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Voices of Influence


By Stephanie Ciccarelli

January 20, 2012

Comments (6)

Glamorous wavy haired brunette with bright eyes singing into a microphoneDo you hear voices?

Voice overs have worked themselves into our daily lives and few pause to consider how our perceptions have been shaped by various characters and advertising campaigns using voice.

Read this article on VOX Daily and then listen to a unique podcast celebrating voice artists and their contributions.

Voices of Influence

Recently I listened to a CBC radio program called Under the Influence hosted by Terry O'Reilly. This particular episode, Voices of Influence, featured voice overs and I thought it might serve as an interesting topic for discussion.

A voice director by trade, O'Reilly shared that he is in a constant state of listening to and analyzing voices.

The episode opened with clips of Canadian actor Douglas Rain voicing HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey and prominently featured game changing uses of voice over for companies such as MasterCard.

The show, which ran for approximately 25 minutes, comprised of some "guess that voice" mixed in with history, psychology, humourous anecdotes, a debate on the effectiveness of celebrity voices in commercials and O'Reilly's unique insight as a voice director.

Voices You Know

Carolyn Hopkins, voice of over 200 airports around the world as well as subway platforms and weather warnings, was featured 3/4 of the way through the show. The role of professional female voices in general is also discussed as well as some very surprising facts about the origin of telephone operator voices at AT&T. Apple's iPhone 4S assistant SIRI also makes an appearance.

A number of celebrity voices were discussed and spots galore were played for context.

If you'd like to listen to the podcast episode, you can subscribe to Under The Influence in iTunes.

I'd be curious if any of you hear your voices on this program!

Did You Listen To Voices Of Influence?

Be sure to comment with your thoughts.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best wishes,


©iStockphoto.com/Alexey Avdeev

Related Topics: Apple, Celebrity, iPhone, radio, Siri


    I've found the voice of Marilyn for a pokemon special that I will get them to make, Carolyn Hopkins.

    Posted by:
    • Christian Woods, aspiring voice actor
    • January 21, 2012 4:28 PM

      Well worth a listen, and of value to this English listener. Along with clips from maestros of voice, Terry O'Reilly says 'The human brain is voice-activated' 'Considering how much celebrities cost, it's surprising how often the public doesn't recognise them. But do they still press a deeply recessed button?' 'The female voice is the first we hear in life' - hence its dominant place in instructional voicing such as GPS and telephone operation.
      Mr O'Reilly also gives tips on what voice directors look for to personify a brand or customer. Influence indeed.

      Posted by:

        I'm always glad to see others share the same hobby I've had since the 80s: trying to ID voices in TV/radio commercials, movie trailers, and cartoons. I've developed an ear for ID'ing "celebrity" voices. I used to annoy my wife with this hobby, but the mystery element sucked my wife in and she's gotten pretty good at it as well. Now it's become a game who can guess the voice first.

        Thanks for the heads-up on the article. I'll be sharing it with my readers at voiceactorsnews.com.

        Also wanted to mention that your link to the article on CBC yields a site error page. I did a site search and found the updated link:


        And the podcast is also available streaming online at that same link up to two weeks after the broadcast date, if you don't wish to subscribe via iTunes.

        Posted by:
        • Craig
        • January 23, 2012 1:46 AM

          Hi Craig,

          Thank you for commenting! I've fixed the link and appreciate you pointing out where the updated link is. This one has much more information and content on it.



          Posted by:

            Thanks for sharing your comments, Howard! I'm glad you enjoyed the show from across the pond :) Those quotes are wonderful and appreciated.

            Best wishes,


            Posted by:

              I watch Pokemon all the time, and being blind allows me to pick up on who does what voice pretty well. For example, i have been able to identify Kayzie Rogers and Eileen Stevens several times. Oh, and I recognized a few Pokemon voice actors from comercials, like how Eileen Stevens does some skin cair commercials.

              Posted by:
              • Christian Woods aspiring voice actor
              • May 26, 2012 2:49 AM

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