Professional Commercial Voice-Over Artist Debbie Grattan offers her thoughts on the advantages of hiring a Pro Commercial Voice-Over Talent versus someone who is newer to the voice-over business.
Being a full-time commercial voice-over artist, I always have my ear tuned to commercials. Whether it’s on tv or radio, I find it amusing how just as many listeners are taking their attention away from the program (as it goes to commercial break), I am unconsciously tuning in.
Living in a relatively small media market in the Midwest, I see and hear a wide range of quality in the radio and tv commercial spots. Occasionally, I say to myself (or my husband if he’s in earshot), “What were they thinking? Who approved that read?!”
Perhaps I’m overly sensitive because I grew up in the monstrous market of Southern California, where nearly every single spot (in prime time anyway) is extremely well crafted. And where radio commercials are perhaps even more important than television commercials in attracting listeners and customers, since capturing the ear of all of those drivers on the freeway is essential. I find that a good commercial voice-over track and script can make up for a lot of subpar stuff that may be happening elsewhere in the spot.
So, choosing a quality commercial voice-over talent and making sure you have a well-written script are of paramount importance when you’re trying to make that strong, positive impression on your audience. This holds true for both radio and television commercials when choosing which pro voice talent to hire.
As I’ve mentioned in other commercial voice-over business articles, there are a whole lot of voice talent newbies out there who have jumped into this business thinking they’ve got what it takes to do this for a living. What they usually fail to realize is the subtlety and nuance involved in reads, and how one little change in inflection can completely change the meaning that is conveyed to the audience.
I find that without some solid acting training and script interpretation skills, it’s very difficult to have the foundation to be able to provide the array of vocal options that clients often want to hear, so they can choose the best take. Most of the time, that foundation comes only after years of experience.
If you’re going to the cost and effort of producing a tv or radio commercial, I strongly suggest you don’t cut corners in the voice talent selection part of the process. The voice talent can make or break the success of your advertising spot.
I know not everyone realizes this. Some people are very visual, others are kinesthetic and still others are auditory. It’s essential to cover all three bases (and look/listen) to your spot from all combined perspectives, to make sure you are sending the desired message on all channels
Debbie Grattan is a professional commercial voice-over artist who has been in the voiceover business for more than 20 years. She’s been the “go to” artist for many production companies and recording studios across the US. Check out her commercial voice-over demos, and request a commercial voice-over audition to hear what kind of quality Debbie can deliver.