mistake. Everyone’s doing that, and it all sounds the same, killing whatever effect it may once have had. Today, ‘Ordinary” guys and gals are all over the Voice landscape. And they sound exactly that: Ordinary. Especially during long commercial clusters, where your spot is sandwiched between nine other ordinary-sounding spots.
What you need is this Voice:
1) Consistent through a campaign
2) Remembered for its uniqueness and strength
3) Adaptable and versatile for the selling purpose
4) Ties directly to your product or service in the listener’s subconscious.