You may not have heard of PRAM, although if you have ever flown in a commercial jet, you will have definitely heard some examples of voice overs for PRAM.

It stands for Pre-Recorded Announcements and Music, and it’s the term most often used for the safety information you hear on passenger aircraft.

Once you have settled into your seat, the airline has an obligation to make sure that you and the rest of the passengers are well informed about safety issues.

You may hear cabin crew give some of this information over loudspeakers.

On modern planes on international flights you will more likely watch a video on the seatback screen in front of you, and listen to the audio on your headphones.

While it’s important to get the safety messages across, airlines know that it’s as important to keep you relaxed as well as engaged.

This can be quite a balancing act, but professional voice artists have the skills to ensure that you know where to find your life vest and that you know to take care of your own oxygen before your children’s.

And they do all this in a calm and reassuring manner.

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That used to be enough, but with so many frequent flyers now ignoring essential safety presentations, airlines have had to become much more creative with their offerings to grab the audience’s attention.

In this highly entertaining video, Virgin Atlantic uses a passenger’s own indifference as a plot device.

So when he drifts off to sleep, his dreams explore different film genres which work as the backdrop for the safety message.

So, the oxygen masks are deployed during a car chase sequence and cigarettes are extinguished on a train in a film noir clip.

And as each scene changes, the voice over changes too, taking in camp 60’s Batman style, clipped pre-war English upper-class and more.

The visuals are a delight, but it’s the excellent voice acting that ties everything together.

 

Air New Zealand took this concept of ‘inflight infotainment’ one step further by tying in the release of the final film in the Hobbit trilogy with their safety video.

 

It works as a great advert for the airline and in-flight safety, for the country of New Zealand, and for the film, which is probably some kind of record for multitasking!

Although it doesn’t feature a voice-over, it’s worth including here as a great example of the power of a concept for solving the problem of engaging the passengers’ attention.

 

  • Quote

    Sunday Sky have been working with Voice Crafters since 2010. During all these years we have been getting the best service you can expect from a vendor. Our voice over requirements are more challenging than the average client, and voice crafters always rises to the occasion, in a professional, pleasant, organized manner. And you get all of this for a very fair price!
    – Anat Kutner, Sunday Sky

    Sunday Sky have been working with Voice Crafters since 2010. During all these years we have been getting the best service you can expect from a vendor. Our voice over requirements are more challenging than the average client, and voice crafters always rises to the occasion, in a professional, pleasant, organized manner. And you get all of this for a very fair price!
    – Anat Kutner, Sunday Sky
  • Quote

    We’ve been working with Voice Crafters since 2012 on various IVR, commercial and corporate projects. They have a huge database with excellent voice artists, are very professional and at fair rates. We are happy to know them and look forward to the next 5 years!
    – Andreas Seidler, MT.Recordings

    We’ve been working with Voice Crafters since 2012 on various IVR, commercial and corporate projects. They have a huge database with excellent voice artists, are very professional and at fair rates. We are happy to know them and look forward to the next 5 years!
    – Andreas Seidler, MT.Recordings
  • Quote

    My team works with Voice Crafters on an on-going basis and it’s always a no-brainer experience! Professional. Fast. Flexible. Creative. Customer Centric. Good Value for money. What more can one ask for?!
    – Audelia Boker, NICE

    My team works with Voice Crafters on an on-going basis and it’s always a no-brainer experience! Professional. Fast. Flexible. Creative. Customer Centric. Good Value for money. What more can one ask for?!
    – Audelia Boker, NICE

Another notable example that does use a voice-over to great effect is this one from Icelandair.

 

The narrator’s relaxing native tones are as soothing as they are authentic.

You almost want him to read you some epic poetry or regale you with an Icelandic saga, but the script alone feels satisfying, because it’s really well done.

Once again, the actions of the traveler are used to illustrate the safety requirements.

It’s engaging because she begins her journey in the film as a fellow passenger who is then seen exploring Iceland itself.

Kayaking, seeing the Northern Lights, hiking through the beautiful landscape, and jumping off a waterfall into some presumably very cold water.

The safety messages coincide with her activities, combining to create something that encourages travelers to pay attention to the information that they need, whilst simultaneously relaxing them.

Just as Air New Zealand did, Icelandair has taken something that could have been mundane and transformed it into an advert for the beautiful country it serves and for its own brand.

Even without the great concept, the voice they’ve chosen would still be a delight to listen to, but the impact of the presentation would have been lessened.

This is why it’s so important to consider how all the elements of the project will come together.

Listen to PRAM voice over samples

Done for Israir Logo

American English PRAM prompt example, recorded by Pamela A.

Done for Israir Logo

Castilian Spanish PRAM prompt example, recorded by Megui C.

Done for Israir Logo

Dutch PRAM prompt example, recorded by Meina K.

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