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Alice in Adland


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   Chicago Creativity

Visiting Adland

Voiceover Harlan Hogan creates his own 'Adventures"
By Carl Kozlowski

Current Printable Version

Advertising has always been a target for satire, especially In audio. Undaunted by the still-relevant satire of the legendary Stan Freberg, voice actor Harlan Hogan has written and produced his own parody,

Hogan's offering, "Alice's Adventures in Adland," appears on his demo CD. "I wondered what would make me listen to a voice CD," said Hogan. "I thought maybe if I gave the listeners some entertainment it would get me some airtime."

'The 15 minute spoof stars Marie Burke, who makes her living largely in juvenile roles. Hogan, who narrates, imagined a junior high-aged Alice dreaming about the joys of advertising after listening to a career day presentation delivered by "Paula Prang" (Linda Kimbrough), the Creative Director at Wheedle. Wheedle, Jabbershlock and Prang Advertising.

Alice eventually masters the dreaded automated "Phone Attendant" (Fern Parsons) and encounters two not-too-bright creatives (Margaret Travolta and Al Mitchell), and then the twin Account Executives: "Wheedle Dee" and "Wheedle Dum" (played by Chris Harlan and Mike Matheson).

After foiling the advances of her cigar-chomping client (Chelice Ross). Alice takes a meeting with a reptilian film rep (Joe Gulzado) , as director "Mr. Spike" (Tab Baker) teachers her in song how advertising really works in Hollywood. Once paintbox artist: "Cheshire Mac" (Pam Hoffman) saves Spike's botched footage, Alice steps up to receive an award from the Ronnie Awards M.C. (Ron Rolland).

Thus was Hogan's first experience on the other side of the glass as a producer. "I've always heard that producing good voice work is 99 percent casting," said Hogan, and now I believe it. He wrapped the session in less than two hours with a stellar cast of Chicago's finest.

Hogan wrote the script in two weeks, based on an idea he employed three years ago for a promotional calendar. Calendars may stay on someone's wall or desk for a year, but aren't likely to provoke the invitation he received to perform the parody live at a Detroit ad gathering.

O'Donnell/Salvatori scored the original music; Rich Hawksworth engineered and designed the sound at Broadview Media.

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