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Voice Acting Trends

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

October 5, 2007

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Retro Couple Dancing 1950sHave you been monitoring the latest trends in voice acting?

I've noticed a few but want to know if you're also keeping an eye out too.

What's going on in audio and voice recording now?

Take a look at vintage voice over, the recent past, current trends and toward the future of voice over as it fits in with Advertising and Entertainment here at VOX Daily.

Noticed anything on the up and up?

At any given time, there are trends hitting the market that have an impact, whether small or large, on an industry.

In voice over, certain trends have come and go, some have come back, and others have yet to define themselves in cyclical fashions.

Trends in Advertising

One off the top of my head is the "Announcer" voice of generations past (1950s and 1960s), a style of voicing that is synonymous with an older gentleman sporting a comb over, holding a cigarette, who is dressed in a tweed suit with Buddy Holly glasses on asserting a father-knows-best attitude. Paints quite the picture visually, vocally, and politically, doesn't it?

In recent years, there was a great desire for a more nasal sounding, know-it-all, younger gentleman sound...

Now it's all about the Real Person, you know, the guy or gal you could relate to who doesn't impose themselves vocally and has a way of inching into a comfort zone to sell you something with seemingly effortless persuasion.

Trends in Entertainment

Another trend that has perpetuated over the last decade is the hiring of celebrity actors from Hollywood to voice character roles in feature length animated films, even if they are not the best voice actor suited to the job.

Advertising, Entertainment and voice over are all closely related, so it isn't at all surprising to see a cross-over from pop culture to the voice overs you may hear in the grocery store.

To sum up my observations, most trends originate in Advertising and Entertainment.

Exploring Production Trends in Advertising

One last trend I'd like to explore with you is if you've noticed an increase in genuine voice actors being hired to provide voice over services for broadcast radio and television commercials with the advent of voice over marketplaces and advertising sites such as the Google Audio Ads platform, eBay / Bid4Spots, and SpotRunner.com that facilitate the sales of remnant air time directly to advertisers.

The reason why I said "genuine" voice actors is because oftentimes, broadcast stations, radio in particular, require their on-air talent to record liners, commercials and other projects after hours as part of their job description.

This person, or in some cases, people, may or may not have any formal training or experience in voice acting or voice over specifically.

When a radio station sells their own air time to an advertiser who needs creative services rendered as well, their responsibilities include:

1. Producing the creative elements (copy writing perhaps, music, sound effects, music)
2. Recording the voice over
3. Editing / Mixing / Mastering the advertisement
4. Keeping their production and air time fees competitive to obtain / maintain the advertiser's business
5. Airing said advertisement for the duration of the campaign

If an advertiser has produced their own creative elements or has access to people who can outside of a radio station, that's one thing. If they can also acquire air-time cheaply from a liquidator of remnant ad space, the plot thickens a bit, doesn't it?

Based upon those two facts, it would be logical to assume that more and more of these broadcast advertisements would be recorded by freelance professional voice actors.

Has anyone been keeping tabs on the trends mentioned in this article or other trends? If so, I welcome your thoughts.

Best wishes,


©©©iStockphoto.com/Nicholas Belton

Related Topics: Celebrity, Google, hired, Hollywood, industry, radio


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