Last Updated on June 10, 2023 by Touseef Umair
Picking a voice over for your project can be hard sometimes, with hundreds of voices out there to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice.
Now, with voice overs, you’ve essentially got to choose from two main categories of voices, the infamous voice artists and the celebrity voices.
Sometimes, brands opt for picking a celebrity voice over. Why would they pay a premium when they can pay less for a lesser-known voice artist? Let’s go through why!
What is a celebrity voice over?
First off, it’s important to distinguish exactly what we mean when we say “celebrity voice over”. This is the term we’d use to refer to an already known celebrity with a recognisable voice.
The everyday professional voice actor is specialised in tonality, considering that’s their job. Celebrities are used more so for marketing purposes, as their voices are more recognisable than the typical voice over.
What can you use a celebrity voice over for?
A celebrity voice over can be used to reach out to your targeted demographic, and have an instant sense of recognition, invoking an emotional response that your audience can associate with your brand or product.
Regarding which types of projects you can hire them for, this can range from audiobook narration, to the every day ad voice over and even voicemail greetings (for a stellar first impression). Another way you can utilise a celebrity voice is by tailoring your ad to the brand they’ve already built for themselves.
A few years back with the more than insurance adverts, a simple but effective placement of morgan freeman, to accompany a campaign where the catchphrase is “more than freeman”, is a great example. It’s basic, but effective – having led to a whole array of ads with the same gimmick closing it off at the end.
Essentially, you’re choosing to hire a celebrity to capture a specific demographic for which that celebrity appeals to. This can vary depending on whether you pick a male or female voice over, a more youthful, or more seasoned voice actor.
Benefits of choosing a celebrity voice over
There are various benefits of picking a celebrity for your voice over needs. One main benefit is the potential for instant virality of your campaign. Say you hire Idris Elba to advertise the next big shaving cream, targeting men in their 30s and 40s, you’d likely see a good result from that choice.
Opting for a celebrity voice over can also make it so you’re able to localise more effectively. For those targeting a range of countries, celebrity voice overs can help capture the hearts and minds of your target audience even quicker, just imagine if David Attenborough did an RSPCA ad.
Other benefits include allowing your company to look more credible and make a longer lasting first impression. Imagine the first impression you could give to a potential customer, simply by choosing a recognisable voice for your campaign.
A lot of the time it can improve the perception of a company’s credibility, as you clearly put in the effort to invest in your ad campaigns – We all know celebrities aren’t cheap.
Cons of choosing a celebrity voice over
Hiring a celebrity voice over isn’t all good though. You usually have a lot less flexibility in how you’d want them to work, considering their rates are so much higher.
Another main con of hiring a celebrity is that you’d need a much higher initial budget than the everyday voice artist.
Not only can celebrity voice overs charge thousands for their work, they also typically charge an annual buyout fee – meaning if you have a successful campaign and want to continue benefiting from it, you’ve got to pay a hefty sum every year.
Is a celebrity voice over worth the money?
All in all, a celebrity voice over can be beneficial for a brand that has the budget, and a solid campaign in mind prior to planning. Whether it’s worth the money is hard to say, as this can be subjective to whether or not they’ve actually done a better job than a regular voice over would have.
Our advice is, if you have the means to, go ahead and give it a go. If you’re a fairly new company, we advise to initially start out with a non-celebrity voice.
Bottom line: Celebrity voice overs can be worth the money, but it’s key to ensure that you’re utilising them in the best way possible, otherwise your target audience might not convert how you’d want them to.