Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday Tip No.67 - VO or Super?

When it comes to finishing-up a TV advert, there always seems to be a big hoo-ha over whether to deliver the endline as a VO, a Super, or both. And Creatives spend endless hours sweating this.

Don't. It's really very straightforward.

'Super only' is the best thing to have, because it's the purest and the simplest.

The next best thing is VO and Super together.

The 'VO only' option? I can't recall a single ad that uses it. Reason being that the client will always want to see at least their logo on the ad. And why not?

This means there will always be a Super of some kind. Therefore, if you want your ad to be as pure and uncluttered as possible, you should focus your energies on trying to eliminate the VO. You will never eliminate the Super.

I don't think I've ever worked on an advert where we failed to try every possible combination of VO / Super / endline / brand name. So it may also be beneficial to simply stop worrying, and accept that you are going to end up having to try them all.

Most likely you will end up having to have both a Super and a VO. If this is the case, at least make sure they are saying exactly the same thing. There's nothing worse than an ad which is trying to have you read one set of words while they pour another set into your ear. It's like trying to rub your tummy and pat your head at the same time.

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29 comments:

Gordon Comstock said...

I'm taking bets on who runs out of tips first, Scamp or Dave Trott.

George said...

I remember a Sky ad which featured a heart warming clip from Kramer vs Kramer. It's the scene where Dustin Hoffman is teaching his son to ride a bike in the park. All the ad did was take this lovely piece of film, and add a super at the end. Something like 'all you need is Sky'.

They did similar things with stunning nature shots of unheard of species, or incredible slow motion shots of famous sporting events - they added this super.

That in itself would have been a brilliantly self assured piece of advertising, but in each case, shortly after the super, a voiceover comes in and totally ruins the mood and feel of the clip. Without the VO is was understated confidence. With it, it became Murdoch's sales pitch and put me right off.

Anonymous said...

This is not a tip. It's a statement of the bleeding obvious.

The Client said...

both. 40% bigger.

If This Is A Blog Then What's Christmas said...

I don't know if Cliff Freeman invented this, but the white-out-of-black title card with the sound of the ad continuing underneath (see Orange Goldspots) was the only way to do a quality ad for a while. Saves having to frame the last shot to accommodate a multicoloured logo, I s'pose.

HN said...

Oh wonderous and wise Scamp, I'm about to make my first TV ad.

What are your top three essential pieces of advice for a young pup like myself?

Scamp said...

Well, you could do worse than heed the words of a much wiser chap than me - Mark Denton.

He did a great Guest Tip on how to get the best out of directors.

http://scampblog.blogspot.com/2008/06/tuesday-tip-no52-how-to-get-best-out-of.html

Anonymous said...

pretty shitty tip scamp,

what i'd like to know is what one piece of advice would you give to a creative/team that's about to shoot their first TV ad?

Because, to be honest, i'm a little nervous i might fuck it up.

Scamp said...

My tip is to not call someone's work shitty, and then in your next sentence, ask for their help.

Anonymous said...

oh snap! you been told!

HN said...

Thank you kindly Mr Scamp.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it great when things just work?

Vo + no Super = award winners

discuss

Anonymous said...

Your right scamp, you should never say what you see or even see what your saying, but I dont think its a question of pouring your efforts into removing the VO, surely rules are there to be broken and if it feels right, do it.

I think the main reason endlines are rarely spoken is that they are generally never phrases we hear in the real world so always sound like marketing shite.

Anonymous said...

3.59 a prime example the 'just VO' ad of which there are countless others.

Volkswagen 'Snow Plough' to name another one off the cuff.

Scamp?

Anonymous said...

you know when youve been tango'ed was VO'd and titled and i quite liked being hit over the head with a juicy sledgehammer, it seemed to work a treat.

Anonymous said...

ideally neither VO nor super just logo. but if you have to, super. and ideally super is punchline to all that's gone before. and very short.

Anonymous said...

1.13.

3 tips for you first shoot.

Make sure the director has a shoot board you've both agreed on.

Make sure that gets shot. If the director starts saying things like 'I just wanna try it like this'. Tell him 'yeah sure but can we do that after we've got the shots that were agreed'.

Limit yourself to two trips to the catering truck.

Anonymous said...

agree - od'ing on cake/donuts/curry/.... is always a danger...

Anonymous said...

Personally I quite like VO on it's own - feels more personal and less addy and try-too-hard somehow.

As long as what you're saying in the VO sounds tonally right.

Anonymous said...

Surely a super is mandatory in case your ad is being viewed at x30 on a Sky+ box?

Anonymous said...

Problem with supers is they require the viewer to actively read them.

Most people simply aren't that fascinated by ads.

With a VO the viewer gets the message, no effort required.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with making your work accessible.

Apart from the fact that you won't win as many awards.

PM said...

What about the holocaust? Surely that was worse than an ad which is trying to have you read one set of words while they pour another set into your ear? And then there's child prostitution too. That makes a different VO and Super on a TV ad at least number three on my list of really bad things in the world.

Anonymous said...

what the fuck's 'a super'? please god, no more jargon!

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me what a 'VO' is, and a 'Super'? Should a second year graphic design student already know this? if so i will march into my studio room and punch my teacher!

Scamp said...

VO = Voiceover

Super = Text that appears on screen

Scamp said...

6.07 - it doesn't bode well that you have to go back to 1963 for your 'VO only' example! Are there really countless others, apart from Snowplough?

Anca said...

I'm just surprised a "professional" could ask such question. What is a super?
It just goes to show how utterly unprepared students are these days.
I'm deeply concerned by the situation of the whole industry these days. There are so many challenges out there for creatives and who is going to meet them? People that don't even know what a Super is?
A wise man said once: Don't ask what your country can do for you, ask what can you do for your country?
I think the same equation applies in advertising, how? THat I cannot say, you have to find it for yourselves. I'm not here to rescue you know. In fact, I hate advertising, I don't want to work in advertising and I couldn't careless about it.
Maybe because of that, I will be successful.

I rest my case.

Anca said...

Nice try, 4.57, but you see, the fact that my picture does not appear when you post a comment shows you're not logged in. But thanks for promoting my blog, clever one.

Anonymous said...

yes, to work in advertising, you must be born with all the lingo pre-loaded in your head. GYAC