Your commercial, whether it be for television, radio, or web based, needs to be a true representation of your brand. Whilst it’s primary function will be to get people interested in your products or services, it’s important to remember one very important thing about the sales process.
Whilst people do like to buy things, most of us really don’t want to be sold anything.
If you’re not sure that’s true, think about the last time you were browsing in a shop (you remember shops, they were buildings with stuff in that you could buy rather than ordering it on line and having it delivered). What was your first feeling when the sales person came over and asked if you needed help? Resistance? Irritation? You’re not alone – being sold to is an invasion of our thought process, and we just don’t like it.
The right Commercial Voice-Over Doesn’t ‘sell’
But how does all of this relate to the role of the voice over? Well in its simplest terms, it’s important that the voice in your advertisement does not sound like a salesman. Granted, there are exceptions to this rule and in the UK there is a double glazing company who employ some guy to shout at you from the television. It’s incredibly annoying, but research has shown that annoying adverts can be truly effective – you may hate their ads, but you’ll remember their name when you need their service.
However, purpose built irritating adverts are the exception. These days, advertisers are looking for a voice artist who doesn’t sound too much like an announcer. Indeed, we’ll often receive scripts where the director’s notes will say something along the lines of “not an announcer”.
So what direction is the voice over looking for? What can he or she use to mould the way in which the script is read? Well the first place to look is what the product actually is. If, for example, the advert is for an insurance company, then the voice should feel reassuring and comforting. Conversely, if it’s for a new children’s toy then the voice over artist needs to be exciting, but never patronising.
Does the Voice-over fit the market?
It might sound obvious, but the fact is that the casting for a commercial can be a very lengthy process before the voice is found that just ‘fits’. Whilst it’s good for a voice over to be thought of as versatile, eventually, that voice will carve out a niche in the marketplace. There will be voiceovers who regularly get asked to read for insurance companies, baby products, amusement parks – the list really is endless.
Of course, once that niche is carved out, there is another issue, and that is one of competition. If the voice over is signed as the voice of one particular car manufacturer, then they can’t very well be the voice of a rival firm, and that’s one main reason why advertisers are constantly looking for the next voice of their biggest clients.
If you’d like to hear how your script would sound with my voice, then please email it to me for a free, no obligation audition. Or If you’d prefer to discuss things first, just give me a call.