Now I make a point of watching the commercials on telly or listening to them on the radio. For me it’s a learning experience. Many of them use a quality of voiceover that I aspire to be. Sometimes you just hear a voice and you instantly know the product that they’re advertising. You know who we’re talking about, or perhaps more importantly, the brands in question.
Honda is one of my personal favourites. They use a guy called Garrison Keillor and his voice has the power to convince me that any product he’s talking about can be trusted. Any idea he mentions is sure to change the world. Let’s face it, if a company manages to hire a voice that gets you reaching for your wallet before you even know what you’re buying, then they have hit the jackpot.
Sadly, the majority of adverts in this country are a learning experience for entirely the opposite reason. These are the adverts that have the general public wondering just how something so awful could have made it onto the air. “Did they run out money?”, “Where do they find these morons?”, and so on.
| bet you’re thinking of one right now aren’t you? I am. There’s a double glazing company that employ this bloke with long wavy hair but nothing on top to essentially shout at you about their special offers. I can’t remember the name of the company, where they are based or what their phone number is. Now that’s what I call powerful advertising!
But there is the third breed. The advert that is produced well, voiced properly and edited nicely. It’s just that the script is utterly ridiculous. My personal favourite is for a firm offering laser eye surgery. “All of our procedures are carried out by experienced, qualified surgeons”. Well thanks very much! I was rather hoping you wouldn’t let the new work experience girl have a crack at my eyes with a massive frickin’ laser! Sure, she makes a lovely cup of tea but surely we have to draw the line somewhere.
We voiceovers are hired to interpret the words and bring them to life. We do the best we can with what we have but we have all of us learned not to question the wisdom of the copywriter, the director, the producer, the client’s representative - even that work experience girl with the big frickin’ laser.
And so to my quest. I want to put together the top 10 worst adverts of all time - as voted for by you. They can be poorly acted, badly shot, scripted by monkeys or voiced by people with the personality of grouting - whatever it is, post your comment, ideally with a You Tube link so I can see it for myself, and the results will be posted here soon, so stay tuned.