Rates: It’s nothing new that rates are all over the board for talent but lately I’ve seen some big name companies attached to national projects with extremely low rates. I can only guess that ad agencies and producers are doing their best to work with a dwindling budget. Unfortunately, doing this leaves out many of the top Voice Actors. Agencies and producers are left to go through thousands of auditions and trying to weed out the few that might work. That’s a time sucker indeed and a true roll of the dice for the client. With the onslaught of untrained and unequipped talent it leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve found that some can’t even edit their own work…a question I have to ask prospective talent daily.
Back to basics: A voice sells product and represents a company. It’s so important to establish a relatable voice that draws customers in. The goal is to reach the desired demographic and audience that will sell product. Often what I hear is bad delivery with off putting tone and sound. This is not the work of a quality, trained voice talent and it shows. There’s such a HUGE difference between new, very green and untrained talent and those who are trained, well established and have honed their craft to a masters level. Will the poor audio produce results and sales? Good question. Being in the advertising game for 20+ years I can see when campaigns are not going to meet expectations. An absolute part of that equation is the voice talent. Big bucks are spent placing national campaigns and when results aren’t met changes are made. It’s cut throat and totally driven by results.
Why pay a bit more for Voice Talent? Rather than feeling stuck with presenting only talent that falls in the lower budget range, how about a choice? When I give my clients a choice of rate per actor they very rarely pick the least expensive talent but opt for a more expensive talent with spot on delivery, tone and sound. The client can certainly hear the difference and it allows for a truly informed decision as to what best represents the company and product. I hear, “this voice is just perfect for our company”, all the time.
The simple truth: Low budgets leave out better talent. One is buying the right to use the voice of a professional for a period of time to help sell and grow business. In reality, there is no cheap way out. Back in the early days of voice, famous names come to mind like Walt Disney, Mel Blanc and Don LaFontaine. This caliber of male or female actor can be found today with amazing style, tone and swagger, ready to produce outstanding results.