Effective audio

Although visuals are clearly important in advertising, most ads are also designed to ensure that the central messages convey without having to see the visuals (for people who listen to television while doing other things or navigate to other sites when an ad comes on in online video). Identify three examples of ads that are video, but have strong audio elements and analyze what, specifically, about the audio makes it compelling. How are nat sound, sound effects , music and/or voice-over used to convey the message?

Audio elements are very important in producing quality content both as a stand-alone piece and as a supplement to video.  Things to consider when composing audio are:

  • High quality. People can deal with poor video quality, but poor audio quality is very distracting and irritating.
  • Use nat sound and sound effects. Audio can put a viewer into the scene that the advertiser is creating with natural sound and sound effects in ways that video cannot achieve.  It can set the tone and elicit specific emotions in the viewer.
  • Pacing. Audio pacing can set a tone as well. It can create confusion, serenity, excitement, or any other mood if done effectively.
  • Engaging copy. It is important that the copy for the audio be engaging in some way or another.  It could be funny, or interesting, or intriguing.  No matter what, the script has to be engaging on some level.

Old Spice Commercial: “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” 

The pacing of this commercial is very fast and playful.  The fast and playful pacing sets the fun tone for the advertisement.  Each of the various scene uses nat sound to bring the viewer closer to the setting of the scene. The nat sound comes in just before the video of the new setting is clear, thereby foreshadowing what is to come and creating a smoother transition.  Lastly, specifically for advertising, the jingle is very important.  The jingle is automatically associated with the brand and if it is catchy enough, the listener will repeat the jingle and spread the brand awareness.

Snickers Commercial: “Diva”

The snickers commercial combines humorous copy with good sound effects and nat sound.  The sound effects highlight the product.  The audio is also of high quality and doesn’t detract from the video.

DIRECTV Commercial: “Don’t Sell Your Hair to a Wig Shop”

The pacing is effectively used in this commercial.  It successfully illustrates the negative spiraling out of a snowball effect.  To set up each of the different environments that the subject encounters before ultimate failure, a variety of natural sounds and sound effects are created to set the tone.  Again, the copy is very engaging and humorous.





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