Ready to go on

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Leather dries out....

"Leather dries out, just as men's skin". Have you seen that ad? I have no idea what it's for because I just can't get past that line in the voice-over's script. Whoever thought that was English? Even if it is, it just doesn't sound right. No one says that! Surely, either 'just like men's skin' or 'just as men's skin does'? You don't say, 'Apple juice is a tasty drink, just as orange juice.' do you? If you do then you're an idiot.

Typical of adverts. Made by committee, too many people involved, too much discussion. Eventually the meaning just gets lost. Almost certainly they had two alternative lines, 'Just as men's skin does' and 'Just like men's skin' and ended up trying both then compromising by combining them to form the classic 'just as men's skin' which is an incomplete sentence.

I have spent days of my life sitting in the recording booth listening to the discussion going on in the studio about what I should actually say, or more often not listening as they have turned the fold-back off (a prime example of how they just don't have much skill. I spend my life doing recordings, so why would you excuse the actor from a discussion about words? Surely, my experience is what they are paying for?). Most people who work in advertising haven't go the slightest idea how to make adverts, it seems to me? I'm not just spurting this out, either. I know what I'm talking about. I've been in over 100 television adverts and made 100's of radio ads so I speak from experience. In fact, often far more experience than the people who are supposed to be in charge.

I once did over 50 takes for the end line to an ad. The line was only three words long! 'New Mars Milk'. Not too difficult to say, one would think, but after every couple of recordings of the line someone out of the five or six people from the advertising agency in the studio would have another idea. More often than not about which was the most important word. I started the recording by just giving each word the same emphasis. Well, it was only three words; 'New' 'Mars' and 'Milk'. How complicated could it be? Just say them clearly and in a pleasant voice. Do your job! Then they thought I should be encouraging the listener to notice the word 'New', after all, that was a fairly unique thing about this Mars made milk product, wasn't it? So I said 'new Mars milk'. 4 or 5 takes later it was pointed out that we might be losing the product name. Several takes of 'new Mars milk'. Hang on a second! Surely we are forgetting that this is a milk product? The first that Mars has done! OK. 'new Mars milk'.

Thus it went on. New Mars Milk. New Mars Milk. New Mars Milk. In the end they used about take three where each word had the same weight, not as they had suspected at the time the same lack of weight.

Sorry, it's Saturday morning, we have two shows today, I am a bit bored and there is nothing on the tele. And that ad is rubbish.Will try to post something more uplifting later. Have a nice day! x


  1. I once worked at a place where they had notepads with the words "Courtesy costs nothing. Complaints do." written on them.

    Complaints do what?? Drove me mad.

  2. Our minds add on the 'does' or the 'can'. It is a psychological tactic to involve us in the statement.