how to make reading credit examples fun!

How to make reading credit examples fun!

How much do I love reading credit examples?  As much as I love KitKats which is a very great deal indeed.  There’s something about reading a credit example that’s the vocal equivalent of bungee jumping.  Once you’re in the middle of it, you’re dangling on the end of a very long string of numbers; fight the momentum and you risk being painfully yanked back to where you started. Reading credit examples is the voiceover version of extreme sport.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not by nature a maverick adventuring bungee jumper.  Hell, far from it. (When I visit the fairground I’m the girl who holds the coats.  One of life’s roller coaster riders I most certainly am not…).  But oh, the thrill of doing a credit example, to time, with clear diction!  Reader, I’m in ecstasy just thinking about it.


What’s a credit example?

It’s that bit at the end of an ad for something financial (loans, mortgages, interest-free deals etc etc) that goes something like this:

“36 monthly payments of £456.74 after an initial deposit of £100.  Total interest paid £33,346.89.  Total amount payable £63,984.37 at a typical APR of 47.9999%.  Your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any other loan secured on it.  Written details on request.  Terms and conditions apply.”

(To the purists out there, these figures are completely made up.  Please don’t email me correcting the maths because that would be very sad indeed).

And typically all that financial blurb has to go into roughly 7 seconds!  A slight exaggeration but you get the point…


So what’s the technique?

Well,you’ve got to get through it all as quickly as you can and that usually means bending the laws of physics, or risking an embolism.  Or both.  Because while all this information is crucial, important and a legal obligation on the part of everyone involved in the genesis of the ad, nobody actually wants the listener to hear, decipher and understand what’s being said because – and here’s the rub! – it might put them off.

So the trick is to have perfect articulation, perfect technical delivery and perfect timing while affording the words as little meaning as possible.  Basically, the voice has got to get through it as quickly as their flexing uvula will allow.


How could we make credit examples more fun?

We could always deliver credit examples as anagrams, deftly fulfilling the legal requirements yet omitting to put anything in the right order…

“63 nomthly tamenyps of £654.47 feart na tinilia dopsite fo £1.00. olatt titsreen padi £98,333.46.  lotta untmao bleapay £73,489.36 ta a picatyl RAP fo 99.4799%.  Uroy omeh sit a skri fi uoy od ton peke pu smearypent no a greatmorg ro yan rothe olan screued no ti.  Nittrew stealids no tequers. Smert nad iniodstonc yappl.”

But that would be silly.  And legally questionable…

How about merely changing the order of the words, a bit like a word game?

“36 interest an risk.  Monthly typical £456.74 of £100.  Secured details payments deposit total paid £33,346.89. After total initial of repayments on mortgage request written on loan.  Keep your home is it if any terms or payable conditions amount on APR.  Not you do £63,984.37 at 47.9999% of a up other and a apply at.”

It’s the new soduku!

Or how about we go totally ‘Bletchley Park’ and do it in code?

“The moon shall turn but six times squared, yielding the fourth Fibonacci prime multiplied by pi, upon a decimated tenfold deposit in Fair Albion’s current sea…”

But that might take a bit too long…hmmm…

Any suggestions as to how to jazz up credit examples are very welcome.
PS  To any producer who’s ever heard me say “Oh God, not a ‘kin credit example” I was only pretending to hate credit examples.  I love credit examples.  With a passion.  This blog proves it.


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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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