08 Mar

How Distinctive Is Your Brand Voice?

So your creative team has carefully crafted a brilliant radio advertising campaign for your brand. Everyone agrees it’s a great concept and you can’t wait to hear the final series of commercials. All that’s left to do is cast the voice artist. And that’s a quick and easy job, right? After all, there are hundreds of voice artists available, who could fit the project.

However, it’s something of a bugbear in the industry when the same voices artists are used again and again on radio campaigns, largely chosen on availability rather than best fit. And potentially, this is very damaging to the brand that is advertising. Let’s start with an example: we recently heard a radio commercial on air for a major holiday company. The concept worked, the scripts were okay… but the voice artist on the creative, had also just been used on another large advertising campaign. And that one, was advertising how to claim compensation if you’ve been ill when on holiday.

Whilst this was a very specific case of using “the wrong voice for the job”, it does highlight an issue. It’s not good enough to cast someone simply because they are readily available, or have worked previously for you. The importance of using the right voice for your brand cannot be over-emphasized. Why? Because they are exactly that – your brand voice. And if you want your brand to stand out from the crowd and cut through on air, and be distinctive against other campaigns, then the voice has to do the same. It might be the best script ever written, but if the voice artists is on numerous other campaigns live on radio at the same time as yours, it just becomes audio wallpaper. People stop noticing it.

The frustrating thing is that it is relatively easy to find not only the right voice for your brand, but also one that isn’t on any other radio campaign. There are hundreds if not thousands of actors out there. Most won’t be right for your campaign. But a few will, and will be great for you. It’s just a case of taking the time to search for the right one.

When casting a voiceover, there are a number of important questions to ask: Is this the right voice for your brand, and how does it sit with your overarching audio brand, or customer demographics? Does this voice accurately represent your brand values? Does this voice differ enough from voiceovers on other campaigns currently? Is this voice on any other current campaign and if so, what are they advertising?

Then think about the tone of voice. A kids soft play company will probably need a bubbly, fun, excited, playful voice. An injury lawyer will need the other end of the spectrum – professional, serious, genuine.

Think about age – the kids soft play ad will probably work better with a younger VO whilst the lawyers would need a more mature sound to build authority and trust.

Think about accents. Where are you based? Are you appealing to a local market? Are you in a sector (such as finance) where local accents have proven to be more effective? In which case, use a voice with a local accent.

We could go on!

The point is that casting the right voice for your radio campaign, one that is not heard on a hundred and one other commercials, can make the difference between a really effective radio advertising campaign and just another radio commercial.

If you’d like to discuss this further, do get in touch.  

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