Radio Advertising - Commercial Voiceovers Require Breaths
by Dan O'Day
Have you noticed the currently common practice of removing virtually every breath from a radio commercial, in order to squeeze in more words?
Why Is It Stupid To Remove All The Breaths From A Commercial?
For however many thousands of years that human beings have communicated via speech, they've also…
For the entire history of humankind, speech has included pauses for breath. Not vocalizing for half a second while inhaling is not "dead air." It is an integral part of speech itself.
So Why Is This Stupid Practice So Common?
A commercial such as this one requires that every breath be removed to make room for the far too many words that inhabit the copy. In other words:
Yes, I will be the first to point out that often the Incompetent Account Executive insists that the copywriter include Far Too Many details, which requires Far Too Many words.
The radio salesperson, in turn, would like to blame the client:
"The client insisted!"
Sorry, the buck stops with the account exec. It's the account exec's job to educate the client. The account exec supposedly is the radio advertising expert.
In reality, of course, most account execs have been taught how to sell radio advertising but know virtually nothing about the fundamentals of good radio copywriting. That includes, alas, the legions of account execs who are required to write their own copy…even though they don't know how.
"But the customer is always right!"
No, of course not. Often the customer is wrong, and professionals don't let clients throw their money away because they're too frightened of the clients to educate them.
Far too many radio commercials are the result of an account exec who doesn't know enough to be able to educate the client and of a poor copywriter. (They might, in fact, be the same person.)