by Dan O'Day on September 17, 2014

Voice Over Jobs TipsIn this 7:56 video, voice over legend Harlan Hogan reveals:

  • The missing ingredient that limits most voice over careers
  • The one thing that all successful voice actors do
  • The big mistake most people make when attempting to “market” themselves. (Boy, do you see this a lot.)

After you watch this video, be sure to add your name to the Alert List list (where it says “Tell Me!”) to be notified when our next video (including your own Voice Over Audit) will be ready for you.

And then please add your questions and comments.


GCI Solar radio commercialHere’s the third in our Trilogy o’ Terrible Radio Advertising.

As with the commercials we critiqued on Monday and on Tuesday, this one aired on September 1:

The client is GCI Solar.

I’m not playing the rest of the ad, because it’s an endorsement spot read by one of the station’s jocks, and there’s no point in embarrassing him.

But in Los Angeles — especially this year, with its record-breaking heat — “Summer is here” is not news. It officially arrived more than two months ago.

It was 102 degrees in my neighborhood when that “good news” spot was played.

“Some really good news” would be, “Summer is OVER!”

But it’s neither here nor is it news.

If you begin your radio commercial with a declaration that makes you sound stupid and out of touch with your audience, there’s no hope of getting your sales message delivered to your target audience.



by Dan O'Day on September 3, 2014

radio commercial critiqueRemember the terrible Lowe’s Home Improvement “Labor Day” radio commercial?

It was immediately followed, in the same stopset on the Los Angeles radio station where I heard it, with this bad commercial for a direct competitor:

“Orchard” is not some beloved, well known character representing the advertise.

The listener is expected to figure out that the person being addressed as “Hey, Orchard” is some sort of personification of Orchard Supply Hardware.

This commercial tells the story of how “Orchard” is spending his Labor Day weekend, as he relates it to an unknown second party and the two of them engage in vapid banter.

The story could have centered on how the targeted listener could save 8.75% on “almost anything in the store.”

Instead, the listener is left with a mental picture of two “voices,” nothing more.



by Dan O'Day on September 2, 2014

Labor Day is a national holiday in the U.S.

The holiday was created to celebrate and promote labor unions, but for a long time it’s simply been “that holiday that comes right before school starts” or “that holiday that comes at the end of summer, in early September.”

People might anticipate the end of summer or the beginning of a new school year or new sports season. But no one eagerly counts down the days to the Labor Day holiday itself.

Children don’t await its arrival with giddy excitement.

Family scrapbooks feature few if any photographs from Labor Days past.

No one excitedly or impatiently waits for Labor Day.

So what possible reason could this Lowe’s Home Improvement radio commercial have for beginning as this one does?

The rest of the advertising copy really doesn’t matter, because no one listens past that inane opening line.

But do they really expect listeners’ heads to nod in agreement upon being told, “A long weekend is the perfect time to upgrade your home”?

1.  There isn’t a person on this planet who’s been thinking, “Labor Day weekend is coming up! Thank goodness! That’ll be a perfect time to upgrade my home!”

2.  If people haven’t planned to use this long weekend to upgrade their homes, hearing this commercial during the long weekend isn’t going to do much good.

3.  The spot you just heard aired on Monday…the last day of the 3-day weekend. The people responsible for this campaign were too lazy or too dumb to change out the spot on the last day. So we hear Lowe’s urging us to take advantage of this “long weekend” when the long weekend is almost over.

I can’t find anything about this radio commercial that has any merit. Certainly not this idiotic declaration:

“The seasons are changing, so there’s no better time to give your home a fresh look.”

Why are times of seasonal change especially conducive to home improvement? And why are they implying that it’s less desirable to spruce up your home when the seasons aren’t changing?


Dish Network Radio Commercial CritiqueThe loyal reader who sent me this radio commercial was upset because of the way the advertiser ridicules the station that broadcasts the ad.

If I’m advising the advertiser, however, I wouldn’t really care whether it hurt the station’s feelings.

I would, however, point out to the advertiser — in this case, the Dish Network — that they’re throwing their money away on a nonsensical campaign that will not produce results.

View this radio commercial critique on YouTube.


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