No, I really mean it!
Hey, would I lie???
Honest, it’s not just lip service.
But… what if it is? What it you get a piece of copy that is so weird that it takes a linguistic specialist just to figure out what it all means? Have you ever recorded a job in which you truly did not understand what you were saying?
And when it does, what do you do…?
Well, for one thing, ask questions. If you are working remotely from your studio, don’t be afraid to email your director for context. It might be an abstract piece. But you need to understand the intention. Who is speaking and what is he/she/it trying to convey to the audience?
Oftentimes, we are afraid to ask because we think we will sound foolish… that somehow, we should just know. Try not to fall into that trap. Most directors/brands will appreciate that you care enough about their message to get it right. ASK.
Of course, there are times when standard rules do not apply. I once delivered a recording to Lucas Films with an entirely made up language. I was offered a script of essentially emotions and attitudes for an upcoming film. What they needed was a fully developed alien language – to deliver these emotions without relying on English…and one where we could tap into the same words to express particular feelings time and time again. It was quite the challenge but a helluva lot of fun. Kind of like “Furby” meets the “Elvish.” And because I’m a bit of a midget and I currently live in the Shires of England, to be honest… I felt right at home!
Because I knew exactly what I was trying to convey, my new alien language worked for me… but what you have to ask yourself is ‘does the meaning come across to those who do not understand this alien language…?’
Same thing applies to recording your ad copy. Assume that what you are introducing is novel- even alien to your audience. How can you convince them that it is worth their while to give it a shot? As you know, gone are the days of the oversell. People want to hear relatable, conversational, authentic voices. Your neighbor or your best friend -letting you in on a little secret. Mean it. Be real. Honest. Approachable.
Otherwise, it’s just lip service.