We needed at least three commercials for our radio show, so I took on another for this week just before my group recorded and assembled our podcast. Since I graduate this semester, I’ve been thinking (and stressing) a lot about potential career opportunities, and reflecting on the different ways that being a UMW student has helped me develop skills an employer would find valuable.
The Comm & Digital Studies major encouraged me to test my creative limits, to become a better writer and public speaker, and to develop a strong sense of digital literacy. I figured I should verbalize these positives and encourage others to look into the major through an audio advertisement. I formed my thoughts into a script and found music on Free Music Archive to play in the background.
I decided to create a commercial as part of my contribution to our group project. I hoped to incorporate the superhero theme while also making something that you might actually hear on the radio. I’ve heard several radio commercials about cars and events. Yet where did my mind go? Food, of course.
I did some research on oats, wrote and recorded a script, then found audio clips to use in the background. I intended the commercial to address parents’ desire to make their kids healthy, while also addressing their children’s potential interest in being more like their favorite superheroes.
I found a few great audio clips on Freesound; children playing at a park, a record scratch, some vocal clips, and upbeat background music. Using Audacity, I placed each clip where I saw fit and arranged my narration in a way that helped it flow well. The result is an upbeat and fun advertisement for SuperOats, a treat any kid would love!
Each member of my group was tasked with creating a unique radio bumper for our show. We know that we’ll feature news, games, and callers, so we figured it’d be best to market these details & give potential listeners an idea of what to expect from us. I found a cool beat on Free Music Archive and wrote a quick script, then recorded and played with the volume & timing in Audacity. I’m liking the ultra hip electronic vibe!
Most of the bumpers I remember hearing were quick, animated, and consisted of several vocal effects and fun sounds. I used the first 10 seconds of this video to help inspire the writing and speaking style I’d use. Then I recorded myself with my apple headphone mic.
Once I had a decent recording in Audacity, I added the echo effect in some places and searched through a couple of tutorials to figure out how to give my voice that ‘through-the-phone’ quality in other places. I found a solid hip-hop beat and some game show sounds on Freesound which I clipped, arranged, and even reduplicated. I had to speed up most of the sounds to match my rushed speech. It kind of morphed into an advertisement.
That’s right. Ceto’s back.
Since we had to incorporate our character (again), I decided that my Sound Effects Story should accompany Ceto’s introduction. Yes, my idea of this scene was so vivid that I felt compelled to add another layer to the madness.
Thankfully, I learned how to use Audacity this past summer while creating a mix for my belly dance troupe. But editing music is pretty different from composing a story with only sounds. All clips were retrieved from freesound.org. Once I had the sounds I needed, I imported, trimmed & even duplicated some of the pieces, then arranged them in the order that corresponded with my idea of Ceto’s introduction. When I was sure of the order, I tried to level the volume and tempo in any spots that seemed off. I ended up using a total of 10 sound clips to create an 80 second-long story.
I knew this was going to be challenging, and you might not be able to tell what’s going on based on just the audio, but gosh darn I tried. And maybe I’m biased because I wrote the scene, but I like the way it turned out.
Look, I know it sounds crazy. I know I might be judged. But I can’t go on keeping this a secret.
My name is Ashleigh and I’m an Oreo O’s addict.
I fell in love with the cereal when I was around 5 years old and was pretty bummed when the product disappeared from store shelves in 2007. It was discontinued due to the two companies, Post Cereal and Kraft Foods, refusing to co-brand. Embarrassingly enough, I spent an unreasonable amount of money just to continue purchasing the cereal online. You can imagine how excited I was when Oreo O’s returned to Walmart stores this past summer.
To commemorate the return of Oreo O’s, I decided to create A Mailchimped Message. I wrote a ridiculous advertisement and recorded my friends and family reciting it. Using Audacity, I trimmed each recording into pieces and organized them in different ways. I also added an emotional song titled, One Man’s Strength in the background. By the end of it, I had created one final, seamless audio recording. Enjoy.