Melissa Mauldin

In the midst of a public health crisis, people expect and rely on factual and timely information. Our national opioid crisis is a perfect example of the growing need for accurate data and scientifically backed tips and treatment methods.

Most of us go to the web as a first step to find information, making it even more important that top search results provide relevant, factual information.

In a rare move, Google recently began restricting ads served when visitors used the search engine to search for addiction treatment centers. With so many people experiencing the disease of addiction, drug treatment has grown into a $35 billion market. Too many businesses paid for ads to direct those seeking information on recovery centers to their sites. A person typing “drug rehabilitation near me” was directed, in many cases, to businesses with only a tenuous connection to professional drug treatment.

Professionals in the drug treatment field praised Google’s decision, which Google officials made in consultation with recovery experts. Google’s decision followed a story by The Verge explaining how unethical businesses, and even fraudulent enterprises, use AdWords to direct the public to their sites.

The issue highlighted the importance of sharing good, substantiated, public health information to the growing audience. It not only helped remove untrustworthy information from Google searches, but it also removed much of the visual clutter, allowing critical messaging to reach the people who need it.

Recently declared a national public emergency by President Donald Trump, the opioid epidemic represents one of the deadliest public health crises to face the nation, resulting in more than 64,000 deaths—half of which resulted from legally prescribed opioids.

Like any crisis, strategic, timely and effective communication plays a critical role. For decades, public health organizations have long understood medical science and communication are essential to protect the public’s health.

At A. Bright Idea, our passion, not only for cause marketing, but cause communication, runs deep, particularly when it comes to public health education and treatment on drug and alcohol abuse. Our work with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Bel Air Center for Addictions applies the latest scientific knowledge to our communications and outreach. Those federal and private sector clients recognize getting their message out to the public requires both sound public health science and policies, coupled with effective communication strategies. It is essential to communicate scientific information in ways the public can understand and learn from, helping to make changes in their lives or to help loved ones.

When crafting a message, whether that be public service announcements, editorial columns, speeches or fact sheets, you must understand not only the goal of the message, but the audience. What will make this resonate? How will they respond? What do you want them to do next? How can they take that message and share it further? In some cases, that involves using spokespersons with social media influence, or developing information graphics to demonstrate key data points in a highly visual way, or sharing personal testimonials to help the audience form an emotional understanding or connection.

With the death toll rising from the misuse of opioids, the public needs that partnership of treatment experts and communicators more than ever. We’re proud to support great organizations in the fight and help to educate those in need build stronger communities. Helping people find their way is one of the most emotionally rewarding work we can do.

Shawn Nesaw

Advertisers have successfully employed the use of voiceovers to command audiences for decades but getting it right takes research, planning and creativity. In producing a commercial or video collateral for your business, give the voiceover some serious thought before moving forward with the creative execution of your marketing.

Voiceovers provide the perfect opportunity to share messaging while controlling tone and guiding the emotional reception of your campaign. In fact, actual science exists behind why you might want to take your voiceover in a certain direction. For example, Phil McAleer, a psychologist at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, uncovered that we begin forming our impression of a person’s personality from their very first spoken word and that we deem higher pitched voices more trustworthy[1]. This research, along with similar findings, can shape the effectiveness of a voiceover and take your marketing from notable to unforgettable.

To help navigate the voiceover process, we’ve gathered a few tips to keep in mind as you craft the perfect campaign.


  1. Consider your audience and test, test, test!

As with all marketing and advertising, put your audience first. Consider what type of voice would resonate most with your target market and compile a list of appropriate voice artists. Have your talent provide audition reels and test the different assets against one another in a controlled environment. Reflect on what has worked for your competitors and improve on that model. This could mean going in a completely different direction, but testing will ensure your audience relates to whichever voice you decide on.

  1. Keep voice quality in mind and pick a clear emotional direction.
Waveforms show voice amplitude and moments of silence.

Once you’ve picked a voice artist that appeals to your audience, consider the cadence, tone and diction necessary to effectively share your message. A skilled voice artist exhibits control over his or her voice, altering the delivery of copy based on the emotion you want to elicit from your audience. Make sure you’ve chosen a voice artist who not only has a great, natural quality to his or her voice, but that he or she can also convey a message convincingly and authentically to your audience.

  1. Be consistent and think long-term.

A successful advertising campaign relies, in part, on the frequency at which your message reaches your target audience. Establishing retention within a market depends on the repetition of messaging. This applies to voiceovers, too. When picking a voiceover artist, decide on someone who can deliver a variety of messages for the brand. Staying consistent with a voice artist throughout the life of a campaign builds trust and triggers auditory recognition that recalls unique brand characteristics without having to explicitly remind audiences.

  1. Make sure you’ve got a great script.

Even the best voice actors can’t make a weak script deliver results. An effective voiceover depends upon a well-developed script. So, after you’ve written your voiceover copy, read it aloud, paying attention to the rhythm and flow of the delivery. A word or phrase might look great on paper but sound terrible to the ear. Keep your script clear and creative, and whatever your campaign goal may be, make sure your copy speaks to the action or feeling you want to encourage.


Developing effective and interesting voiceover to complement your campaign visuals often proves daunting, but with proper planning and testing, you can root your marketing efforts in strategy. Monitor the success of your campaign and evaluate how your creative assets resonate with larger audiences. There’s always room for further perfecting efforts, so stay open to switching directions.

Tell us about an effective voiceover experience you’ve executed, or better yet send us a link and let us hear it!

[1] http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/05/05/308349318/you-had-me-at-hello-the-science-behind-first-impressions

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Glee Gum. I kid you not; this is real! The makers of Doublemint and Trident developed a peppermint, Chiclet-style gum, to capitalize on the brand success of the widely popular television show, Glee.

Trying to make a connection between gum and a group of teenagers who sing and dance to top 40 songs at school on a daily basis?  Stop looking. The creators of Glee elevated the concept above and beyond the show and created a brand centered on a lifestyle that can be fixed by singing and dancing – what’s not to love? Plus, Glee fans are loyal. They feel connected to the cast, the songs, the drama, and the Glee branded merchandise as well.

The point here – expanding a business, whether service or product based, must start at the foundation with the brand. A strong brand can essentially motivate moods, perceptions and actions because a strong brand maintains trust, confidence and loyalty among its followers.

Of course, it takes a lot to gain that strength and remain strong amongst competitors in an ever-changing consumer environment. A strong brand isn’t just about a nice logo, big building or long history. A brand grows based on the strategic use of communication tactics and how the brand is positioned to the target audience and the emotional connection it generates.

Before jumping into your next initiative or big plan, take a step back and ensure you have a clear brand that won’t be diluted. With a strong and solid foundation, your idea can take off with more force, providing the results you’re looking for.

(By the way, if it were Grey’s Anatomy gum, I would jump on the train. I think the name McDreamy Mint sounds delicious!)