When the editor of this publication asked me to do my next column on voice overs, It was “music to my ears.” As a long-time producer of commercials, ad agency owner and Hall of Fame broadcaster, this subject was one I have lived for the past 40 years of my professional life.
First a little background. I grew up in Southern California and at the early age of 10, I would listen to the many great disc jockeys and sports announcers in the Los Angeles market: Humble Harv, the Reel Don Steel, Robert W. Morgan, Charlie Tuna, the legendary Vince Scully, and many other greats. Today, 50 years later, I can still hear the sound of each of those great voices in my head. Which brings me to my point: How important is it to have a great voice for your commercial? Well, if I can remember a voice from 50 years ago, I guess you already know how important it is.
The voice of your commercial is often the single most important aspect of your spot. And if you are just doing radio, that voice is even more important; it is the audio face of your dealership. My agency matches voices with not only the product and demographic, but even the unique market. You want your commercial to appeal to the customers you are attempting to reach. You also want that announcer’s voice to portray the image you want. That voice becomes as important as your logo, storefront, and brand identification.
Let me ask you this question, how much time did you spend selecting the voice for your last commercial? If you are like most advertisers, you accepted the voice as part of the overall commercial. You probably went with a familiar voice in your community, a voice that most likely does voice over’s for other competitive products. My first rules in selecting a voice announcer—go out of town to find your voice-over talent! Today, with the internet, you can choose from literally thousands and thousands of voices, which have never been heard in your market. If your ad agency is not spending time to find the right voice for you, just go online and do a Google search for voice overs and you can begin shopping.
Voices can cost you anywhere from 25 dollars up to over 1,000 dollars. As with anything in life, you get what you pay for. If you are changing your commercials often, you need to find a voice that is on the lower side of that spectrum. If you plan to run a commercial for a long time, however, you should be willing to make an investment in the quality of that commercial.
Keep in mind, once you select a voice for your commercial, plan to keep that announcer over an extended period. Changing will defeat the purpose of maintaining consistency. Male or female is always a question that people ask. I don’t feel it matters. If you like an announcer, go with that announcer period. But, make no mistake about it, the announcer you use will make or break your campaign.
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