Radio Hed: Foreign Lecturer

radio-hed-logo1By Jeffrey Hedquist

Here’s another flavor from the world of improv to spice up your radio writing.

One voice speaks a foreign language. This can be gibberish, actual foreign language copy, or, what may be the best, is a combination of foreign language with enough “Americanized” expressions interspersed to emphasize the copy points in a humorous way. A second voice “translates” what the foreign voice is saying.

Effective extrapolations of this can be to use for the first voice, a child (especially if unintelligible), someone who is emotionally involved in promoting or denigrating the advertiser, or someone who is 180 degrees away from the target market.

The voice of a competitor could be raving on about how unfair the advertiser is, while the advertiser’s spokesperson calmly explains the benefits to the customer. A stern mother could be lecturing about what a waste of time a video game, or club, or activity or amusement park or movie is, while a kid explains why it’s so cool. A wildly ecstatic customer can barely contain herself, while the voice of reason lists a customer benefit to match each explosive outburst. A techno-geek lists in detailed acronym-speak the features of a computer system, while the translator tells the audience what each will do for them, and how easy it is to use. A voice is distorted because they’re underwater, inside a clothes dryer, speaking from outer space, stuck in a traffic jam, lost in a cave, etc., while an announcer away from the scene, explains what the voice is trying to tell us about the advertiser. The possibilities are endless.

The contrast can lead to some funny juxtapositions, an interesting spot that lends itself to repeated listening and…results!

© 2000 Hedquist Productions, Inc.

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