Dan - Daniel Eduardo - Hurst [danhurst]
What is your specialty: creativity, contact, or research?
Voiceovers in English or Spanish for Commercials, training, sales, websites, PowerPoint presentations, telephony, etc.
Dan Hurst (Daniel Eduardo), one of America's most experienced and versatile bilingual Voice Talents. Whether you need a Spanish Voiceover or an English Voiceover, you'll be equally at ease with Dan's work!
He was raised in Honduras, the son of missionary parents. He grew up speaking Spanish AND English equally. That's one of the things that makes his talent so unique. He's fluent and natural in both languages. A rare combination!
Dan has extensive experience in bilingual voiceovers, including such international clients as Ford, Sprint, Wal-Mart, Hallmark, Macromedia, and Butler Manufacturing.
Please list some brand names or clients that you have worked for.
Kansas City Royals Baseball
Missouri Dept. of Tourism
Black & Veatch Engineering
Elite Language Productions
Nazarene Publishing House
Have you got a blog or web page?
Dan's website and blog can be found at: www.DanHurst.com
What do your clients value more, strategy, creativity, design, or return of investment?
Wow! Great question for a Voice Talent!
A great Voice Talent is an actor. There are a lot of Voice Talents in the business that are just doing this because they've got a nice voice and can get a little work part-time, and that's enough for them. But the successful Voice Talents understand that every project is different and requires different skills and deliveries, and it's not a matter of getting through it as soon as possible so you can get on to the next project.
Along with that a Voice Talent must be easy to direct and coach. He/She must be patient and easy to work with. And above all, the Voice Talent must be professional in all his/her work.
So, what do clients value more in a Voice Talent? A talent that understands they are part of a process to accomplish a specific purpose, and then works very hard to deliver the product the client is expecting.
The word 'creativity' is much-used in advertising, yet most commercials are annoying, why is that?
Oh, there are many reasons, but one of the main things I've noticed is that the people that get annoyed with a commercial are probably not the the people that have been targeted. When one is "time-captured" by an audio/video spot, if that spot doesn't speak to a felt need, it's useless and annoying. It's one of the risks of advertising!
Creativity enhances and challenges another person's creativity. Communication simply elicits a response. In many cases, advertising simply communicates a message, but fails to stimulate the recipient's own creativity.
It's pretty much the difference between a lecture and inspiration.
Can a bad advertising campaign sell well?
Not as well as a good advertising campaign!
Which advertising agencies and directors seem the best to you at this moment?
I like the ones that have jobs for me!
How do you respond to the classic quote, "I love the idea, but right now's not the time"?
I've heard that a few times. I think I've probably said it a few times.
My response is "Why is it not the right time?" Not to challenge the statement, but rather to dig in to discover the obstacles and bridges that need to be maneuvered to reach agreement.
The creative process is usually more work than the production process. Creativity requires the willingness to be frustrated and challenged and even thwarted along the stepping stones of success.
What brings you the most satisfaction: when your advert pleases your boss, your client, your friends, or your mother?
HA! Definitely the client!
But I have found that generally my clients are happy when the project pleases and influences others that they are trying to reach.
Years ago I voiced an infomercial for MagnaDuster - a home cleaning device. A few weeks after the ad broke I was visiting my parents in another state. I saw a MagnaDuster in Mom's kitchen. I asked her where she got it. She told me she had bought it off of TV and she loved it. She had no clue I was the voice!
My point is that a successful project is the combination of everything involved in it. No one thing causes the success. It's the synergy of the process that makes it work. That, to me, is the most satisfying to watch.
How do you see the transition between traditional advertising and online advertising?
Well, we're discovering new methodologies all the time. Interestingly, one of the things we're finding out is that consumers today are very defensive of their time. That's one reason why radio and tv advertising is so challenging right now. Regardless of how radio and tv execs try to convince advertisers, consumers check-out of the incredibly long spot sets that they are being barraged with. They might keep the radio and the tv on during those sets, but they are not in a receiving mode. And it doesn't matter if you hit them with 8 :60 spots or 32 :15 spots in a row, you've lost the consumer's attention.
Online advertising, on the other hand, is discovering that consumers are very tunnel-visioned and skeptical of online advertising. I mean, let's face it, when was the last time you clicked through an online ad as a consumer?
So, the transition between traditional and online is going to be won by advertisers that really do understand the negative challenges that consumers throw their way.
Are people in advertising paid too much?
Is advertising merely spam?
Spam is not advertising.
Spam is bullying.
I'm surprised the advertising community hasn't come together to combat spam. Spam has caused a negative attitude toward advertising. It's a cancer that has greatly affected legitimate advertising. You'd think with all the creativity in the advertising community, they could come up with a plan to separate themselves from this deadly infection.
Have you ever felt cheated by adverts?
"Shipping and Handling" is a crock. So are "Doc" fees when buying a car. They're almost like "hidden fees."
I'm a consumer. That doesn't get by me.
What is your favourite thing about working in advertising and what is your least favourite?
Both answers are directly related.
As a Voice Talent, I LOVE working for people who really know what they want. I don't care if they are temperamental and curt, if they know what they want and can convey it to me, I'm a happy boy. On the other hand, clients that don't know what they want, and pretend that they do, drive me nuts.
I don't mind experimenting and trying different styles and deliveries. That's part of my job. But when a producer wants a line done 20 or 30 different times, and then picks one of the first 3...that tells me somebody didn't come prepared to the session.
Do advertising festivals help to improve the industry, or are they only ways for the elite to pay homage to themselves?
Oooooh! Now you're getting things stirred up!!!
The answer to that question is: Yes!
When you select an intern to work, what quality do you deem the most valuable?
A passion to learn.
I always ask an intern, "What do you want to learn?" That really weeds out a lot clueless people.
I love teaching what I do. There's something very special about being a part of someone's success. So when I select an intern I'm very careful that they be as excited about learning as I am about teaching.
Does the public buy the product or the product image?
Realistically, they buy the product. The product image merely enhances the experience for them.
For example, Carhartt Clothing really seems to understand this principle. Their advertising focuses on the quality of the product. You don't see them developing celebrity campaigns or defining fashion. It's all about the product. And that strategy has been huge for them!
Has your experience in qualitative research served in helping you discover new pathways or, more often than not, to kill good ideas?
Absolutely it has helped discover new pathways. Especially when the research is untainted. And I don't think it has killed "good" ideas. It has, on the other hand, killed some ideas that had run their course and were no longer as useful or effective as they once had been.
As a small business, we have to constantly define and redefine ourselves and our work to be as effective and efficient as possible. Sometimes what worked a year ago has to be shelved.
The same thing is true in advertising. As the consumer base changes, you can bet you're going to have to let go of some good ideas and discover new ones.
Dan - Daniel Eduardo - Hurst
Kansas City - USA