It's possible that with a bit of luck and a strong wind, you too can remember the day when all commercials - whether radio, TV, or cinema, were seemingly voiced by announcers who spoke with such a plum in their mouth, you’d think they’d all attended a finishing school run by the unholy offspring of Lord Fauntleroy and a Pathe News reader.
These la-di-da men and women were so far removed from the speech patterns of most everyday folk, that in many cases they conspired to make Her Majesty the Queen sound like one of the Geordie “Fat Slags” from Viz comic.
Yes, commercial voices of the 1970’s, 80’s and even the early 90’s were very much born of the old BBC neutral - ‘received pronunciation’ school of speaking. A broadcast phenomenon formulated many decades earlier, based on the peculiar notion that the great British public would only take notice of someone if they sounded like a home-counties chief executive, sporting a top hat and cummerbund. Or, his good lady wife.
Fortuitously, this vocal time warp has long since passed us by. To the point that now, not only are there a plethora of ‘real’ male and female voiceovers to choose from (there are more voice artists in the UK than trees. Fact!) But your business could be represented by anyone, from a whole host of trustworthy, warm, whispering – women, to an unruly gang of lads who sound like they all hail from the wrong side of the tracks - in darkest South East London. As well as every other vocal asset in between.
But how seriously do you really take casting? With an almost unlimited choice of talent at your disposal, it can sometimes be the easiest or quickest solution to just request a ‘neutral female’, or, ‘young male’. Do you listen to your choices? Do you keep up with new talent? Do you consider the critical vocal benefits of one gender over another? What sex is the new model Mini? Is it even transgender perhaps?
The good news is, here at Get Carter Productions, we ask those voice-casting questions every day. All so you don’t have to.
To talk about voice-casting, or for that matter - writing, production or distribution for your next radio or audio project, just give us a call. We look forward to talking to you (in completely non-neutral accents of course)