Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

What is the Most Effective Length for a TV Commercial?

By Lin Parkin

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Commercial_Messages.jpgThe best length for commercials has been hotly debated among advertisers for decades. Countless studies have been conducted and the outcome often rests on the laurels of economics rather than effective brand awareness.

When televisions first entered the average North American homes commercials followed the same guiding principles of radio, the main media source at the time. As with radio, 60-second television commercials were the norm in the 1950's.

When media inflation hit in the 1970's advertisers were forced to cut their spots in half to 30-seconds. Soon after that the 15-second TV commercial emerged.

Now most North American broadcasters offer a selection to advertisers and they can choose to produce a 15, 30, or 60-second commercial.

But what is the most effective amount of time? Learn more in today's VOX Daily.


Speed Talking Tips

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Two women happily chatting. One is a mature woman and the other is a younger woman.Have you ever wondered what it takes to record copy in a voice-over script really quickly?

If you've ever a disclaimer read at lightning speed to squeeze in more words during a commercial, you've witnessed speed talking in action. What most people don't know about speed talking though is that the skill can be learned and can be mighty useful as a voice-over talent to possess.

Are you a candidate for speed talking?

Find out what it takes in today's VOX Daily!


Is the Announcer Coming Back?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Male announcer, middle age, wearing blue shirt speaking into a suspended microphone.Gary Owens fans and ear cupping announcers, rejoice!

Just when you thought for certain that the styling of the Announcer voice had packed its bags for good, the cyclical nature of advertising trends makes another revolution in the direction of the big, authoritative voice you grew up with.

Are the Guys and Girls Next Door moving to another neighborhood?

J. Michael Collins gives some compelling evidence for why the Announcer is back in the building and about to take the microphone.

Are you hearing the rumblings?

Be sure to add your voice to the conversation now!


Science Fiction or Reality? Audio Ads Only You Can Hear

By Lin Parkin

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Subway Window.jpgA fascinating, albeit, slightly disturbing, technology is making its way into mainstream marketing.

Earlier this Spring, a German ad agency called BBDO Düsseldorf introduced "The Talking Window" by Sky Go. It's a device that can be attached to the window of a passenger car on Subways. As weary passengers lean their heads against a window, they, and only they, hear an advertisement. If they take their heads off the window the message stops playing. The YouTube video depicts the true reactions of passengers as they unexpectedly hear the ads.

This biotechnology is called "Bone Conduction." It is the conduction of sound to the inner ear through the bones of the skull. It presents all kinds of new possibilities for tech-savvy marketers but there are, naturally, concerns over the technology.

Understandably so. Privacy is a concern for everyone and infiltrating consumers' minds without their awareness is crossing a delicate line.


Top 5 Job Posting Categories at Voices.com

By Lin Parkin

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Lady thinking with lightbulbs.jpgHave you been wondering about the most effective categories to market yourself in at Voices.com?

We receive many queries about the types of jobs we receive at Voices.com. We list fourteen categories which clients can find voice-over services in.

Having a niche that you specialize in is definitely encouraged but there are a few bread and butter type categories that receive the most activity by clients.


Leaping Lizards! $250,000 That Could Pay It Forward in Voice-overs

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Mission Small Business Chase Bank Living SocialJames Herron Voice Actor has applied for a $250,000 grant from Chase & Living Social. People need 250 votes to be considered for the grant. Voting has been going on for a couple days now and he's less than 46 votes away from 250!

Help a voice-over brother out and in the process "pay it forward" to aspiring talent representing the next generation of voice-over artists.

Learn more about how you can be part of this exciting possibility in today's VOX Daily.


What Makes Cereal Mascots So Effective?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Woman comparing cereals in the grocery storeCharacters featured on cereal boxes occupy a special place in our culture and endear products to generations of families.

What is it that makes them so effective? Who's your favorite character?

Be sure to comment with your thoughts and join the conversation in today's VOX Daily.


3 Ways To Get Noticed At Voices.com

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Woman in line with mannequinsWant to get noticed at Voices.com but don't know where to start?

Have a lot of talent but not a lot of attention?

If you're trying to get more traffic to your profile at our marketplace, you'll want to read the tips in this article.

Although they may seem obvious, you'd be amazed by how instrumental these three things can be when getting your voice heard.


Voice Acting in Video Games Workshop at Voices.com

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Two men playing video games, holding controllersDuring the month of November, Londoners will have the opportunity to experience digital interactive gaming as never before!

With a Voice Over London workshop on voice acting in video games and DIG London coming up, things are going to get pretty exciting for gamers and talent alike.

I hope you can join us at our upcoming Voice Over London workshop featuring guest speaker George Spanos, a sound designer from Digital Extremes.


Voices On The Radio

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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two-women-riding-in-car-listening-to-radio.jpgWhen you're driving around town with the radio on, have you ever heard one of your colleagues either on air or as the voice artist on commercials or station imaging or station identification?

Recently, I happened to hear two people that I knew and am curious to learn of if this is something you keep your ears out for too!

Join the discussion by adding a comment.


Reaching The On-Demand Generation Through Advertising

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Dad holding his two young sons on the couch using a laptopHave you noticed just how easy it is for young people to dismiss advertisements?

Just this morning I heard my kids say "There are too many advertisements!" when they were waiting for a feature film to start playing. Who's to fault them? As young parents who remember using the Internet for the first time as teenagers, we even skip ads if and when we can.

While previous generations were able to tolerate advertisements in exchange for quality entertainment, the consumers of tomorrow are growing up online where selection is huge and mainly free with immediate gratification often achieved by the power of a click.

Just how can advertisers and those they work with reach and engage digital natives?

Find out in today's VOX Daily.


How To Research Job Opportunities Before Auditioning

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Businessman thinking about a decisionDo you audition for every job that comes your way or do you only audition for opportunities that you'd be proud to associate with your name and business?

Some due diligence on your part, especially with brands you are unfamiliar with, can help inform you beforehand when making the decision to audition or not. Understanding how a voice over can impact you personally should factor into this process.

In today's VOX Daily, we'll be discussing the significance of the work you choose to do and provide you with tools to discern opportunities that may prove invaluable to your career.


3 Tips for Creating Your Own Buzz

By Lin Parkin

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newspaper headline extra extraHave you ever wondered what publicists do exactly?

When you're freelancing, hiring a public relations firm or a publicist may not be the most feasible option for obtaining media attention so managing your public image falls into your own hands.

Get three tips for creating your own publicity in today's Vox Daily.


Do You Find Meaning In Your Work

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Craftsman fixing a baritone saxophone in his workshopLast month I received an email asking for permission to quote something from this blog in a book regarding my definition of work and the significant role work plays in enabling us to use our gifts.

Do you find meaning in your work as a voice over talent?

Add your own contribution by commenting on today's VOX Daily!


Encouraging Words for Today's Working Voice Actor

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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man's head against a blackboardHow much work is out there? Is there truly enough for everyone?

For every advertised voice over job that you see publicly, so many more exist off the radar or outside of your view!

If you've been waiting to hear someone say that there's voice over work out there to be done, and more than you thought, you're going to enjoy today's VOX Daily.


Living and Working Together: How Do You Make It Work?

By Lin Parkin

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Smiling couple in business attire, African descentWorking from home is one thing but what about working from home... with your spouse?

Finding a balance in your home life and in your work is crucial for everyone, particularly those whose offices are a flight of stairs away or mere steps from the breakfast table.

If you're working with your spouse, whether from home or in an office setting, we'd love to hear from you!

Share your story in today's VOX Daily.


Are You Living Up to Your Demos?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Frog prince with a kiss me sign on his lipsJust how important is it that you can replicate everything on your demo?

Whether it's production, vocal artistry or interpretation, people get the distinct impression that what they hear is what they'll get.

How's your demo representing your abilities? Explore this topic with me now in today's VOX Daily.


Knowing Who You're Really Talking To

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Happy young couple smilingWhen you are recording a voice over for an advertisement, do you know who you are really talking to?

At Voices of Vision, Debbie Munro shared an interesting piece of information with all present, revealing that sometimes the audience you think you are speaking to is really just part of the picture with the rest of the equation waiting in the wings.

Learn more about this and add your comments to join the conversation.


Lift Your Glasses and Celebrate National Voice-Over Appreciation Month

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Fireworks celebration(Inter)National Voice Over Appreciation Month continues!

Have you been taking note of all the voices you hear every day?

Dan Roberts returns as a guest blogger to share his thoughts, memories and feelings about voice over with a look at how voice over impacts us all citing specific examples many can relate to in today's VOX Daily.


Voice Over Encounter at Toopy & Binoo Live

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Toopy & Binoo Live

Toopy and Binoo came to London, ON Canada today and I happened to be in attendance at the live event.

As we journey through National Voice Over Appreciation Month, I thought it would be neat to take another look at how voice over is consumed through live events that promote animated characters and bring them to life for their fans.

Learn more about these kind of events and how you can attend one too in today's VOX Daily.


National Voice Over Appreciation Month

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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National Voice Over Month logoSeptember is National Voice Over Appreciation Month!

A voice over is a spoken word performance given by an actor who is heard but not seen. Voice overs are produced most often to educate, inform or entertain and can be heard via many different mediums such as broadcast, video games, film, telephony, audiobooks and more.

If you've ever heard a voice over and were the better for it, now is the time to celebrate!

Voices.com is pleased to help spread the word about what's going on and also share how you can get involved.


Sincerity, Smile & Physicality

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Woman smilingOver the years that Marc Cashman has been teaching voiceover techniques, he has revealed a number of very specific tips, tricks and tools you can use to help make you a better voice actor.

Some of these are structural skills, like breath and cadence control, articulation, eye-brain-mouth coordination; others are aimed at acting methods, interpretation and taking direction.

But there are three things that underlay all convincing voice acting: sincerity, smile and physicality.

Find out what they are in today's VOX Daily.


Mid-Year Reassessment a.k.a Check Up From The Neck Up

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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doctor with patientSummer is heating up and so are your resolutions for your business that were made going into 2010!

Are you still on track?

6 months later, It's time to check!

Guest blogger Bobbin Beam joins us in her mid-year reassessment, or, check up from the neck up in today's VOX Daily.


Perceived Value Means Everything

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Pensive young womanDo you base your worth upon a client's word count?

How do you perceive your time, talent and skills?

In today's VOX Daily, hear from an industry veteran who knows her worth and isn't afraid to stand by her rates. Sound like something you could get into? Find out!


Leading, Following or Wallowing?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Pigs wallowing in the mudAre you a leader, a follower or someone who prefers to wallow?

This afternoon I attended a track presented by author Jim Clemmer about leadership at a business conference called "Gearing Up For Growth" presented by the TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario.

Your choice, whether it be to lead, follow or wallow will greatly determine your success, your personal well being and the opportunities you choose to take advantage of.

In this article, we'll profile each personality type as it relates to voice over. Take a minute to see where you fit in!


The Announcer Has Left The Building

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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AnnouncerWhen's the last time you saw a casting call for a real, genuine announcer read that wasn't a spoof or a period piece?

More and more scripts are requesting that an announcer sound like the anti-announcer... in other words, to sound like a real person which for a number of years now has been a breath of fresh air!

Our industry is certainly taking note of this trend as are academics and educators teaching for college and university broadcast journalism programs.

Hear about my recent experience visiting Fanshawe College and find out what some of their instructors are now teaching aspiring on air talent and broadcast journalists.


Reality Check: The Cost Of Customer Acquisition

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Woman smiling her store is open for businessDo you know people who think subscribing to online voice over marketplaces are a waste of their time and money?

What these people may not be aware of is that any way you measure it (hits, pageviews or unique visitors), Voices.com is the most active website within the industry where businesses search for, audition and voice talent like yourself.

Are you curious to learn more about how we attract business and why voice talent pay membership fees to access job opportunities?

In today's article, my goal is to present a different perspective on what a membership subscription fee at Voices.com actually pays for and why it is in the best interest of any working voice over professional to participate and receive the full service.


Voice Acting: Committing to Choices

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Man thinkingAre your reads believable?

What does it take to set the stage for an inspired performance?

Find out in this article that shows you how to prepare an informed read, even if there is little to no artistic direction, here on VOX Daily.


How To Connect Your Commercial Read with an Audience

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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on-the-air-mic.jpgHow can you get your read across to a broadcast audience?

Do radio and television audiences require different commercial reads?

What does it take to really touch someone in a commercial voice over and have them act on your targeted advice?

Find out in this article by voice over artist, Bobbin Beam!


Interview with NFL Super Bowl Voice, Ann DeWig (Yes, a woman!)

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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ann-dewig.jpgDid you watch Super Bowl XLIII?

If you're a woman and found that you enjoyed the big game a little bit more than usual, you can attribute some of that joy to the inviting female promo voice behind the Super Bowl XLIII promos on NBC.

Know who to thank?

Ann DeWig!

Get to know Ann a little better and discover more about what it was like to voice NFL Super Bowl promos, making history and fulfilling a dream in the process.


6 Ways To Get Experience in the Business of Voice Acting

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Blonde haired woman smilingIn a previous article, we talked about the benefits of hiring or apprenticing an aspiring voice talent. The response was so great that I decided to write a follow up article on the subject.

Today, we're going to look at how that aspiring talent can present themselves for opportunities working with companies in the voice over industry, identifying six of the most appropriate placement venues in the industry.

Have you thought about any of these?

Find out!


Random Acts of Kindness

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Care building blocksLast week I talked about how you can change the world with your voice.

There's some even better news... you don't have to stop there!

You can also change the world when you show gratitude to others and encourage them to continue their good works through random acts of kindness.

Find out more about how to do this here at VOX Daily.


Voice Over Succession: The Elephant in the Room

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Passing the torchWhen people in the business of voice over retire or pass away, they leave a role (or a number of roles) behind them that need to be filled, especially those who record character voices, are the voices of a franchise, or are known for a very specific niche voice over.

Today, we're going to take a look at a few examples of people who have either vacated their posts out of choice or who were called away from their work (and this world), discussing the elephant in the room which is:

Who gets the gig when someone else has gone?


Ever Been Scared by a Voice Over?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Scared couple spilling popcornHas a Voice Over recording ever surprised or frightened you when you least expected it?

It is quite possible to be caught off guard by a voice over, regardless of how nice it may sound or how safe the venue.

Hear my story and then share yours!


How To Pitch For Publicity Without Being a Pain in the Butt

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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man blog megaphoneEver heard that the best things in life are free?

It's true, and that includes getting publicity for your business.

Discover how to find bloggers, introduce yourself, and how to build relationships that may result in the publicity and coverage you are seeking.


Can Voice Artists Be Held Responsible For What's Read in a Script?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Rob SciglimpagliaWhen you perform a voice over, is there the potential for you to be held responsible for what you're saying even though you aren't the party that is being portrayed in the advertisement or voice over recording?

You bet your bottom dollar, there is!

Hear the perspective of lawyer and voice artist, Rob Sciglimpaglia on VOX Daily as he addresses this interesting and timely issue.


Producers Respond To Open Letter on Voice Over Demos

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Audio engineer at deskIf you're one of my friends on Facebook, you may have run across a note I wrote entitled "An Open Letter to Voice Over Demo Producers" where I posed a number of questions that had to do specifically with the norms, best practices and so forth of producing demos for promotional purposes for voice over talent.

I received two, quite detailed responses from two gentlemen who produce voice over demos in the United States, and the answers to some of the questions may surprise you!

First read my questions and then the answers supplied. After that, let me know what you think by leaving a comment.


How To Interpret Punctuation Marks When Voice Acting (!)

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Exclamation pointAre you getting The Point?

Guest blogger and voice over expert Marc Cashman shares more than a thing or two about how you can recruit punctuation marks to work for you.

Read the article here and then listen to Marc's podcast discussing punctuation on Voice Over Experts!


Who's That Voice?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Real Canadian Super Store

Ever hear a voice over and think to yourself "Who's that?"

For someone who listens to voice overs day in day out (on purpose) and pays special attention to subtle elements of the art form, that question often pops into my head.

Sometimes I know who it is, and when I do, I smile to myself with great satisfaction. Other times, I'm left pondering "Who's that voice?".

Does that happen to you?


Why YOU NEED ME as Your Voice

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Have you ever thought about why people should be hiring you to record their voice overs?

Caryn Clark attended a local business networking event recently and found that upon introducing herself as a professional voice actor, she had some explaining to do.

Learn more about how Caryn justifies her professional voice over services to people outside of the industry in this feature article.

Caryn Clark Hip Chick Voice