Pet Peeve…

Sigh.  Ok this kind of ad drives me nuts.  I think it’s great to have “real” people talking or actors pretending to be real people talking, it can be effective in mirroring what people are thinking.  In effect, it allows the “real” people in the ads to become surrogates for the listener, they connect with them so they connect with the message.  Great idea.

But like in the case of this ad, often these attempts are clumsy and sound more like policy wonks talking than “real” people.  Come on, do real people talk like this?  Would a real person say Congresswoman Bachmann five times? Or would they say Bachmann?  Would they say :

“Congresswoman Bachmann actually said we should be “weaned” off of Social Security and Medicare. She wants to privatize Social Security and replace Medicare with some kind of voucher system that won’t even cover the full cost of medical care or prescriptions.”

Listen to the ad again (if you can).  Does that sound like the way real people speak?  To me it sounds like two actors who are being told to “talk conversationally” while they’re spouting talking points. When you write dialogue, you need to hear how real people speak, how the conversation ebbs and flows.  What you lose in precision and factual detail, you gain in authenticity and affect.

Nothing about this ad rings true: The sound mix sounds fake, and the actors aren’t believable, even if they were given better lines, I doubt they’d be able to pull it off.  The key to any commercial is authenticity, but particularly in ad like this it has to sound real to connect.  They’d have been better off just using a narrator to read a straight attack rather than trying to fool people with something that wouldn’t fool my six year old.

Sorry for the rant, you can return to your regular programming now.

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