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Of course, some company ads don’t need to rely on one voice, but they will often rely on the same approach.
So even though the actor may change, the delivery is consistent.
Just think of New Year sales events at furniture retailers.
They way they tend to sound urgent, time-limited, high pressure and punchy, with “must end soon” enthusiasm and a rapid-fire delivery.
Now think of Luxury chocolatiers, who usually call for a voice that’s wrapped in velvet, all the better to convey the idea of decadence and an indulgent treat.
It’s not all about the product though.
To sell the product, a voice should always be speaking with the audience in mind.
The audience for your product or service needs to hear your message from a voice that speaks to them, not just at them, so age, gender, and accent all figure in choosing your voice actor.
And then of course, there is language.
If your product or service is sold in different territories, there is still a world of talent to choose from.
Skilled voice professionals on every continent are ready to translate not just words but local nuances as well, to influence the target audience of whatever country they hail from.
Getting the Tone Right
There are so many ways to set the tone for commercials that voice-overs artists need to be versatile performers.
They could be asked to become wacky characters for a children’s snack one day and someone with calm authority for a life insurance commercial the next.
A person’s voice and the way that they speak is one of the first things that we notice about people.
Earnest or light-hearted, warm or distant, we all make snap judgements about people based on what we hear coming out of their mouths.
It is the same for brands too, so brand voices have a lot of responsibility to carry, and it is important to get them right.
For the voice over artist to get the tone right, you have to know what the tone for your company should sound like.
When you are defining it, the place to start is with your brand guidelines, which will have set the tone for all your print and online advertising.
If you don’t have brand guidelines yet, think about your brand’s ‘personality’. Should it be humorous and light-hearted, trustworthy, and strong?
Whatever identity you choose for your brand, that will be the starting point that decides how you communicate with the audience.
You need to think about the way that your commercial is delivered and what style will best suit your message.
Here are the three most common approaches that voice over artists are asked to deliver:
1. Hard Sell
a forceful delivery that bombards the listener with as much information as possible in the time available.
Car dealerships are the businesses most often associated with this type of commercial.
However, a voice over that is enthusiastic and energetic, coupled with copy that projects a sense of urgency would typically qualify as well.
2. Soft Sell
This one is not forceful and is usually more conversational. The voice is reasonable and relaxed rather than bludgeoning.
Many times soft-sell ads lend themselves well to perfumes or luxury products. That being said, an ad that isn’t urging you to buy now, but rather sparks your imagination, makes you fantasize or gets you mildly excited about something, could be considered soft-sell.
Sometimes you don’t even need a professional voice artist to make an impact. A conversational, at-eye-level testimonial from a person using your product or service could be all the advertisement you need. This type of commercial will appeal to an audience that seeks a “real” consumer as opposed to a model or actor.
Ask the Audience
Naturally you will be aiming to get your commercials right first time, and maybe they will work, maybe they won’t.
Either way, you will now have brand messaging material that you can test on your audience.
Ask them to take surveys (which you will of course incentivize with a prize draw to encourage them!) and use their feedback to guide your next efforts.
Your audience are the ones who you are trying to influence, and their opinions can help you to find what really resonates with them.
But even if you do get a good response to the commercials that you produce, the nature of modern marketing and advertising means that you can’t just leave it at that.
You will no doubt have noticed that even big brands produce new campaigns with new themes on a regular basis.
Constant testing and tweaking in response to customer feedback produces new angles for them to try with their communications, because they know that they can always improve sales. It never ends!
Watch commercial video voice over samples
American English Commercial voice over for Cabela's
The experienced and raspy voice over for this Cabela’s commercial was recorded by the talented David B.
David is a professional voice actor with over 20 years of Radio/TV work under his belt.
He has voiced for names the like of Ford, HP, E-Trade, Metlife, USA Hockey, Zurich Insurance and many, many others.
Visit David’s voice over profile here.
American English commercial voice over for Wienerschnitzel
The appetizing voice over for this ad was recorded by American voice actor Luke T.
Luke’s trustworthy, relatable and friendly voice is a perfect match for this commercial.
Visit Luke’s voice over profile right here.
British English voice over for Eilat - vacation ad
The voice over for this cool travel ad was recorded by the talented Sarah S.
Sarah is a professional British female Voiceover artist with over 10 years experience in the industry.
She possess a current, relatable, on-trend voice, that is bright, clear, informative and engaging.
Sarah specializes in ‘conversational’ and Commercial voiceovers, for projects that require both a personal and sales driven approach.
Visit Sarah’s voice over profile here.