Voice Acting

Commercial Voice Over: Communicating in a Commercial

David Ciccarelli | January 23, 2019

A group of directors filming an advertisement

When it comes to voice over in commercials, it pays to think beyond the traditional mediums of radio and television. The growing popularity of commercials on YouTube, podcasts and other online streaming services, provide plenty of options for commercial work.

Commercial Voice Over Jobs

In this article

  1. Commercial Voice Over Jobs
  2. Commercial Voice Over Talent
  3. Here are 3 considerations for casting commercial voice over talent
  4. 1.Soft Sell
  5. Voice Over For Your Commercial Takeaway Tips

The main job of the commercial voice over professional is to promote a particular product or service. This promotion may involve narration or voice acting, depending on the type of commercial the voice over artist is recording. These commercials may be broadcast on the radio, on television, in podcasts, over the Internet or through smartphone applications.

Additionally, commercial voice over jobs are applicable to nearly any industry. They are most popular among businesses based in industries such as retail, hospitality and entertainment, but are often found in other sectors as well.

When casting a voice actor for a commercial job, there are many factors you need to consider to ensure the end product will produce your intended effect. You will need to make sure that you have crafted a great script that will properly direct and support the voice actor’s skill and really hit on all of your key points. If you get stuck on how the script should be written, you can take a look at a few sample scripts to get you all set up for scripting success.

Commercial Voice Over Talent

Given the sheer range of applications for commercial voice overs, it is an absolute necessity for voice artists to possess great versatility. They may be asked to perform humorous sketches or speak in an authoritative tone. Either way, such jobs must be undertaken in both a professional and creative manner.

Here are 3 considerations for casting commercial voice over talent

  1. The demographics of your audience: This will affect how you categorize ‘the ideal commercial voice over artist.’ The sound you select may also vary greatly depending on the industry and the type of commercial being recorded. Many advertisers choose an accent, gender or age group based on your commercial’s specific offering – and who it appeals to.
  2. Vocal characteristics of the voice actor: It is important to choose a voice that sounds like the audience you are targeting, as generally, people like to gather information from a voice that sounds like it could be a peer (learn more about how sounding like a peer influences casting in the 2018 Trends Report). This means making sure the gender and voice age match that of your end users. Along with age and gender you will also want to think about the region or area where the commercial will be viewed. You might consider using a local accent for places where distinct accents can be heard.
  3. Their voice stands out: When choosing a voice actor for your commercial, be sure to listen to many demos and decide what voice is best suited for your commercial. Explore some of the amazing voice talent and listen to their demos to find the perfect voice for your job.

One other consideration that can help guide the style of voice you choose, is the type of sell in your commercial script. There are two different selling approaches you can take.

1.Soft Sell

For instance, a soft sell is categorized as persuasive and friendly. So, if your commercial is trying to convey this tone, you may opt for a voice over style that feels familiar to the target audience, and not too pushy – maybe like the girl or guy next door.

The art of the soft sell, also sometimes means infusing humor into your script. Humor is used to get the consumer’s attention without being too direct in the sales pitch.

Example of a soft sell: Amazon’s Echo

The commercial tells a story that captivates the viewers. It is relatable and fun to watch with a few funny parts. You can also hear that a feature of a product is repeated often which is the characters saying ‘Alexa.’ This gets the details of the product in a consumer’s mind without pushing too much on trying to make the sale.

However, if you’re opting for a hard sell, which is more aggressive and plays upon limited-time offers, you may find that an attention-grabbing announcer voice is a more powerful choice.

Hard sells are designed to get a consumer to purchase your product or service right away.

Example of a hard sell:

Hard sells tend to be more aggressive in nature and more serious as the products are not something that consumers need on a daily basis – they are items that consumers want or desire. Because luxury or high end items tend to be harder to sell, a hard sell approach is often more appropriate.

Voice Over For Your Commercial Takeaway Tips

The type of voice over you choose for your commercial largely depends on what messaging you have included in your script, and the end goal of your advertisement. If you are going for a hard sell, then you will want to create a script that is a bit more aggressive in nature and find a voice over artist with a deeper register and an announcer style voice. If the soft sell is more your style, then a pleasant and friendly voice will do the trick.

Most importantly, have fun with the creation of your commercial. What are some of your favorite commercials? Tell us in the comments! 

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  • Avatar for Matt Farage
    Matt Farage
    September 10, 2018, 9:16 pm

    Searching for voice over work doing commercials. Animated work is welcomed. Contact me as MichiganMatt on Facebook. Thanks

    • Avatar for Tanya
      September 11, 2018, 7:55 am

      If you’re looking for voice over work, you’ve come to the right place! Why not open a free account with Voices.com instead of operating through your Facebook? Remember: Without an account, you can’t gain access to – or be found by – the literally thousands of clients who post jobs each month 😉 Best of luck in all your voice over endeavours!

  • Avatar for Olawa Gibson
    Olawa Gibson
    November 2, 2019, 5:17 pm

    My favorite commercial is the old Dr. Pepper one. Funky tune!