Hire a Pro VO

by | Feb 28, 2010 | Acting


Doncha just love the irreverent spokesman/mascot for Jack In the Box restaurants? 

No?  Too silly for ya?

Lemme ask you this:  if you had a chance to audition for the voice of “Jack” would you jump at it?

Uh-huh, ‘cause it’s a high-profile, lucrative national Radio/TV campaign.  And it’s not the kind of voice that should be created by “the guy down the hall”. 

‘Sad that so many (esp. local advertisers) decide to grab their secretary or thelowry sales guy to voice their spots ‘cause it saves ‘em a few media dollars.

Why I’ve never actually written my own apologetic for hiring a professional voice actor I couldn’t tell ya.  I’ve chewed on the concept, but seemed lacking in the motivation.

That ended when The Lowry Agency asked me to write just that kind of article for a snazzy culinary blog called: CULINARY SCHMOOZE.

culinary schmooze

Given the probable audience for that blog, I decided to drag out “Jack” as part of my argument.

The resulting article is seen on the Culinary Schmooze website, and is reprinted below.  Let me know what you think.



Say what you want about Jack In the Box restaurants…you have to admit the company has a professional operation. The food is hot, delivered in an orderly fashion, and comes at a fair price no matter where you happen to find a franchise.

But do you want just “professional” when you’re eating? No. That’s why a chain like Macaroni Grill might be a more quality choice. The ambience is pleasing. Food is prepared with care from a unique menu, and the service is usually charming. Absolutely professional, but with a quality component added.

Still, for a top-of-class experience, something is missing even at Macaroni Grill. That element is refinement. In Las Vegas, for instance, when you visit Ferraro’s new restaurant across from the Hard Rock resort, you’ll see the added attraction of gourmet food from award-winning chefs, a table setting and service second-to-none, even a Sommelier to suggest the perfect wine to go with your choice of entre’.
Professional? Absolutely.
Quality? Unquestionably.
Refined? But of course, Monsieur!

There are no posted signs to indicate Ferraro’s combines professionalism, quality and refinement. People just know. Enjoy a meal at Ferroro’s and there’s no mistaking the impression that you’ve reached a position near the top of the culinary dining experience.

This is not a put-down of fast-food restaurants. Quite the opposite, because, you see…even Jack In the Box understands that to be successful in the marketplace, their working-class product must nonetheless be portrayed in popular media with professionalism, quality, and refinement.

Make no mistake, the voice behind that silly guy with the white cone-head was chosen through a talent agency audition process that weeded out the un-professional, poor quality candidates with little refinement of their craft.

Puh-leez!….how many cheesy late-night, local TV ads have you suffered through, where the spokesman is likely the company’s owner, president, or maybe the secretary. There’s no mistaking the impression that you’ve reached a position near the bottom of the advertising experience. People just know. The unprofessionalism, lack of quality, and absence of refinement portrays no product you would ever buy, visit, consider for purchase, or otherwise patronize.

Viewers, listeners, buyers, and consumers can smell the odor of “cheap” a mile away. It’s a turn-off. No – more than that, it engenders an internal promise never to participate in THAT product.

Savvy company owners, presidents, managers, and ad agency executives choose a quality, professional, refined portrayal of their product/service with fancy graphics, good copywriting, enduring images, and the delivery — either on camera, or through voice-over — of a talented, experienced actor.

A voice-actor can bring the worst copy to life….can elicit emotion from the most colorless pictures…and can do it all in 30 seconds. There’s no mistaking the impression that you’ve reached a position near the top of the advertising spectrum. People just know.

Like a fine chef, a true voice actor takes pride in his/her work…achieves professionalism by working their way up the ranks…exudes quality through years of practice and training… and proves again and again a sense of refinement from experience. Most have found success in voiceovers by means of a tough evolutionary process known as survival-of-the-hardest working and most talented.

You could pay a lot less, and grab Clancy, the clean-up guy to be the voice of “Jack” the cone-head. Clancy may be able to mop floors, but it actually takes a professional, quality actor to produce a refined sound as sarcastically silly and convincing as the brand spokesman for Jack In the Box.

People just know.




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