View Full Version : "announcer speak" in american tv commercials
05-27-2003, 02:47 AM
I moved out here from the US in 1996. I still listen to American music, watch American movies and TV shows. And certainly I'm as exposed to the "American" internet stuff as much as anyone in the States. I think my cultural awareness of Americana is pretty much in order.
But one place I do find myself in a bit of culture shock, is when I occasionally go back to the States for a visit or someone sends me a tape of an American show, with commercials.
When did the announcers on American commercials start talking like that? This is going to be difficult for me to explain without a source, but I hope somoene has some idea of what I'm talking about. It seems all the announcers on the commercials have this corny, goofy way of talking, kind of short sentences. This was not they way it was back before 96.
Does anyone have any clue what I'm talking about?
05-27-2003, 03:26 AM
Could you...give an example of "pre" and "post" 96 announcerspeak, from your observations?
05-27-2003, 02:45 PM
Are you perhaps referring to the way local ads often are like, "Come on down to Westfield Auto! We've got all the cars you need!" (Note: not an actual ad)
05-27-2003, 06:13 PM
thought the same thing, that networks were purposely lowering the volume level during the shows, then cranking it back up during the commercials. I'm constantly raising and lowering the volume as I go from station to station or back and into commercials.
05-28-2003, 12:20 AM
Well, the "Dry Eyes" guy can't be accused of talking too fast, that's for sure.
05-28-2003, 06:51 AM
I seem to be having a difficult time explaining what I mean. Can anyone refer me to a site to download commericals? I used to go to AdCritic, but I don't think it's free anymore.
05-28-2003, 10:26 AM
Think you mean the harsh,raspy voice, made popular by Don La Fontaine who does most of the movie trailer voice overs."Coming -this summer.. etc." The same style is used for promos on FOX,MSNBC, ESPN, & many commercials too. One guy I particularly don't like is Billy Vera who does Sizzler, AM-PM MIni mart, JIffy Lube & Gateway, w/ his faked "hip, black" speech.
05-28-2003, 12:42 PM
Is Don La Fontaine the "In a world..." guy? I love that. I think every movie trailer should start with "In a world..."
"IN A WORLD, where time has no meaning and justice has no champion, ONE MAN has the courage to stand up for what is right. (Coming soon to a theater near you.)"
But, yeah, our commercials are really annoying. My dad's a sound guy and he explained to me that they don't turn up the volume for commercials per se, they just mix them differently so there are no quiet sounds, only loud ones. It's supposed to make it exciting and make us want to run right out and buy their product. All it really does is make my dad mute the TV when commercials come on.
05-28-2003, 12:51 PM
Or is it more of a studio announcer voice? "Today's television program was filmed before a live studio audience," a la Don Pardo?
05-28-2003, 12:54 PM
It's a little hard to know exactly what you mean, curwin... here are two quick guesses:
1) Speed. This is just an editing thing - the announcers appear to talk faster because the pauses between the words are edited out, whichmakesthewordsblurimpossiblyclosetogether. Radio is even worse. I don't think this started after '96, though, and I doubt it's what you mean.
2) Volume. Laws were passed a couple of years ago that were supposed to prevent commercials from being WAY LOUDER THAN THE PROGRAMMING THEY FOLLOWED. Good idea. Unfortunately, advertisers figured out a loophole: they keep the volume the same, but boost the high frequencies way up, producing the same extremely annoying effect.
The "Dry Eyes" guy is the one and only Ben Stein.
05-28-2003, 10:02 PM
FNuff-you got it,"In a world etc..." That's La Fontaine. Talk about easy HUGE bucks: I know Vera-he gets a minimum $2000/hour; much more if commercials go nationwide. Vera was the voice of ABC TV a few years ago. Theses guys all copy each other-also interesting to read their interviews- La Fontaine hates his competition. After all- you can do several promos/hour easily. That is, not enough work to go round. What happened to the mellifluous Gary Owens, or before him Art Gilmore? I know Owens is a DJ in LA. But , too smooth for commercials.
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