Types of Political Ads
Blue Wave Voiceover is proud to help progressive, Democratic causes across the country take the airwaves and reach voters wherever and however we can. We’ve collectively voiced across the left-leaning advertising spectrum, raising our voices (zing!) to help candidates, PACs and non-profits alike reach our fellow Americans in preparation for November, voicing just about every type of political ad that one could think of along the way.
November is coming
Blue Wave Voiceover compiled this resource to help both our clients and fellow voice over actors share a common language and reference for all of our collaborative political campaigns. Feel free to refer to this guide anywhere it might come in handy in political voiceover — from creating compelling & clear casting breakdowns, to auditioning voice talent with a specific tone in mind, all the way through to live direction & post production.
Not sure which type of political ad you want to create? Let’s dive in!
The “Introduction to the Candidate” Ad — The only true “must have” in political advertising, the Introduction to the Candidate sets the tone for the entire campaign. Not only does it typically require a friendly, engaging, optimistic-yet-firm voice over, but that voice needs to match your candidate’s style and presentation. Polished, steady, experienced and wise? A young, scrappy upstart? A sensible, straight-shooting next door neighbor? After all, you only get one first impression — especially during campaign season.
The “Positive Candidate Image” Ad — In a perfect world, this might be all we hear in political commercials: everything our Democratic candidate has ever done right. Sometimes it’s “setting the record straight,” sometimes it’s giving another chance to go high when they inevitably go low. Either way, an uplifting, hopeful, genuinely pleasant voice over is the ticket to a candidate’s bright, positive image.
The “Negative Candidate Image” Ad — Sometimes, the mud they sling is so thick, there’s little choice but to start throwing back to dig ourselves out. And when ops research finds the dirt (after all, there’s always dirt somewhere) and you’re ready to bring it to the voting public, a voice that can fire back by cutting through — a stern & concerned voice over, yet striking the balance between righteous & humble — is your candidate’s secret weapon.
The “PSA/Non-Profit/Good Cause” Ad — Helping our fellow citizens in need is our civic duty. Sometimes, we need to get the word out as quickly as possible to ensure each other’s safety; others, we simply need a hand in giving others a hand. Inspiring, caring, and authentically empathetic and optimistic voice over with a touch of urgency can turn our hearts and minds towards a better country.
This is what democracy looks like.
The “Attack/Opposition” Ad — Differing slightly from the “Negative Candidate” ad, a standard attack or opposition ad lays bare the absolute “worst of the worst case scenario,” inspiring action through voter fear. An attack ad voice over is a no-nonsense voice over that’s tough, critical, and compellingly urgent sets the stage for our worst fears coming true in November.
The “PAC” Ad — The quintessential “third party” ad, a Political Action Committee (PAC) ad is an ad or campaign from an independent, outside (non-candidate) organization — usually representing business, labor, or partisan interest — created to help elect and defeat specific candidates and causes. Naturally, these kinds of ads run the gamut through every kind of political ad campaign style, meaning the voice over that matches the ad runs the gamut of styles as well.
The “Citizen Testimonial/First Person” Ad — Sometimes, we’ve just got to go door-to-door to talk to our neighbors in a political campaign, knocking doors to share our personal stories in hopes of persuading them to empathize with our side of the fence. Testimonial/First Person ads are a great way to reach undecided voters — connecting with them via authentic, conversational, sensible and neighborly voice over.
The “Endorsement” Ad — Giving a candidate or ballot initiative a signal boost with a public figure or social influencer, an “Endorsement ad is, at its core, a “Citizen Testimonial/First Person” ad on steroids: it takes the same hallmarks and gives them a celebrity spin. Conversational, authentically empathetic voiceover that matches the endorser’s style and tone are critical.
The “Single Issue” Ad — “End Gerrymandering!” “Protect Our Water!” “Ban the Whales!” (O.K., maybe not that last one) A single issue ad seeks to raise a very specific awareness, and typically asks for the viewer to donate their time, money, and/or vote for the betterment of society. Much like the PAC Ad, a single issue can span an exceedingly wide range of presentation styles… and, accordingly, voice over styles as well.
Vote hard. Vote often.
No matter what type of political ad campaign you’re creating, Blue Wave Voiceover is ready to help you reach as many Democratic voters as possible. Please use the contact form below to collaborate!