Voices: The Rise of Remote Voice Actors Allows for Targeting and Localisation
Voices, the world’s leading marketplace for remote voice-over production and services, asked its leading voice over actors about the big trends they see in the targeting of creative campaigns as more brands turn to remote casting for voice over.
“Clients of Voices are executing global campaigns with our voice over actors who deliver over 100 languages and accents. Next to hyper-localisation, a noteworthy trend we’ve seen is the development of a so-called global accent,” says David Ciccarelli, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Voices. “Sessions with remote live recording technology have also become standard practice, giving creative producers access to global voice actors.“
The Global Accent
Toby Ricketts discovered his talent for flipping easily between country-specific accents when he moved from England to New Zealand at the age of 14 – a time of social pressures in high school, where he quickly developed the New Zealand accent as a means to not stand out.
Today, Ricketts is internationally recognised in voice artistry and has mastered the delivery of premium quality voice over in New Zealand, British, Australian, Standard American, and global accents, the latter a perfection of the technique of blending the sounds of international English dialects into one global accent.
Ricketts is based in the wilderness, delivering his voice artistry from a handmade cabin on his countryside property in the tropical north of New Zealand.
“Non-regionalisation is quite a new phenomenon. It has only been in the last two to three years that clients have been asking for it,” says Ricketts, stating that the global accent is mostly in demand in the corporate world. “International terminologies are increasingly used for trends in business. The global accent supports the quest to be able to communicate with any business partner in the world.“
Whereas the global accent for the English language is quite a new development, International Spanish has been long established to address Hispanic communities from all different Latin American backgrounds and global audiences, reports voice actor Aracely (Ara) Rivera, who started her career behind the microphone in the 90s in radio.
The other side of country-specific and global accents is the hyper-localisation of audio content.
“The Standard American accent determines the broadcast in the U.S.,“ says Ricketts. He reports that creatives are experimenting with a spectrum of the different accents of one region to sound local in audio ads. “There are so many different facets to an accent. You have to understand the culture and the motivation of the people to nail that accent.”
“You have to learn about the local trends,“ says Colombian voice actor Juan Carlos Jaramillo R., who offers the Latino accent in English next to International Spanish and Latin American Spanish. “People locally in Colombia have totally different needs than Latinos living in the U.S.”
Since Ara Rivera joined Voices a few years ago, she has seen a vast increase in demand for regional accents. “For example, an ad airing in Miami would likely reach Venezuelans, Cubans, or Colombians, depending on the client’s audience goals, whereas an ad airing in California might call for a Mexican accent, so more and more we are starting to see these regional specific jobs as clients are being more intentional and willing to go the extra mile to reach their target audience,” she says.
British voice actor Scott Tunnix emphasises the trend toward personalisation. “Audiences today have come to expect a more conversational and personal approach. Rather than being spoken at, people want to be spoken to,“ he says. This trend towards a more personal approach is also gaining popularity in areas such as gaming or through the use of dynamic ads where, with access to user information, audiences can be spoken to on a first name basis.
Remote Live-Recording Sessions
Tunnix provides live directed sessions from Cornwall, where he converted his garage into a soundproof recording studio, using programs like Source-Connect or Cleanfeed to bridge the physical gap between studios. The programs allow clients to patch into the studio of the voice talent, providing crystal clear audio quality that can be instantly recorded through any connecting studio with direction and feedback from the client in real-time.
Clients patching in are often based across multiple time zones and so: “Particularly for global organisations, it means that not only is their choice of talent or director not geographically restricted, but their own international teams can all be just as involved in the process as if they were all in the same room together,“ says Tunnix.
Remote connections have only become accepted in the last five to six years as Internet speeds have increased, allowing for high data transfers and low latency connections. Today, the use of remote live recording software has become almost a standard requirement for many voice actors and is quickly replacing the older traditional methods of remote connections, Tunnix reports.
Right now, Colombian Jaramillo spends the month on the Virgin Islands with his wife and enjoys scuba diving in between recording sessions. His voice over gear fits in a carry-on suitcase. “Voice actors were prepared for the change of work during the pandemic. I have all the tools to work from anywhere in the world, and won’t let my clients down when I’m travelling,” he says.
Christophe Caysac‘s voice is known in his home country of France from nationwide ad campaigns and French TV. Caysac delivers the finest French language voice over and accents such as ‘the Parisienne’. Voices exposed his talent to an international clientele and he delivers different campaigns from his underground studio in his house in Marseille with high-speed fibre internet. “Voices offers a lot of jobs every day, but it is not a competitive platform. Each voice is special, and we complement each other. When it comes to the increase in clients accessing global remote talents, Caysac says: “My secret to success is that I deliver the voice work the same day. I love that I don’t have to travel. I’m at home, and I am my own boss.”