Add H&M to the Places Where You Can Hear Me Call Someone to Help You!

 So I checked my email yesterday and found 102 new Call Box announcements for H&M. Again, I have to thank my nearly 20-year client I wrote about recently for this work.

The work isn’t hard, but it has to be done very differently than most VO work.

For example…the announcement you hear is “Customer Assistance to Register 1.” And then you have the same announcement for all 26 registers at the store. That means consistency in the way those words are delivered. The inflections need to be the same – only the register number changes. The intensity and energy need to be the same. And not only the same for that batch of announcements, but for the new ones that come along.

One time I was recording at a client’s facility (before the home studio really became defacto) and they wanted me to record the […]

2019-05-22T20:54:30+00:00May 22nd, 2019|Categories: Announcements, Recording|

Heard in a Store Near You Since the Year 2000.

Walk into any of these stores and you just may hear the sound of my voice calling someone to help you…Fleet Farm, Stop & Shop, Kohl’s, TJ Maxx, Lowe’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and many more.

The best thing about this is not that you get to hear me. No, the best thing is that I have been recording messages for the company that installs the overhead announcement hardware since the beginning of 2000. That’s coming up on 20 years providing voice files nearly every week!

I’ve recorded announcements around from my usual home studio to around the globe in a studio in Italy – my brother’s sound-proof practice room in Germany – make-shift pillow forts in hotels – and the basement of my mother’s house in New York […]

2019-05-13T18:31:42+00:00May 13th, 2019|Categories: Announcements, Business, Recent Work|

Human Error? Who Pays?

So, what were you doing during the great Facebook outage of March 2019? Did you have withdrawals? Think about the paying advertisers! They lost their access to their targets for more than 20 hours.

 

So, who should pay for the lost opportunities. Facebook says it was human error – a line of stray code perhaps. S*#t happens. But any web developer worth their salt does upgrades/fixes/changes on off hours. Hard to find an off hour when you have global reach. 
Here’s an opinion piece on the subject – that feels that Facebook must be accountable for the blackout.
 
2019-03-22T19:07:14+00:00March 22nd, 2019|Categories: Advertising, Announcements, Business, Musings|

Interactive Programming Is Here To Stay?

Did you get into the interactive film “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch?”

I didn’t, but I guess it is another technological wave that will wash over us and become part of our every day experience.

Today’s writers and producers have to stay ahead of things and see around the corner. A lot of them are creating the corners. They are just wired that way.

As an early adapter of technology (my first computer was a Kaypro), I can speak first hand about the importance of staying at least abreast of current trends. Using common sense to see what is going to stick and what is just a passing fad.

We are used to interactive gaming, so why not interactive programming. Here’s an article from MediaPost about Netflix’s latest venture – https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/333406/netflix-leans-into-interactive-programming-with-y.html?

My personal video watching is pretty passive though, so for me, I don’t know that I’ll be pressing for […]

2019-03-20T16:03:37+00:00March 20th, 2019|Categories: Musings, Technology|

Branding…What is it Good For?

We talk a lot about branding. The IMPORTANCE of branding. We spend a lot of money on branding. But do we need to?

What if we know what we do well. Charge a fair price for it. And get it into the hands of the people who want to buy what we have to sell.

I know, easier said than done. But sometimes I think may people spend time and money trying to establish a brand, when they should be creating a relationship with their target market.

Yes, a recognizable logo is important to remind your customers that you are there when they need you, but do we spend thousands of dollars on consultants and panels and testing of our brand? Or do we just do the work…

MediaPost just posted an article – We Are All Frauds: The Way We Advertise Does Not Work – […]

2019-02-25T16:50:53+00:00February 25th, 2019|Categories: Advertising, Business, Marketing|

Ads on Apps – on a small screen near you!

So, I started (or rather restarted) playing a Facebook game a few weeks ago. And the biggest thing I have noticed (besides the much improved speed of computers and Internet connections these days) is the in-app advertising. Because this particular app is tied to your Facebook login, it seems to know what you are thinking and targets ads pretty specifically.

If you want more energy or some extra money – you can sit through an ad or two or three. Now, I play the game with the sound turned off, so I am only seeing the ad, but I get the point and find that I DO occasionally click for more information.

In-app video ad spending has increased dramatically in the past year. According to an article in MediaPost –  “the ad format saw more than 200% growth from the fourth quarter 2017 […]

2019-02-21T17:41:19+00:00February 21st, 2019|Categories: Advertising, Announcements, Business, Marketing|

Once in a Blue Moon On-camera Project

My local San Diego agent sent me an audition for an on-camera project that sort of threw me for a loop. It had been a long time since I had an on-camera opportunity and this one was to be done at home – a self-recorded audition. WHAT!? No director or casting director there to feed you lines? No sign-in sheet? How much? For a whole day? I had a million excuses as to why I didn’t think I was going to audition for it. I would have to put on makeup, fix my hair, find good light, memorize some lines. No! Just no.

I was gently convinced to give it a try. And booked the job. Ended […]

2019-01-30T01:34:09+00:00January 30th, 2019|Categories: Acting, Announcements, Business, Musings, Recent Work|

How many mics does one VO Talent need?

I went on an equipment buying spree a couple of years ago and ended up finding some deals on mid-priced microphones. Two-fers. So I ended up with 2 of pretty much each mic I bought. I have two AKG 3000’s and two AKG 1000’s and two ADK Hamburgs.

Ready to part with at least one of them! If you are looking to upgrade a USB mic to something more professional, I am selling this one!

Known for its historically Vintage German tone, this ADK Hamburg Edition condenser mic has been a backup for years in my studio, but how many backups does one voice talent need!? Paid $350.00. Asking $150.00. Comes with basket style Shock Mount and extra bands in aluminum flight case. Also has a small soft case for the mic. Switchable low frequency cut-off and switchable pad -18dB.

2018-10-16T01:33:21+00:00October 23rd, 2018|Categories: Announcements|

What happened to pre-roll? Ads now in the middle of social media videos

HEADLINE FROM MEDIAPOST: SOCIAL MEDIA INSIDER NEWSLETTER

Video Ads Prove Revenue Generators, Brand Builder For Social Media Platforms

Noticed those ads popping up in the middle of watching a video on social media? It’s probably here to stay (for a while anyway, until the next big thing).

https://www.mediapost.com/…/video-ads-prove-revenue-generat…

2018-10-16T01:20:50+00:00October 16th, 2018|Categories: Advertising, Business|

Still booking after all these years

ISDN StudioBeen an interesting couple of months. For someone who has been in this business a long time (first agent in 1978), I was pleased to be picked up by an agent in LA (Voices Talent) after many years of not having one there. And I have been getting some great auditions from them.

And then another voice talent I know from one of our industry conferences referred me to an agent on the other side of the country in the DC area (Impressive Talent). I started getting more great auditions – different great auditions.

This is an important point, because I do have representation across the country and some subscribe to the same sources for auditions, so there are times when I get the same audition from multiple agents. This happens a lot to a lot of us with the better […]

2018-07-31T17:46:48+00:00July 31st, 2018|Categories: Announcements, Auditioning, Business|