Irrational Hatreds #1

An occasional series about things that I hate for no logical reason whatsoever, and attempted justification thereon.

In this week’s thrilling installment:

In-house radio advertising

Oh dear. It’s not necessarily the concept of the ads themselves or the scripted content that I find so objectionable, but the pisspoor voice effects used all the way through them. It’s like the work experience kid’s got his clammy hands on a variation of the classic playground toy that made the falling grenade sounds (WHEEEEEE… PWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH) and can’t resist forcing everyone to listen to it until the only escape is to hammer rusty nails into their inner ear canals to Make. It. Stop.

A typical example is when a show for later in the week is being advertised on 5Live. Let’s say that Peter Allen’s going to visit the troops in Afghanistan again and host a special edition of “Drive”, and the BBC is advertising that fact. I’ll make up a very simple script for the ad:

Announcer: On Thursday, Peter Allen returns to Afghanistan to see what progress has been made in the long war over the past year.

Allen: I’ll be speaking to the troops and finding out exactly what they think about the conflict as we enter 2010. That’s me, Peter Allen, with a special edition of Drive on Thursday at 4pm.

Announcer: On 5Live.

Now, that’s not too offensive, right?

Wrong [/Arnie, Commando]. For the ad will probably go something like this:

Announcer (plus echo FX): On Thursday, Peter Allen returns to Afghanistan to see what progress has been made in the long war…

Announcer (sounding like he’s at the other end of a mobile phone): …over the past year.

Allen (normal voice): I’ll be speaking to the troops and finding out exactly what they think about the conflict…

Allen (sounding like he’s also at the other end of a mobile phone): …as we enter 2010.

Allen (normal voice again): That’s me, Peter Allen, with a special edition of Drive on Thursday at 4pm.

Announcer (with phone voice, plus the fucking echo): On 5Live.

You see what I mean? If you’ve never noticed this, listen to the in-house ads next time you’re near a radio and prepare to never not notice this tired box of audio fwippery again.

Who on Earth came up with the idea that making the second half of a sentence sound like it’s coming from the other end of a phone line somehow makes the ad more interesting, relevant or – more importantly – not really fucking irritating?

See also: the (crowd say bo) “sele-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-cta” voice FX that used to be used on Radio 1 a lot back in the day, or the godawful trend for whispering the final line of an ad, or even that guy on 6Music who says “On 6 Muuuuuuuuzik” at the end of a lot of their jingles like he’s the most special form of constipated.

I know, this isn’t exactly the most important thing in the universe, is it? That’s why it’s an irrational hatred.

Next time: “Tommy K”. (It’s tomato fucking ketchup, alright?)

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