Finding the Right Tone for Your Brand Video

We’ve all heard the old adage that communication is 7% verbal and 93% non-verbal. While that’s basically been proven to be a myth, studies have discovered that the tone of your voice could be responsible for 38% of what you’re trying to communicate. Voice acting attempts to take that fragile 38% and present an articulate, compelling message. The content of a commercial or eLearning session is key, but how it comes across comes down to a skilled voice actor’s tone. Their tone of voice becomes part of the brand tone.

Voiceover has been used in a variety of ways throughout the years. Aside from entertainment outlets, voiceover is used actively in customer facing commercials and internal support/instructional design materials. Brands are taking note and when creating their own content they’re discussing how to choose the best voice over talent. To do so, companies need to review their ultimate messaging goals, content scripts, and then choose the right actor for the tone and audience they’re trying to reach. Picking the most appropriate talent is what will make the biggest impact for your content. 

Brand Tone and Tone of Voce

It seems simple, but it’s important for your company’s content to have the right tone. Without it, your brand and message can be confusing yo tour audience. Choosing a voice actor that’s unexpected or not relatable could alienate the market you’re trying to appeal to.

Consider this. Captain America: Civil War in the US had a lot of success with the actor playing Spider-Man. The introduction of Tom Holland was a perfect choice for the goofy, nerdy, teen superhero. Reportedly, audiences who watched the Russian dubbed version of the movie took issue with the voice talent who was chosen to speak Spider-Man’s lines, as they hired a voice actor who sounded like a 10-year-old boy. The Russian-speaking audience was dismayed and confused at hearing such a childish voice for a crowd favorite character.

If the tone of the voice actor is off, your brand tone will become confusing or miss the market you were trying to reach. Keeping that in mind, there are a variety of vocal tones to choose from when deciding the best match for your company and brand.  

Authenticity and Genuineness  

If your brand is looking to approach its audience with a faithful feel, a realistic slant, then going with a voice actor who is known for their candidness would be best. This would be a spokesperson or narrator that has a slow and easy pace that directs their script as if they’re talking to a friend or neighbor. An older voice, male or female is sure to elicit a reassuring response. They’ll encourage the audience to trust them because of the truthful sound of their voices, and in turn, put trust in your brand. Examples would be Dennis Haysbert in the Allstate ads or Brooke Alexander from the Turner Classic Movies announcements. These voices are not rushed or frenzied: they’re relaxed, dependable, and promote a sense of security. They know what’s best for you.  

Here’s an example of the unpretentious, comfortable actor who just wants to have a nice chat and discuss what’ll be the perfect fit for your brand.  

Authoritarian and Concise  

A popular voice for eLearning is picking a voice actor with a more didactic tone of voice. If you prefer your brand tone to come across with confidence then gear yourself toward an actor that has a quick, clipped voice. You’ll never want an actor to go so fast that can’t be understood, but folksy, relaxed speech isn’t what you’re looking for in this situation either. The authoritarian has a quicker pace, sometimes louder volume, and will leave no mistake that it means business. This voice is particularly useful when your brand needs to come across as a confident expert. Legal aid commercials or car dealerships come to mind. They’re forceful and assure the consumer they are the best choice available to them.  

Here’s an example of the straightforward, direct actor who is going to give you the facts and nothing but the facts.  

Playful and Charming  

Children are a very appealing demographic. When approaching such a market, it’s important to get on their level without coming across as irritating or condescending. With e-learning videos leaning more and more to edutainment, it’s helpful to have a bright, melodic, kind voice. This pace is not as slow-paced as our Authentic Narrator nor as quick as our Concise Instructor. This lighthearted voice actor has to be speedy enough to keep a younger audience’s attention, but clear in context and sound to express attainable subjects. It’s a sweet voice, a kind voice that is engaging and entertaining at the same time.  

Here’s an example of the energetic, enthusiastic voice actor who will give your brand a sprightly voice.  

Character and Outlandish  

Our last category influences a particular type of brand. These type of actors, the character actors, are specifically utilized when you want your message to be dramatic, silly, or over the top. Aside from having a clear, understandable tone of voice, everything else is a variable: their pitch can be high or low, their pace slow or fast, they can have a bold accent, or habitual tic like stuttering or laughing. These voice actors are particularly great for content like cartoons, audiobooks, or any other theatrical readings. They’re not used often in corporate settings, but you never know when an unusual voice may capture the message of your content in a way you hadn’t expected.

Here’s an example of a silly, peculiar voice actor that sure to liven up any brand.  

Where To Find the Perfect Voice Actor

Once you have made a decision on what type of voice actor your brand would like to hire, it’s time to shop. There are many sites you can peruse for voice talent, but it’s important to choose from a talent pool that showcases the actor’s specific skills. Voice Bunny is a prime example of a well-organized talent register. There are hundreds of voices to search through by navigating with filters such as age, gender, and purpose for content. You can also refine your search by picking an actor with top reviews.

Reviews are paramount in choosing your actor for three reasons: dynamic vocal range, experience, and availability. Voice actors are typically freelancers who are responsible for honing their own crafts. They’re continually improving their articulation, experimenting with voice modulation, and increasing their vocabulary. Choosing an actor that takes that process and craftwork seriously is necessary for optimal output. Simply put, you want the best actor for your brand. Someone who will put everything into the voice that represents your message and content. Also, by reading the reviews you can choose an actor who is available for all your needs, including revising recordings, discussing script interpretations, and more. Voice actors usually work freelance; they are self-employed and often have inconsistent work schedules, but platforms like VoiceBunny make the most of the situation by guaranteeing the availability of actors to their clients. 

What to Look For when Reviewing Voice Talent Profiles

As discussed earlier, experience and vocal range is a must. But the technical requirements of a voice actor is also important to consider. Are they using the necessary audio-editing software like Adobe Audition, Audacity, or Sony SoundForge? When listening to an actor’s samples look for tell-tale signs of amateurish recordings: pops, background noise, static, etc. Is their tone of voice too breathy or consonants clipped off? That could be a sign that they lack the experience of a mature voice actor. If you need something clean and sleek, your best bet will be an established actor who’s attended acting classes, regularly does breathing exercises, and has clear recording equipment. You can hear all those aspects in their samples, so listen closely.  

We now have our checklist for picking the perfect voice actor for our recording:

  1. What tone does our content need? What message are we getting across and to whom? Who does our audience want to listen to?
  2. Pick the appropriate filters on Voice Bunny to find our actor.
  3. Evaluate the vocal samples provided to us via websites like Voice Bunny, particularly focusing on their reviews.
  • Do they sound clear and experienced?
  • Do they have adequate recording equipment?
  • What do their reviews say about their dependability? Communication?

Book and create!

With a clear plan in place, your business can create amazing content with the ideal voice actor. You can take that simple 38% in non-verbal communication to the next level, and deliver a powerhouse message, all through vocal tone.