Fresh set of ‘irresponsible,’ ‘misleading’ promos draw UK advertising watchdog’s ire

Posted by on Jul 26, 2017 in Voice-Over | 0 comments

Two online gambling operators recently received an earful from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over promotions that the UK watchdog deemed “irresponsible” and “misleading.”

First up is Gibraltar-based Coral Interactive, whose TV advertisement was banned for putting pressure on players to gamble.
The TV ad in question was broadcasted on April 16, 2017, and featured stylized clips of footballers with a voiceover stating, “The beautiful game you can watch it or you can get involved in it with the latest Coral action. So are you a spectator or are you a player? You decide. Coral. Get in on the action.”

Two complainants, however, challenged whether the voicer implied only gamblers were true “players” and that gambling was better than watching the sport.

Coral responded to the complaints, telling the watchdog that the voiceover was asking “whether a viewer was interested in having a bet as well as watching a match.” The operator said the ad was “a very straight and matter of fact read,” noting that the “You decide” phrase gave the viewer the option to make an informed choice.

The ASA agreed that the voiceover was not pushy nor did it aggressively promoted the gambling element. However, the watchdog ruled in favor of the complaints because “the overall tone of the ad implied that gambling was more exciting than being a spectator or playing the game.”

“We concluded the ad was likely to suggest peer pressure to gamble, disparage abstention and unduly suggest that gambling could enhance personal qualities and therefore breached the code,” the ASA said.

LeoVegas rebuked over bogus gambling ‘glitch’ plug

UK advertising regulators also scolded mobile gaming company LeoVegas for releasing promotion that were not clearly identifiable as advertising.

According to ASA, the Stockholm-listed company posted a tweet that stated “It still hasn’t been fixed,” and also featured a link which stated, “Big winds for Brits after online casino’s glitch.” The tweet was linked to a page that described a bonus offer from online casino LeoVegas.

The tweet prompted two complainants to challenge whether the ad misleadingly implied that a fault with an online casino’s website was allowing consumers to win when gambling.

LeoVegas had taken down “most articles” immediately after they received advisory from CAP relating to the use of “glitch” and “loophole” terms. The ASA, however, ruled that the promotion breached CAP Code 12 rule 3.1 (misleading advertising).

“The ASA considered that consumers would interpret the claim “It still hasn’t been fixed! Big wins for Brits after online casino’s ‘glitch,’” to mean that because of a fault with an online casino’s website, players were able to win large amounts,” the watchdog stated. “We considered that this would entice consumers into clicking through to see how they may be able to take advantage of the glitch which may increase their chances of winning.”


Crabfest ads signal new Red Lobster focus

Posted by on Jul 26, 2017 in Voice-Over | 0 comments

Red Lobster this month unveiled new television ads for its Crabfest promotion with tweaks that signal an evolution in the brand’s two-year-old marketing approach. 

“When we launched the ‘Fresh’ campaign in 2015, we used new, modern food photography on a black background, and a new voiceover to capture craveabillity and the pure joy of eating seafood – and it worked really well,” Mark Gilley, Red Lobster’s senior vice president of marketing, said in an interview with Nation’s Restaurant News.

Gilley said competing brands have begun running ads with a similar structure, so the Orlando, Fla.-based seafood company swapped other audio techniques for an enhanced verbal commentary in its updated “Now This Is Seafood” campaign. 

“This unique approach uses a variety of techniques instead of a traditional voiceover,” Gilley said.

“These techniques include a soundtrack that orchestrates the sounds of the kitchen and restaurant, coupled with fast-paced, multi-frame visuals that show the food from preparation to plate,” he said. 

The brand declined to comment on when the Crabfest limited time offer will conclude but the rejuvenated presentation will be used on multiple campaigns for the foreseeable future. 


Red Lobster’s other large-scale promotions include Lobsterfest and Endless Shrimp.

The brand’s television commercials can also be found on YouTube and other social-media channels. 

Red Lobster ranked No. 31 in NRN’s annual Top 100 census, posting $24.2 billion in sales for the latest fiscal year. 

The company is owned by private-equity firm Golden Gate Capital, which bought it from Darden Restaurants Inc. in 2014. In 2016, Thai Union Group PCL purchased a $575 million minority stake in the brand. 

Red Lobster has more than 700 restaurants in the United States, Canada and abroad.

Contact: [email protected]

Twitter: @DanAMX

The Stranger Things and Ready Player One trailers are the best and worst of nostalgia-driven marketing

Posted by on Jul 26, 2017 in Voice-Over | 0 comments

At the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, audiences got their first look at two highly anticipated geek-culture properties. Stranger Things, Netflix’s ode to Steven Spielberg and Stephen King, got a second season trailer exploring the show’s expanding mythos, set to the iconic sounds of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” And Spielberg himself took to Comic-Con’s Hall H stage to reveal a teaser for Ready Player One, his adaptation of Ernest Cline’s best-selling pop-culture treasure-hunt adventure.

At first glance, they were perfect pieces of marketing for the Comic-Con crowds, both relying on the nostalgic pull that serves as the foundation for so much modern fandom. Stranger Things’ imagery of kids wearing Ghostbusters costumes, set to Vincent Price’s “Thriller” voiceover, seemed right in line with Ready Player One’s parade of DeLorean car chases, Freddy Krueger cameos, and Iron Giant reveals. But sit with both teasers for a while, and it quickly becomes clear that they aren’t the same thing at all. If there’s a right way and a wrong way to use nostalgia, these two trailers exemplify the opposing ends of the spectrum — raising the question of whether the makers of the Ready Player One adaptation even understand why the book worked in the first place.

Starting right at the top, the trailer for Ready Player One frames its world with a bit of voiceover. “I was born in 2025,” Tye Sheridan’s Wade Watts tells us. “But I wish I’d grown up in the 1980s. Like all my heroes.” It’s a way to bootstrap the audience into the nostalgia mindset. The trailer is essentially waving both hands and screaming, “Hey, look at all the references we’re going to make!” That isn’t inherently a problem, not in a trailer. There are time limitations, after all.

But in the film itself, Wade spends most of his time in a VR wonderland called The OASIS, where there are apparently a lot of pop culture characters hanging around. And I mean a lot. There’s the aforementioned Iron Giant, Freddy Krueger, and Back to the Future DeLorean. There’s Harley Quinn, Deathstroke, and The A-Team van. The motorcycle from Akira shows up alongside the Bigfoot monster truck and the car from Stephen King’s Christine. It’s a geek-cred check, with the trailer rolling out reference upon reference. (Did they just pull from every single title Warner Bros. has rights to?) And the trailer concentrates on those references, not on the story. It doesn’t mention that The OASIS’s creator has died, leaving a series of puzzles and clues behind. There’s no sense of what Wade will actually do in this movie. It’s a trailer targeted solely at those who loved the book, or will love the gratuitous callbacks. Warner Bros. is heavily banking on both those audiences, no doubt. But outside of those references, it’s an empty vessel: a modern-looking action movie crammed full of shiny VR environments and throwback properties, but with no clear identity of its own.

Stranger Things takes an entirely different approach. Last year, the show appeared with almost no fanfare, dropping its first trailer just a month before release. Netflix didn’t overtly hype its period setting; it simply presented the story and aesthetic of the show, and let those elements do the talking. The season 2 trailer follows the same pattern. A brief opening shows the lead characters playing the Don Bluth arcade game Dragon’s Lair — likely a signal that the show will require its heroes to delve into the Upside Down to take matters into their own hands. Then the trailer shows the impact that the dark mirror-world is still having on Will Byers (Noah Schnapp).

“Thriller” is obviously being used to promote nostalgia, but it’s a disassembled and reconstructed version of the song, using the chords of its bridge as a score, then bringing in the Vincent Price voice-over without context. Only then does the song as most people remember it kick in. It makes for a wonderful trailer, but it’s also a handy metaphor for the way the show approaches its inspirations: breaking them down into their core components, selectively picking the elements that work, then remixing it all together into something that feels entirely fresh.

The vital difference between the Ready Player One and Stranger Things trailers comes down to story. Stranger Things is all about it, counting on the idea of the Upside Down bleeding into our own world, and the effects that causes, to keep viewers intrigued. (That’s to say nothing of the — trailer spoiler! — Eleven reveal at the end.) The music choice and the Ghostbusters costuming let us know what time period we’re in, but they’re not the focus. Ready Player One, on the other hand, rejects the notion of story entirely. It’s a trailer created almost exclusively to highlight the endless references that made Cline’s novel resonate for many readers, but it gives the unshakeable impression that the finished product is just going to be a soulless reference-machine.

Obviously, the marketing isn’t the movie. For a first impression, it’s smart to focus on the easy hook. The Ready Player One trailer is suggesting that, as with Wreck-It Ralph or The Lego Movie, the film will let audiences revisit fan-favorite characters and vehicles in a different context. Both of those films succeeded precisely because they did have clever stories and engaging characters, and it would be foolish to think that Spielberg, of all filmmakers, is simply interested in playing movie-reference whack-a-mole.

But for better or worse, modern marketing is key in establishing how films are received, and in this case, the footage suggests that Ready Player One’s mashup world is seen as nothing more than a sales tool. It’s laid out most clearly by the choice of cameo characters themselves. In the book, Wade dives head-first into ‘80s pop culture because that’s the best way to understand the mind of The OASIS’s creator, and to solve his madcap puzzles. References to WarGames, Back to the Future, and Infocom text adventures are actually motivated, tenuous though that motivation may be.

The trailer instead introduces a character who apparently just really loves stuff from the ‘80s — but as my colleague Kwame Opam brought up during Comic-Con, the references showcased here seem most directed at appealing to millennials’ 1990s nostalgia. The Iron Giant, Harley Quinn, and Duke Nukem (he appears in the same shot that features Freddy Krueger) are ‘90s icons. That shift changes the context of these references, replacing insight into The OASIS with the most obvious of marketing hooks. It makes the trailer (and by extension, the film) feel relentlessly cynical, and has already brought similar criticisms of the book back to the forefront.

While Cline’s Ready Player One has its problems, the book did resonate with many readers for reasons besides its geek cachet. Some readers saw Wade as an everyman they could project themselves into, and the story itself was in the mold of an Amblin-style ‘80s film, evoking the era not just in imagery, but in form. Ironically, that’s what Stranger Things has been able to do so effortlessly from the very beginning. References are easy. A movie or TV show that evokes wonder, with a style and characters audiences care about, is hard.

We’re still eight months away from Ready Player One hitting theaters, and we will see plenty of additional trailers and footage in the months to come. But the movie will be arriving at a time when the meta-allure it’s pitching has already become common rather than exceptional. In the inevitable mega-hype lead-up, the team behind the film would be wise to look behind the most obvious hook, and see what other nostalgia-heavy properties like Stranger Things are doing. The world doesn’t need another shiny CG action movie, no matter how many familiar faces pop up along the way, and there’s a good chance they’ll stay away if that’s all they think they’re getting.

What audiences need are stories that resonate, with characters they care about on their own terms. That’s what let Netflix’s show use more than just references in its latest trailer. Audiences are already invested in Will, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas. They care about Eleven, and what Jim Hopper is doing to help her. Though the series may get painted as a nostalgia machine, it’s a story about family and the power of friendship — just like so many ‘80s movies. Steven Spielberg was once the master of that form. Hopefully with Ready Player One, we’ll eventually find out he hasn’t forgotten that.

LOL: ‘Star Wars’, Now with ‘Arrested Development’ Narration by Ron Howard

Posted by on Jul 25, 2017 in Voice-Over | 0 comments

Star Wars with Arrested Development NarrationStar Wars with Arrested Development Narration

Though Ron Howard may best be known for his time spent as a child actor playing young Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show, he’s also very well known for directing films such Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code. Soon he’ll be known for taking over the Star Wars spin-off that is focusing on a young Han Solo after directors Phil Lord Chris Miller were let go from the production following creative differences.

But Ron Howard was also the executive producer of the comedy series Arrested Development, not to mention the show’s narrator, adding an interesting meta layer to the cult favorite show that was canceled by FOX before being revived years later by Netflix. Now some clever editing has taken some of Ron Howard’s voiceover from Arrested Development and applied it to the original Star Wars trilogy giving us Arrested Rebellion.

Here’s Star Wars with Arrested Development narration from the folks at Nerdist:

Though plenty of the jokes are what you’d expect, such as the constant contradiction the voiceover supplies to what’s being said or done on the show, there is some surprisingly clever use of voiceover from the show that fits in line perfectly with Star Wars. There a couple jumpy parts where the audio was edited to make it sound like Ron Howard is saying “Vader”, and sadly they can’t use the real Arrested Development theme to make it even better (due to rights issues) but this is still an amusing and satisfying parody, not to mention a distraction from worrying about the future of the Han Solo movie. Ah, damn it, now we’re thinking about it all over again.

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Game of Thrones Screencap Breakdown: “The Queen’s Justice” Trailer

Posted by on Jul 25, 2017 in Voice-Over | 0 comments

Now that “Dragonstone” and “Stormborn” have whetted our appetites for more Game of Thrones, let’s see what the trailer for “The Queen’s Justice” suggests about what’s coming. Clocking in at 26 seconds and containing 21 shots, the new trailer offers glimpses of scenes both new and familiar. Have a watch.

Okay, let’s get to the breakdown.

The first shot is from above Daenerys’ perch on the Dragonstone castle staircase, overlooking Blackwater Bay. (She’s lower-left of the center of the frame.)

As she surveys her would-be kingdom, we hear Daenerys in voiceover. “I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms, and I will.”

Next, the dragons cavort over Dragonstone, as their ancestors once did. The show couldn’t afford them for Episode 2, but Episode 3 is another story.

Next: a wonderfully regal shot of Daenerys deep in contemplation.

Shifting west, we see Euron Greyjoy return to King’s Landing. First he’s in a wide shot being lauded by an adoring crowd…

…and then he’s shown in close-up, smiling his weasel’s smile.

The people applaud him. Everyone loves a victorious commander.

In the Red Keep, Cersei Lannister is conniving as only Cersei Lannister can. “The war’s already begun,” she says. “I’ve drawn first blood.”

A beautiful landscape shot of the Dragonstone coast, with men and boats assembling. Is this Jon and company arriving to see the Dragon Queen?

Tyrion, looking grim. “Cersei will be ready.” Notice the Dothraki guard behind him, the first time we’ve seen a Dothraki soldier this year. We knew they had to be hiding somewhere.

It looks like more Dothraki figures are walking along the causeway to Dragonstone. I can see Missandei’s frizzy black hair and Dany’s flash of blonde near the head of the procession. Varys is heard in voiceover. “They know we’re coming.”

Daenerys is still contemplating the shape of the world. She turns, and the editing speeds up alongside a swell of pulsing, foreboding music.

Love Island voiceover guy insists contestants love him taking the …

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017 in Voice-Over | 0 comments

Comic Iain Stirling is famed for mocking the islanders and his witty commentary is a hit with viewers.

But in an exclusive chat, he said: “Most of the ones I meet take it in good spirits. Especially now the voiceover is a better-known part of the show.

“They know it is part and parcel of doing it. They actually look forward to it. They say, ‘I wonder what the voiceover guy will say about me.’

The guy who does the Love Island voiceover challenged Piers Morgan to a bet in response to his hatred of the show

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017 in Voice-Over | 0 comments

Source: EmJay ✌️/Twitter


Love Island – the surprise telly hit of summer 2017 – comes to an end with a live final show, and a £50,000 prize for the winning couple.

A running sideshow throughout the series has been Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan’s arguments about it on GMB every morning.

Susanna is a massive fan of the show, while her co-host – predicatably – hates it all

Source: Good Morning Britain/YouTube

This morning, ahead of tonight’s finale, GMB had comedian Iain Stirling on – the man behind the iconic Love Island voiceover. Whilst arguing about the merits of the show, Piers claimed that not one of the couples on it would be together in a year’s time. So Stirling challenged him to a bet

Source: Good Morning Britain/YouTube

And followed it up on Twitter straight after

Source: Twitter

A bold call.

Piers wasn’t buying these couples at all – more chance of him eloping with Susanna, apparently

Source: Twitter

Susanna wasn’t in full agreement

Source: Twitter

People were quick to point out that there are still a rake of couples going out from last year’s show

Source: Twitter

We won’t get an answer to this question until 2018, but Piers for one will be delighted not to have Love Island on his screens any longer.

Love Island fans won’t be so happy.

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Brie and Nikki Bella Tackle Personal and Professional Challenges in ‘Total Bellas’ Season 2: Sneak Peek

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017 in Voice-Over | 0 comments

Ready for another round. Brie and Nikki Bella struggle to balance their personal and professional lives in Total Bellas season 2, which will premiere on Wednesday, September 6, Us Weekly can exclusively reveal. 

In an exclusive sneak peek, the sisters tackle different aspects of their lives. “It’s all about being a superstar,” Nikki, 33, says of being a Bella in a voiceover, as footage plays of her walking through the ring holding a championship belt, a stark contrast to the montage of Brie, which shows her preparing her baby’s nursery and getting a sonogram as her voiceover explains: “It’s all about being a mom.”

The preview clip also shows the men in their lives adapting to both work and family. Although no context is given, John Cena says to a solemn-looking Daniel Bryan, “You may miss the birth of your child.”

The E! series’ new season debuts with an inside look at Nikki and John’s return to WWE and their road to Wrestlemania, where, as seen in the clip above, Cena shocked his love of nearly five years with a marriage proposal in the ring. As the couple is thriving professionally, Brie and Daniel look for extra support as they prepare for the birth of their daughter, Birdie.

Through the pregnancy and proposal, the sisters also struggle through new personal challenges as Cena and Bryan’s careers skyrocket to new heights.

The newly engaged couple opened up to Us Weekly exclusively in May about taking time to enjoy engagement before they began wedding planning. “[It’s] slow. I don’t really know anything yet,” Nikki admitted. “I have a wedding planner. That’s about it. That’s my first step.”

Cena added: “The first step is the toughest one. Trust me. The first step is the toughest one.”

Later this fall, the sisters will return to Total Divas for season 7 alongside WWE Superstars Carmella, Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss. Current cast members Natalya (Nattie), Maryse, Lana and Naomi (Trinity) will also be returning. 

Watch the exclusive preview in the clip above.

Total Bellas’ second season premieres on E! Wednesday, September 6, at 9 p.m. ET.

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Love Island narrator insists contestants love him taking the mick out of them

Posted by on Jul 23, 2017 in Voice-Over | 0 comments

Comic Iain Stirling is famed for mocking the islanders and his witty commentary is a hit with viewers.

But in an exclusive chat, he said: “Most of the ones I meet take it in good spirits. Especially now the voiceover is a better-known part of the show.

“They know it is part and parcel of doing it. They actually look forward to it. They say, ‘I wonder what the voiceover guy will say about me.’

Somebody Made A Voiceover Of OJ Simpson’s Parole Hearing & It’s Hilarious (VIDEO)

Posted by on Jul 22, 2017 in Voice-Over | 0 comments

oj simpson

On Thursday, O.J. Simpson was granted parole after spending 9 years of a 33-year sentence behind bars. Much like back in the 90′s, people were glued to their TV’s waiting to see what would happen. And just like back then, a lot of people were pissed to see that the juice was being set loose once again.

Someone decided to create an epic vocie-over of the moment he OJ found out he was set free and it is hilarious.

(Warning: NSFW language)


Did y’all hear what OJ said when he got parole today?!! #JustinHires #OJ #ParoleHearing

A post shared by Justin Hires (@justinhires) on Jul 20, 2017 at 2:57pm PDT