In an imaginative podcast project, iHeartRadio on Friday released 49 commencement speeches recorded by celebrities from Bill & Melina Gates to Eli Manning to Aaron Mahnke. (HERE they are.) Most of the recordings are 7-15 minutes long. (DJ Khaled contributed a two-minute address.)
The template for each of these includes a preroll (U.S. Census ad encouraging college students to participate), an introduction to the speakers, and music/Fx layered in to provide ceremonial ambience. Some of that ambience pushes a bit into artificiality, but mainly it provides agreeable cushioning:
Per iHeart’s cross-promotional style, excerpts of the speeches ran across the company’s 850 radio stations over the weekend. The entire network participated on Sunday night with 30-minute or 6o-minute specials.
The notable personalities iHeart is promoting include Hillary Clinton, John Legend, Katie Couric, Kesha, and Melinda Gates.