The term 'commercial' embodies a myriad of interpretations depending on the industry it is applied to. In the voiceover industry, it refers to an assortment of elements such as brands, talents, products, services, and much more. But what does the role of voiceover in commercials imply for today's voice actor? The genre of voiceover commercials is an exceptional segment of the entertainment industry. The voiceover industry, in general, is amazing with various influential genres, including video games, narration, telephone on hold, and animation, along with many others. In this context, this article will delve into the aspect of voiceover in commercials, emphasizing the significance of grasping its historical background for voice artists.
Television, an enchanting part of our lives, enables viewers to absorb a huge amount of content. This could be a catchy jingle repeatedly played, or a legendary brand logo such as the metallic Jaguar emblem flaunted on a sleek car hood. The role of voiceover in television spans a rich history, ranging from commercials to cartoons. Earlier, commercials showcased voiceovers as bold, exaggerated character stereotypes. However, the approach today has evolved into something more subdued, the two common phrases are 'conversational' and 'natural'.
The prevalent trend in commercial reads today, referred to by industry experts as 'the conversational read' or the 'natural read', necessitates an authentic and unfeigned approach. Picture a casual conversation between friends, which unfolds naturally and is devoid of hidden intentions. The message leans more towards fostering trust and mutual understanding, rather than promoting a product or service. While the ultimate objective of selling remains the same, the style of approaching this goal has distinctly transformed.
Reflecting on renowned brands and companies that we interact with daily, we witness constant competition for consumers' attention in a market already saturated with options. Every Mcdonald's faces competition from Burger King, Coke battles with Pepsi, and Cadburys competes against Nestle. The list of organizations offering products or services for consumers’ attention is never-ending. The contemporary style of a voiceover commercial delivery centers around building trust. The theory supporting this trend suggests that if consumers can identify with the commercial, it can foster trust, thereby making them more likely to invest in the product or service. This strategy has yielded significant success.
Despite the prevalent changes, the classic voiceover style intermittently surfaces within the industry. This style, characterized by its comedic and unique nature, continues to be iconic. Comedy retains a permanent spot in entertainment, be it on stage, in commercials, or in audiobooks. The primary challenge confronting voice actors today lies in delivering an authentic read. Voiceover artists are generally trained to perform a believable character that deviates from their persona. However, in the current scenario, they are required to provide an authentic performance employing a natural conversational style. Artists grappling with this shift should seek coaching from professional coaches specializing in commercial voiceovers. The voiceover industry is continuously evolving with new trends and styles, thus, ongoing training is a vital aspect of an artist's career.
Voiceover Commercials by Alan Shires