Choosing Production Elements for Results Driven Commercials
By Phil Brown
Ohio Center for Broadcasting
Cincinnati, OH campus
This part of the writing results driven copy series will focus on the Production Elements for commercials on radio or television.
Production elements encompass items such as:
- music beds (the music under the voice over)
- sound effects
- the right voice(s)
- vocal effects
There may be a difference of opinion on when and what music should be selected.
In my experience, a music bed should be chosen after the voice over is recorded. Why you ask? Good question…reason being:
The music should complement the voice and not compete against it.
Based upon the inflection, style of delivery, type of product or service - the music selected can sometimes be the “make it” or “break it” on a commercial being remembered or forgotten.
With that said, don’t come away with the impression that the music is the most important thing in producing a commercial. Some people may argue that the copy, the voice or even the sound effects are the most important. When in fact, all these elements are equally important.
Sound in itself can create or kill a commercial.
Imagine a horror film or watching a car chase on a detective show without sound. At least in this form of media, you have the visual of what’s happening on screen. In other words, allowing the eyes and brain to formulate what’s about to or is happening.
Now take that “theater of the mind” we utilize in radio, take away the visual of film and we’re left with sound.
There have even been some movies, for example M. Night Shyamalan’s movie the “Village”, was changed from a PG-13 MPAA rating to an “R” because of a piece of sound.
The next part will “focus” on choosing all these production elements.
You see? By using the word “focus”, I made you think. If I asked you to not to think of a coin, say a quarter…just by your mind “seeing” the quarter, you thought of it.