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Should Clients Be In Commercials? (Part 2)

If your client has a sense of humor, but his voiceprint is deadpan, contrast him with a voice who is truly excited (maybe even overexcited) about the benefits his business has for customers, interspersed with just his unemotional “yup” or “you bet” comments.

Record short phone interviews with the client’s relatives about him and build a campaign around the family stories about the client, using short clips from his family members.

Or…take a “goes nowhere” story told by the owner in a flat unemotional voice, cut it apart, intersperse it with a very enthusiastic announcer and create an epic:

Frank: My customers are regular, consistent.
Anncr: Frank Ambrosio, owner of Frank’s Restaurant with another amazing story!
Frank: She comes in ‘bout noon on Wednesdays, orders the soup and the grilled cheese…
Anncr: Incredible! What a great combo!
Frank: Yep. That’s her favorite, sometimes a salad.
Anncr: Whoa, hard to top that one!
Frank: Well then, she has the lemon meringue pie for dessert, sometimes not. Guess she likes it. Always comes back.
Anncr: Another amazing customer story from Frank’s Restaurant!

Find ways to use your clients’ voices without making them carry the ball for the whole spot. You could end each commercial with the client’s voice delivering a tag line that embodies the client’s personality or maybe their positioning statement. You might record a series of comments from them like “Yes. No. Tell ‘em about our guarantee. Your next car is waiting for you. Here’s something you might not know.” Then you simply write spots around each comment.

Use the “translation” technique: Have your client describe in technical terms his product or service, in fact, have him be even more technical than he usually is. Do a translation over his voice or between each phrase, explaining to the listener in layman’s terms the benefits of what he’s describing.

If your client speaks a foreign language, this technique can work well also.

Is your client someone who uses lots of jargon or vernacular? Then an approachlike this could work:

“Dude, these boards are mondo gnarly!”

Anncr: These surfboards are the latest…

“You’ll be totally stoked when you see our rad new rags at Quicksilver, etc…”

Anncr: We think you’ll be inspired by the new fashion looks.

In any case, don’t take the “easy” way out by letting your clients just read 60 or 30 seconds of copy. Find an interesting way to use their voices to best advantage, and build them success stories.

Jeffrey Hedquist: Email jeffrey@hedquist.com.

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