Dinosaur voice: a chronicle by Marco Pacheco – Meios & Publicidade

When we challenged Marco Pacheco to write opinion articles for M&P, BBDO’s executive creative director had a better idea: What if they were chronicles about the day-to-day lives of advertisers? What they do (and what they don’t do), their joys, anxieties and frustrations. The result starts with Dinosaur voice. “One thing was clear: I didn’t want to write about the challenges, the future, the trends and/or the success stories of our craft. That’s why this chronicle is not about advertising. It’s about advertisers. These idiots.”

We are in a sound studio, a space that could be the visiting room of an American prison. Outside the soundproof glass, we have visitors: the Marketing Director, also known as the Client, a Producer and a Sound Designer from the studio, a Creative, an Account and a Producer from the agency. Inside the glass, there is the Announcer, a prisoner of his performance: he will only be released when everyone agrees that the voiceover is incredible, fantastic or, at the very least, perfect. Until then, he will only have the right to precarious access to drink water, smoke, get some air, go to the bathroom, etc.

In this case, the dialogues of an animated film for a juice brand were recorded, in which, among very little scared children who had already been recorded, a very friendly dinosaur, but still a dinosaur, appeared. The text itself is not particularly complex, dinosaurs were not known for their depth of thought. The problem is another. After a few takes, the Marketing Director, who had already been showing signs of discomfort, shifting on the sofa, crossing and uncrossing his legs, stood up and said, very regretfully:

– This is not a dinosaur voice.

Hearing this, everyone present becomes silent. Then, one by one, they turn their heads towards the Announcer and confirm, without surprise, that the Director is absolutely right: the being imprisoned in that glass cage is not, in fact, a dinosaur and, therefore, neither is his voice. could not be what was said. A seemingly insurmountable problem, which the Creative tries to resolve without letting his deep irritation with the Client show. While he’s thinking one thing (but you didn’t approve of the voice casting, my dinosaur?) he says another:

– But is it the timbre or tone of the voice? If it’s the timbre, we can always look for a Speaker with an even deeper voice, but it won’t be easy…
– Well – says the Director – maybe it’s easier to find a dinosaur…

This joke (with a joke) makes everyone laugh, except the Announcer, who has the audio cut off, and the Creative, who can no longer hear the Client. If you already hated the film after the changes it introduced, now even more so. All you have to do is be professional: take a deep breath, put on a forced smile and continue your strategy of maintaining a rational conversation based on an irrational assumption. If the problem is the tone, he continues, it is possible to make a more aggressive interpretation of the text, but since the film is for children, he does not recommend it. The Client hears him, but does not listen, asks to listen again to the already recorded takes, shakes his head, looks around, passing his eyes through the glass cage where the Speaker neither hears nor is heard and, therefore, no longer understands than a dinosaur would perceive.

After choosing a take suggested by the Creative, the client decides to ask the opinion of those present, and everyone, even the dinosaur (who has had his voice restored to speak) say very cordially that it looks good to them, that it is friendly, light and that the low timbre contrasts very well. Thank you for your opinion, thank the Marketing Director, but no. He’s not convinced, he doesn’t believe in that dinosaur and he’s sure the children won’t believe it either.

– Why don’t we do a test?
Suggests Account, who has a deep understanding of her Client and, above all, her son, waiting for his mother at the studio reception. The Creative widens his eyes at his colleague, but before he can say anything, the Director accepts the suggestion. Realizing that it won’t be necessary for the next few minutes, the Announcer asks for a precarious exit for a moment.

The child enters with the mother/account and sits in front of a viewing monitor, commonly known as a television. It is 7 years old, within the campaign target. As she watches the ad, no one speaks in the room, no one moves. Expectations are high, there is tension in the air. Everyone’s eyes are fixed on the kid’s reactions, they’re all trying to read signs that indicate in which direction that little Caesar’s thumb will point. Until after thirty long seconds:

– Did you like it, son?
– Sim.
– Everything, did you like everything? – asks the Marketing Director.
– Sim.
– You didn’t find anything like that… weird?
– No.
Even guided in this direction, not once does the kid speak of the dinosaur’s voice. Except when the Announcer returns from his precarious exit and says:
– I’m back, sorry.
And the child points to the man, exclaiming:
– It’s the dinosaur!

Chronicle of Marco Pacheco, executive creative director of BBDO and writer

Source: Meios & Publicidade by www.meiosepublicidade.pt.

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