Voiceover Script Success Series #4

Voiceover scripts have many things in common with each other, but they also contain aspects that make them unique.  For lack of a better word, a voice over script is a work of “art”, which means each piece needs to be understood on its own.  New writers, new scripts, new obstacles and opportunities.  Our work on the ever-crucial task of script analysis continues here with a Tetley Tea commercial:

 

What kind of tea makes iced tea that can stand up to ice? A tea with so much flavor it won’t melt with the ice. A tea that’s made with tiny little tea leaves for big tea taste. Tetley Tea. It has a color so deep, a flavor so big, it stands up to ice. Tetley starts out strong, so it lasts long. No matter how long you linger over iced TETLEY, the flavor comes through the ice.

 

We start with a rhetorical question.  This usually means you want to deliver the line in an “all-knowing”, “wink-like” way, since you are obviously tipping off your listener to the fact that you are only asking to then provide them with the answer.  Make sure your tone reflects this.  The writer will subconsciously respond to this.  Your focus should be on “what”, not tea.  Assume tea is a given, especially since you say that word so many times in the spot.  It emphasizes itself.  Give most of your attention though, to the “stand up to ice”.  This is the point of this specific kind of iced tea and why it’s special.  How does this tea achieve this?  It has SO MUCH FLAVOR.  Experiment here with whether SO is all you need to make the point, or whether the whole phrase is necessary.  Your read becomes unique when you combine intelligent script-analysis with personal experimentation on what feels good.  The next sentence sells itself on it’s big flavor.  It also has a contrast written in.  Highlight the contrast and you tell the writer you see how it makes the line “ear-catching.”  So, yes, TINY LITTLE and BIG are what makes this sentence pop by the magic art of illuminating opposites.  Now the script gets more specific to prove its worth.  My favorite thing to do is break a rule, so get ready.  I always say that when a word is repeated you don’t emphasize it, as it’s doing that all on its own.  But sometimes you need to bend a little on this, especially when you can tell the writer is attached to this effect because it creates drama.  You will have to trust your instincts on this one, as I won’t always be here to whisper in your ear.  If it feels right, go for it.  SO.  SO.  Here’s where the writer seems to want the 2 SO punch.  SO deep, SO big, it STANDS UP TO ICE.  Drama, drama, drama.  If used sparingly it can stand out.  All caps are a shout, caps once in a while are a magical firework show popping up in an otherwise ordinary sky when you least expected it.  The next line asks that STRONG and LONG be punched.  It’s simple.  One, they rhyme, and therefore the writer might have done it on purpose and takes pleasure in hearing it emphasized.  Two, they’re adjectives.  They speak as testimonial to the superior flavor of the product.  They leave with their last sell point, a repetition to make sure you get it…the FLAVOR comes THROUGH.  Speak always to your point, and a POINT you shall make.  There’s no other speech worth listening to.

 

What kind of tea makes iced tea that can stand up to ice? A tea with so much flavor it won’t melt with the ice. A tea that’s made with tiny little tea leaves for big tea taste. Tetley Tea. It has a color so deep, a flavor so big, it stands up to ice. Tetley starts out strong, so it lasts long. No matter how long you linger over iced TETLEY, the flavor comes through the ice.

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