Currently finalising the voiceover on this commercial I've been working on for six months.

My initial instinct - make it as short as possible. Aren't voiceovers just some burbling sound that goes on in the background, completely ignored by one and all?

The Skoda 'Baking Of' ad doesn't have one at all. Nor does the new Sony ad. (Yes, I know some of you hate it. Screw you! Heavy-metal poodles rule!)


A very influential person here at BBH thinks the public is now bored of what he calls "57+3", by which he means a 60-second ad that consists of a 57-second visual metaphor followed by a 3-second super at the end which explains it.

Also in the 'voiceovers are good' camp you might find the wonderful new Golf ad and, going back a bit, Guinness "Surfer".

(Although you could argue these are 'soundscapes' not genuine voiceovers.)

So what to do? Well, the fact is that our ad does need at least some explanatory voiceover (it's a relatively new product we're selling).

And given a certain groundswell here against "57+3", and a wholly understandable desire at the client end to say some impressive things about their product, it looks like the voiceover is going to be fairly long.

At first I was gutted. But then I realised that, if I could make the words interesting enough, maybe it can work.

To paraphrase Claude Hopkins: "People don't listen to voiceovers. They listen to words they find interesting."

So, fingers crossed. (When they're not typing the 100th draft of my VO...)