Portraying heartbreak

As one of the first commercials I recorded this year I was asked to voice this ad for a divorce lawyer. (January is boom-time for divorces, apparently). My brief was to sound heartbroken, scared and desperate. I was also asked to sound as ‘real’ as possible. This was challenging as my bit was a poem, so I had to respect the rhythm of the piece, make sure it wasn’t too fast or too slow and convey the emotion the producer was after. Have a listen and see what you think.

The copywriter and the producer really liked my read…but when they played it to the client it didn’t go down so well. “It’s too real,” they said. “It’ll shock people.”

Fortunately, we’d already taken the precaution of recording a few different approaches in the session, so the guys at the radio station had everything they needed without me having to re-read anything. So it went to air as a slightly diluted version of the read you’ll hear on my blog.

I guess when being asked to portray heartbreak for the purposes of a radio ad, it has to be heartbreak that doesn’t jar with the rest of the station’s sound. It has to sound OK when sat next to a Little Mix track, and maybe an ad for double-glazing. Context, see.

Want to hear more tear-jerkers? Course you do! Click here for more.

Or fancy something a bit cheerier? Click here for some ridiculous stuff.

Photo by Kat Smith

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Emma Clarke

Emma is an award-winning voiceover, broadcaster and writer. Want to find out more about Emma?
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