You have probably heard the voice of the trailer guy, the late Don LaFontaine.
Even after his passing ten years ago, his voice remains arguably one of the most recognizable in the movie industry. In fact, whenever imagining or parodying movie trailers, his voice echoes the loudest in our minds.
(Tip: this is the point to start reading this article with Mr. LaFontaine’s voice).
How did it happen that one man’s voice became an epitome for such a massive concept as movie trailers? To explain here are some observations about his unique voice and career.
- He had a distinctive, almost extravagant voice
- He had a tone that suited each context at hand and enhanced their impact
- He had consistent output – he lent his voice to over 5000 trailers!
Mr. LaFontaine’s brilliant career serves as a prime example of the powerful associations that voice overs are capable of creating. Furthermore, there are good reasons for any brand to acknowledge this. Branded voice overs have the potential to breathe life to your content and speak well for the evolution of any business in the current audio first world.
A character that stands out
To be distinctive is to know what the others are doing – and then avoid doing that. Analyzing the most common voice over profiles in the industry provides the clay to moulding a voice over towards your brand’s shape. Suddenly you have attributes like tones, languages and even genders as tokens for standing out from the crowd.
However, being different should not be an absolute value for branded voice overs, or audio branding in general for that matter. The credibility that your brand sets out to convey comes down to highlighting attributes that truly speak your brand’s mind.
When a good story meets good audio
Can you imagine an action movie trailer without Mr. LaFontaine’s voice?
Even though our movie trailer parodies tend to exaggerate the impact, Mr. LaFontaine’s incredible tone of voice was undoubtedly a major factor that has shaped our assumptions about movie trailers format over the years. Combining distinctive (i.e. memorable) voice to a relevant, inspiring story helped grab the audience’s attention time and time again.
It’s then safe to say that when a well crafted brand story combines with well designed audio, good things start to happen. When applied with orderliness and consideration, tones, pitches and ranges of voice can wing the content to new heights and create lasting impressions. After all, a movie trailer – like branding – aspires to stand out, create expectations and inspire action.
More is more
Putting aside his caricaturistic voice and the subtle art of using it, probably the biggest factor contributing to the trailer guy becoming an epitome for trailer voices was the amount of appearances – he was featured in a whole lot of movie previews. Lending his voice to thousands of teasers over the years is not only an honorable mention to his career, but a textbook example that there is prestige in keeping consistency with output.
Thankfully, there are plenty of natural habitats for quality voice overs these days. Applying a striking voice over to multiple mediums like TV, radio, podcast and on-demand video will go a long way for an effective audio brand to take root.
What’s your voice?
The beauty of branded voice overs is that they sit well within numerous types of content – either visual or purely audio. With some fairly simple ingredients you can create your own voice over with a similar impact for your brand:
- Characteristics of the voice that stand out, either tone, pitch or delivery
- A context that suits the brand attributes, e.g. excited, sincere, or solemn
- Consistency in executing the message, e.g. same voice or style in each campaign
Complete these steps with different localization techniques like language translation and cultural consideration, then your brand is well on it’s way to become a paradigm like Don LaFontaine’s golden voice is to movie trailers.
We at Audiodraft will be happy to help you get there.
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