What voice trends are in store for 2017?
Why should you care about voice trends? And what is popular today? In an industry where it’s important to stick out above the rest, do you really want to follow in others' footsteps? Perhaps. Sometimes. Of all industries, the voice-over industry might be the one where having your ‘ear’ on the pulse is of the utmost importance!
Look back to look forward
Trends change. The mullet hairstyle is far from its former glory days, and that applies to certain types of voices as well. What worked then, may no longer work now. In the early 2000s, for example, classic voices, that were thunderous, powerful and authoritative, were what was popular. These remain and are still used today, but they have given way to more unassuming voices: like the guy or girl next door. Sometimes, when everything sounds ‘big’… it’s the quietly confident voice that sticks out.
One more take
A voice should speak to, not at the listener. Our customers have noticed that their target audience have become more aware of the advertising world's tricks; You can no longer enchant or dazzle the customers, by classic means. Exclaiming that something is amazing can be counterproductive. If you want to sell your message to the listener, one should, as counterintuitive as it may seem, choose a voice that does not sound like a sales person. Less is more. Of course there are exceptions, and the "big" voices still work for some projects, but it has become a delicate balance between what is ‘big’ and what might be ‘right’ for a project. Casting voices requires just the right touch.
Caroline, one of our project managers, says: "Some want a voice that sounds hesitant and raspy, but ultimately choose a voice that sounds warm and safe. It is up to us (the project managers) to help the customer find the right voice, with the right emotion, for the right script.”
Selecting a voice with a dialect increases the recognition factor. Voices with a dialect tend to move beyond the trend curve; They always work, but only in some projects. Right now, there is a demand for voices with weak dialects, as these can relate to local audiences, without scaring away a broader audience.
Bosse Freij, our Scandinavian project manager/copywriter, casts voices with dialects on a daily basis. He believes that the reason why customers want voices with dialects vary according to the script.
- “People associate specific things with specific dialects "he says.
- “Dialect-based stereotypes give a script more depth - just don’t take it so far that you end up offending someone!”
So what voice trends should you listen to?
Voice casting would be much easier if there was only one voice type that was trendy and everyone used it. But if everything sounds the same, the results would become boring!
We started off by asking if you should care about voice trends, and if you should follow someone elses' footsteps. The answer is maybe: Yes, it is not necessarily incorrect; The wide path, is often safer. However, weighing in factors such as script, product and exposure in the casting process, can be a shortcut to the target.
We at Online Voices do thousands of projects a year, and each one requires a custom selection. There is something unique in every voice; Each project has a optimal voice… and we'll help you find it!