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The Future of Commercial Voiceover

By Alan Shires. Published Aug 25, 2023.
Filed Under: Commercials

Voiceover work has always been a dynamic industry, with trends coming and going and technology always pushing boundaries. As voice actors, staying in tune with these shifts ensures not only our relevance but also our versatility in an ever-changing landscape. So, what does the future hold for commercial voiceover? Let's dive into the looming questions of AI's role, emerging trends, and what might be left behind in the annals of voiceover history. The future of commercial voiceover certainly lies ahead.

The Controversy: Will AI Take Commercial Voiceovers?

It's the question on many a voice actor's lips: Will AI render us obsolete? With advancements in synthetic voices and technologies like deepfakes, it's a valid concern. Major companies are already dabbling in AI-driven voices for certain applications, from customer service to narration.

However, there's a nuance here. While AI can replicate human voice patterns, there's an intrinsic human element, an emotional depth, that remains challenging for AI to perfectly capture. Voice acting isn't just about sounding human; it's about being human. The subtle inflections, genuine emotion, and authentic connection to a script—these are qualities that are uniquely human.

That said, AI will undoubtedly find its place in the industry, especially for large-scale, repetitive projects where individuality isn't paramount. But for commercials aiming to resonate, evoke emotion, and truly connect with an audience? Human voice actors will continue to be in demand.

Emerging Trends in Commercial Voiceover

As the world changes, so do the preferences and expectations of audiences. Here are a few trends we can anticipate:

  1. Localization and Diversity: Globalization has made the world smaller, but it has also emphasized the importance of localization. Brands are increasingly looking for voice actors who can cater to local dialects, languages, and cultural nuances. Additionally, there's a push for more diverse voices representing various ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds.

  2. Authenticity Remains King: As we discussed in the previous article, the conversational and natural read technique isn't going anywhere soon. If anything, it's becoming even more paramount. Audiences are savvy. They know when they're being sold to, and they appreciate genuine connection more than ever.

  3. Interactive Voiceovers: With the rise of interactive media, like video games and AR/VR experiences, there's a growing demand for voice actors skilled in these arenas. Commercials might not just be a one-way street anymore. Imagine interactive commercials where the audience can choose outcomes, and voice actors will need to deliver on multiple scenarios.

Commercial Voiceover Trends We Might Wave Goodbye To

Change is the only constant, and as we welcome new trends, we'll inevitably say goodbye to others. A couple of potential farewells include:

  1. The Overly Produced Voice: Remember the days of the over-the-top announcer voice that seemed to boom from the heavens? While it's already been on the decline, expect this style to become even more niche or disappear altogether in favor of more genuine tones.

  2. Stereotyped Voices: Thankfully, we're seeing a decline in voices that lean on cultural or gender stereotypes. As the world becomes more inclusive, voiceover work that perpetuates outdated clichés will become less and less popular.

Embracing the Future of Commercial Voiceover With Open Ears

While the future of commercial voiceover is ripe with change, one constant remains the need for connection. Whether it's connecting with a script, a brand's message, or directly with the audience, this core principle will always be at the heart of what we do.

AI will play its part, no doubt reshaping certain aspects of the industry. But it's essential to remember that technology is a tool, not a replacement. There's a magic in the human voice, a raw, emotional pull that's irreplaceable. As voice actors, our job will be to harness that magic, adapt to the evolving landscape, and continue telling stories that resonate.

In conclusion, the future of commercial voiceover is exciting and vast. Stay curious, stay versatile, and most importantly, stay authentically you.

The Future of Commercial Voiceover by Alan Shires

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