Jack Streitmarter and some of his co-workers at Cincinnati's Sound Images took a look at the Web a few years ago and realized something deeply disturbing -- it was boring. It was the digital equivalent of black-and-white TV -- it got the message across, but there was so much more that was possible. What it needed, they decided, was more noise. That's when the idea of Screaming Bob was born. The idea was to make the digital experience richer and more entertaining by adding high-quality voice and sound. As the voiceover on their site deadpans: "Great pictures with great sound. Wow. What a concept."
But seven years ago, the world wasn't really ready for Bob. The technology needed to make it work right just hadn't spread to most of the world's PCs yet. So Bob sat on a shelf for a few years, biding his time, which came a couple years ago, when the technology had advanced into most desktops. Now, Streitmarter and three other full-timers are preaching -- or screaming -- the gospel of Dynamic Delivery: It's not just what you say, it's how you say it. "You've got to knock people's socks off," Streitmarter says.
Just in the last year, Bob has delivered voice, images and sound for the Web sites of some major consumer brands: Cheer, Pepto-Bismol, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Evenflo and Sprint. They expect only growth as more consumer brands explore the possibilities of digital media. They've also delved into the e-learning arena, livening up digital corporate training products. Their own Web site delivers, as prospective customers can check out the "Quot-o-Meter" to get a basic idea of what you can get and for how much, and also sample the voice talent.
Writer: David Holthaus
Images provided by Screaming Bob