Finding the Right Voiceover For Your Video

Certain inflections and distinct vocal traits can make a person’s voice recognisable in an instant. Large corporations have often employed celebrities to voiceover their products or services in order to capture the viewer’s attention and thus maximising the reach of their marketing campaign; Hugh Dennis’ promotion of the latest washing machine deals in the Curry’s adverts springs to mind. However, a top tier A-list star can easily absorb the entirety of your project’s budget and you can’t guarantee everyone will associate positively with the celebrity, so unless you picture a certain face for the campaign, (e.g. Usain Bolt for Virgin) a less recognisable but professional voice is the preferred choice. You don’t need a huge budget to reap the benefits that a voiceover can bring to your video.

What is voiceover and how can it benefit your business?

Voiceover is utilised to inform, instruct, to provoke emotion, and to ultimately bridge the gap between the content showcased on screen and the audience. Coupling the visual components with voiceover reaffirms and amplifies the overall message of the video and allows the viewer to easily follow the trajectory of the narrative. The right voiceover can inject a sense of authenticity into the brand and reflect the values that the business holds. They can communicate credibility and that the messages conveyed are grounded in expertise and sound guidance. These all make for a persuasive watch and that’s why an increasing number of businesses feature voiceovers in their promotional, presentation, and educational videos.

Why are certain voiceovers more suitable than others?

As with any speech; tempo, cadence, and tone dictate the way that a message is delivered. For example, in the manufacturing sector, health and safety videos are used to educate people on how they need to behave on site and interact with their surroundings to avoid hazardous scenarios. Establishing codes and conduct warrants a direct and authoritative voice that leaves no room for ambiguity but should still be friendly, warm, and approachable. It takes a skilled professional to balance these attributes and alter the delivery accordingly.

Certain characteristics such as age, gender, and regional dialects also play a part in distinguishing which voiceover is most appropriate. The intended target audience will resonate with voice overs that share similar characteristics to them, and thus they’ll be more inclined to engage with the content. A spritely energetic 25 year old voiceover artist wouldn’t be the ideal candidate for promoting stair lifts for the elderly would they? The key in pairing voiceover with video is knowing your audience inside out.

Case Study:

We experienced a noticeable growth in voiceover usage in our commissioned projects during lockdown. Conducting interviews wasn’t always applicable given that some working environments had precautionary measures put in place, however voiceover acted as a crucial tool to effectively communicate that organisations were adaptable and continued to operate.

The Believe Housing Resurgence Video highlights how the housing association overcame the logistical challenges of COVID restrictions and still conducted repairs, fixed tenancy issues and delivered food to the community. The aim was to convey the caring and attentive nature of the business, and from that stemmed a poetic one word style script that mirrored the essence of the statistics that appeared on screen.

The initial voiceover was delivered by a female artist with a neutral accent which was later changed to a female Geordie accent. Both of these voiceovers successfully communicated the message however the agenda drove the project to a regional accent which aligned with the residents of the association.

Listen to the differences here.

Voiceover and scripts are in tandem, the words that are written shape the overall message of the video.

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