If you listen to the radio as we do, you often hear a lot of “Talking Head” radio spots filling the doorway of the dial; a steady diet of fatuous blather that is unable to get out of the way of your favorite programming. You know the noise we’re talking about – one peal after another from shrill, shouting, shills who, for all intents and purposes are talking at you – not to you.

It’s the type of stuff that give all of us who work in media production a black eye.

It’s pretty sad really because, so often, that stuff isn’t crafted by advertising agencies who understand the medium or who have the know-how to direct great voice-over talent – yet, they are the very ones who take the body blows of criticism. Instead, much of the real dreck is produced in-house, at local radio stations or by the purveyors of the businesses themselves.

Hey, it’s called “Dollar-A-Holler” for a reason.

That’s why we so look forward to working on good ideas, with good talent. When those two are in lock-step, it allows us to execute what we do in a way that defies what most people perceive as “just another radio ad”. Such was the case when we got to record, edit and mix a radio spot for General Mills’ “Best Life Diet” – a client of Minneapolis advertising agency, OLSON.

Normally, getting eight voice-over talent to record can be a nightmare – from scheduling, to performance, to timing – everything has to click seamlessly or the whole session can get wobbly in a hurry. For this particular spot, the way we got around that was to record all the voiceover actors individually at separate times, and then allowed each to hear what the other had recorded for reference – a “see ‘n say” if you will with a sync track; not exactly a be-bop jam, but the approach allowed for a lot of individual expression to come out while still maintaining the necessary rhythm, pace and framework needed to get everything into sixty seconds. As regards the sound-design, when producing a radio ad with this many talent, one needs to be mindful and spare with the approach – otherwise it can overshadow the message – so, in this instance, only a simple music track was necessary to fill the scene nicely.

On another note, it’s nice to get behind an idea that at least has its head in reality, too. In a day and age when people seriously consider things like the Cabbage Soup Diet, Fen-Phen, or even Atkins (the latter of which is guilty of turning the word “carb” into something analogous to uttering the epithet, “Liberal” – gimme a break) it’s nice to see something like the Best Life Diet. It’s a diet that isn’t a diet – it helps those who are willing to embrace its ideals to understand that weight management is a lifestyle change that is not borne of deprivation or fear. Refreshing.

Thanks to Scott Dahl, Joel Bratsch and Joel Dodson of OLSON for bringing the work our way, plus kudos to all the talent who participated – a very long list that includes, of all people, Tempestt Bledsoe, whom you may remember from The Cosby Show, oh so many years ago.

Here’s the radio spot, [wpaudio url=”https://www.babble-on-recording.com/wp-content/uploads/old_blog_files/audio/Thousands – REV 2.mp3″ text=”Thousands” dl=”0″]