Here is something that most copywriters don’t have to think of, when writing a script – but when you work in a sausage factory situation like I do – you have to try to write your radio commercial scripts to get the absolute best results for the client – using the voice talent you have access to. Sometimes that voice talent is the client themselves.
So, when you write a script – any script – do you do it to a word count? A Syllable count? A self timed limit? Or to the voice of the voice talent you are using?
The last one is a hard one to do – and I have done it multiple times when I am writing for a client specifically, or a voice talent that I have regular contact with – in one or both cases they have either a speach impediment. Or they talk very, very slowly. Or very fast.
All of these, I can compensate with when I write the commercial script for them (take that AI Script writing!)
For example, I have a well respected voice talent that I have written many, many scripts for, who has a lisp. When you talk to them day to day, it is barely noticable – but put them in a booth, and the ‘radio voice’ switches on and the lisp becomes more pronounced.
We then either have to write to avoid words which will exagerate that lisp – or spend a lengthy time in the edit cleaning up the audio file.
My preferred solution is to write a script that does away with the lengthy edit – allowing for one or two clean-ups – but sometimes it can’t be avoided with certain company names making the lisp more pronounced.
In the other case with clients who I know – I have written their scripts to be either very short, or longer as I know how fast they talk, how animated they get (or don’t) and how much time I want to spend in the booth with them coaching the best performance out of them.
And this brings me to the core of this post – writing to the talent you know is much easier than writing for someone, anyone that you don’t know. If you use a voice bank or company (for example) and you could get any voice. But writing to the strengths (or to avoid the weaknesses) of your voice talent is always… ALWAYS going to be a good thing. You will get a better performance, a better delivery, better timing and a completely believeable commercial. Comparred to something written for ‘anybody’ to voice.
Try it next time you sit down to write a commercial script. Pick a voice that you know will be able to voice your commercial. Listen to their previous commercials, listen to them on-air if you get a chance. Or have a chat with them to see how animated they can get. Then write to those strengths. Avoid their weaknesses and then you will absolutely have a script that will make not only the client happy, but the voice talent happy too.