This Campaign, These Are the Voices in Your Head.

by Caperton Gillett and Jane Coaston

MTV News, 3/3/2016


A close-up of a woman's mouth next to a microphoneThe music is ominous, pulsing, heavy on the cello. The voice is deep and smooth as it asks, “What kind of conservative would vote to allow Ed Rendell to spend billions in borrowed money for his pet pork projects?” That sonorous baritone belongs to Mark, and at the risk of disillusioning the American public, here’s the truth: He actually doesn’t feel that strongly about irresponsible political spending.

He totally sounds like he does, though.

“Just because someone’s voicing an ad, that doesn’t mean those are their convictions,” says Mark (not his real name). “I’m an actor,” he continues. “I’m hired to play a part, and I do my best to embody that character and help get that message across.”

During election season, those characters most frequently fall into the category of “man who’s worried that a candidate might not actually be as conservative as he appears.” But Mark’s not all that concerned about conservative values; his own political inclinations are more neutral. (He jokes about working for the “Green Party” — as in, “show me the green.”) Like feigning enthusiasm for a cell phone company or an orthodontist in everyday commercials, sounding convincingly worried about partisan issues is the name of the game with political ads, and producing political commercials can require as much strategy, diplomacy, and acting talent as politics itself.


Read the rest at MTV News.


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