A great voice over is just as important to a commercial’s success as the actual content of the ad itself. It’s easy to pinpoint a bad commercial voice over when you hear one — the infamously awful infomercials on late-night television might come to mind.
So what sets the great commercial voice overs apart from the bad? There are 3 rules to follow in order to create great commercial voice overs:
1) Capture the Audience
A commercial has one main goal: to convince the consumer to purchase a product or service. In order to accomplish this, the first step is simply to make sure people watch the commercial. An engaging commercial voice over can be key here, while a voice over that is grating on the ear can immediately inspire audiences to change the channel.
For this reason, a good commercial voice over can be essential in successfully capturing an audience’s attention. Like a good professional voice over prompt, this requires speaking clearly in a confident manner and using an engaging tone that doesn’t fall flat.
2) Convey an Authoritative Manner
Another important aspect to keeping the audience interested in a commercial is to include an authoritative voice over. The tone should be informative, and the voice actor should sound like he knows what he’s talking about — but he should definitely not be condescending or patronizing in any way.
Therefore, a good commercial voice over will sound friendly and accessible. The voice over is supposed to convey information that complements what your audience is seeing on the screen. Using a voice over with an amiable tone will not only help draw viewers in but also instill a sense of trust in them.
3) Create a Sense of Excitement
When it comes to selling, you want your potential buyer to be excited about the product. There is no way that’s going to happen if the commercial itself doesn’t sound interesting or compelling!
Being able to convey excitement through a faceless voice over can be difficult — it requires a bit of acting skill. It’s also important not to go overboard in this regard, because that can result in overly-cheesy commercials, which is always a turnoff.
What Good Commercial Voice Overs Avoid
Too much excitement is one thing that great commercial voice overs avoid. If every sentence sounds like it ends in an exclamation point, the voice over has probably gone overboard. Excessively loud or fast voice overs (often a hallmark of those late-night infomercials we all laugh about) can be annoying and are likely to lead to a channel change.
The characteristics that make for a great commercial voice over are simple: be clear and lively, convey friendliness while sounding authoritative, and be (reasonably) excited. Finding good commercial voice over talent that is capable of delivering this balancing act of a performance without laying it on too thick can sometimes be difficult, but in the end it’s worth it.
After all, investing in professional voice over talent in the appropriate languages and accents can help ensure a quality commercial voice over capable of reaching a diverse audience.