Many, many years ago, when I was creating breakfast cereal commercials for Total, Cocoa Puffs and…. What? How long ago? Well, let me put it this way. The Trix Rabbit was still a “kit.”
My point is that even back then most writers tried to avoid stilted “no one actually talks like this” dialogue in the spots we were writing. Though it was often easier to put copy points directly in someone’s mouth, it always seemed so artificial that any decent writer would refuse to give in to the temptation.
So I was truly flabbergasted that after all these years a major brand—in a fun category in a fun commercial—was guilty of the kind of stilted writing that I thought went out with 60 second spots.
Below is the commercial, a spot for Honey Nut cheerios. The audio is fuzzy, but then again, the words are too. I can’t believe that in 2012 a client would allow—or more likely, insist on—a character to actually pose the question, “And it tastes good?” in response to a claim that the product is healthy. And then, wonder of wonders, she responds affirmatively when asked if it tastes delicious.
So, if your message relies on dialogue, might I suggest you write it so that it actually sounds as if the person speaking it appears believable and not a shill. Even in the context of an animated commercial.
Got the idea?