Tag Archives: Advertising

The “Voice of God” has passed away…

I am sorry to report that Don LaFontaine, master voiceover artist, has passed away on Labor Day. He was 68.

I never met Don in person, but I had the opportunity to work with him on some TV spots, and I know his wife, Anita, well. (She’s from my hometown of Shreveport, LA, and my Dad wrote the arrangement she used of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to go to the Miss American paegant, as Miss Louisiana.)

By all accounts, everyone that knew Don called him a great guy. My cousin (who visited Don and Anita in California a bunch) tells me he was witty, with a wicked sense of humor, and not at all pompous or distant in the way that celebrities can be. I can attest personally to the fact that he was generous to a fault, and was willing to “put his money where his mouth is” when it comes to causes he would support.

It’s hard for me to think about Don in the past tense. While there are other voiceover artists that mimic’d Don’s style and delivery, there will never be another Don LaFontaine. My heart and prayers go out to Anita and their kids in what must be a very difficult time. Please keep them in your prayers.

In a world of advertising, where too few voiceover artists have the ability to create a distinctive sound, Don LaFontaine will be missed.

EUReKa!…I think they’re on to something.

I love creative things. In particular, I’ve always loved science fiction (which gives writers a way to violate reality to serve their story ideas) and humor (which requires both creativity and intelligence to do really well). So when the SciFi channel launched EUReKA, a show that combines sicence fiction with humor, I quickly became a fan. Then they did something that, at the time at least, was creative in a marketing sense. They created a website that was a “we’re going to pretend as if all this is real” kind of thing, that somehow made the show that much beter. It was cool. The show was cool. And they were doing some pioneering work in how to use the web to market a show.

Season Two just started, and they have pulled off yet again another innovative idea in marketing – they’ve blurred the lines between product placement and conventional advertising, and in the process have forged something new, different, and in many ways, pretty scary. Continue reading EUReKa!…I think they’re on to something.

The Language of Advertising.

I love advertising. There. I said it. I’d rather watch a great ad than just about anything. A 30-second national ad has roughly the same budget, acting quality, directing quality, and production quality of a 30-minute sitcom. A well-crafted 30-second spot tells a short story, with a plot, characters, story arc, and everything else you expect in good communication. Oh, and it sells something. Usually. (Some advertisers forget to sell a product, and some forget to tell a compelling story, but I’m speaking here of GOOD commercials.
Continue reading The Language of Advertising.

the Advertising Bowl.

Color me dissapointed. Years removed from the glory days of the dot-com ads, the Super Bowl AdverFest did NOT deliver. What we got were a bunch of derrivative (a nice word for stealing from yourself) ads from Bud, CareerBuilder.com, Pizza Hut, and Pepsi. What we didn’t get were fresh, interesting ideas that would give us all something to talk about around the water cooler today. This year, the game was really more interesting than the ads. Sad.