How to decide whether your new store should use an audio production house, radio station or online voice-over service for your grand opening message.
Maybe you’ve heard about the new trend in online voice-over services. It’s a different way of creating audio for your new store’s broadcast commercials. But is it the right way?
If you’re getting ready to advertise your grand opening on TV or radio, you’ll need to choose a voice. In the past, we have discussed what kind of voice to choose and the criteria for choosing voice talent.
But today, we’re talking about where to find voice-over people.
First tip: Don’t use friends or employees to do an announcer voice-over.
It’s okay to use them in a commercial if they are being themselves, i.e. doing testimonials for your grand opening/new store. But don’t send a non-professional to do a professional’s job.
There are 3 ways to find your voice talent and record him or her.
1. Radio station talent
The first option is to use a radio station and have one of their DJs record your script. They’ll do it for free if you buy some spots on their station. The downside is…you get DJ quality “reads” instead of professional voice talent quality reads.
2. Use a production house
Another option is to use a radio or TV production house and choose from their stable of voices. They’ll have a producer who will sit down with you, ascertain your needs and select some voices for you to choose from. When you’ve chosen the voice, the radio or TV production house will record him or her for you.
The downside here is…you have to pay the production house for their time. The voices won’t be cheap – because they are professionals. And, if you want to run your commercial beyond the agreed upon date, you’ll have to pay residuals to the voice-over talent.
3. Online voice-over services
There are a few of them out there – Voice 123 and Voices.com being two of the more well known.
Here’s how it works: You post your script on the service’s site – at no charge. The service has a software program that automatically pulls voices based on the content of your script (don’t ask me how this works exactly – I know that it involves the word algorithm – that is all).
The service contacts the voice-over people chosen by the software. The chosen people record themselves reading your script in their respective home studios and then post them for you to hear.
On the upside, you and the voice talent whom you choose will decide on a price…and lemme tell ya…these folks are willing to barter. You can do what’s known as a “buyout” – complete freedom of use in all mediums for as long as you want – for a lot less money than a production house will charge you. There is no charge for using the service either, by the way, which is a benefit indeed.
The downside is the time it takes to find the right voice. The software just isn’t as good as a well-trained human ear at picking out the talent. Plus, you’ll still have to go to a TV/radio production house if you want to put a music bed under the read – which I strongly recommend.
The service does give you the option to bi-pass the software and go fishing for yourself among the stable of voices. And I believe they have now added account managers (real human beings) to help you narrow your search.
If you don’t have a tight deadline to be on air, but have a tight budget, you might want to give an onine voice-over service a try. However, if you do have a tight deadline, I would recommend you go with option number 2 – a production house. Yes, you’re going to pay more. But, the process should move faster and you’re going to get quality work from start to finish. And, quality matters.