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Are They Voice Over Fads - Or Trends?
The 'F-You' Read, Conversational & More 
August 8, 2017

By Hugh Klitzke
Casting Director and Coach
"A fad is a wave in the ocean. A trend is the tide."
- The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout  
Can you tell a fad when you're in one? Or do they have to pass before you can realize: "That was here and now it's gone"? 

Does a trend happen so slowly you can't see it as it's happening?  

Is the "real person sound" a fad or a trend? Time has moved the "non-announcery" sound to "conversational" to "real". A trend shift.    

Is the celebrity read a fad or a trend? It seems to me that celebrities are now hired when they can do the voice over job well - not just for their own sake. A celebrity getting hired for being a celebrity is a fad. (Whether or not they actually need the money is a whole other issue).  

The "I - couldn't - care - less - if - you - buy - this - diamond" sound (sometimes called the F-you read') wound up being a fad. But that was made clear only after the 2009 downturn. All the reads went back to warm and reassuring. It seemed that consumers actually like being spoken to with appreciation and smile and without being told: "If you make the wrong choice and don't buy this durable good item - Pffft! That's your problem."    

What else? 

End of the "announcer sound" or the announcer "type"? Fad. Yet with a caveat: announcers get hired, but they are used ironically or humorously.

The end of "announcing"? (verb not noun) Trend.

Those are two different things. Think about it. We narrate in commercials much more than actually announce things - even when the script has words like "Introducing…" Does that make sense?  

So - what is a voice over trend and what is a fad? Got a thought?
Hugh P. Klitzke is studio manager and voice casting director for a leading bi-coastal talent agency, who in more than a decade has directed over 115,000 auditions for all voice over genres. Based in New York City, he is also a coach specializing in teaching voice over for actors, and blogs at, a twice-weekly blog with helpful voice acting tips.  



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Comments (2)
8/18/2017 at 11:49 AM
Nice article, gave it some thought, and came to this conclusion... Both trends and Fads are 2 sides of the same coin, it just depends on the moment of time you take notice to determine which side your actually on.. "

The Celeb VO" is a trend, as it's currently happening, and there are more of them being produced daily. On the other hand, something that is being heard less by the day - "THE Announcer Read" is also a trend (on a pathway you don't want to be on) that most likely will lead to a fad (a death of read, that has a chance possibly, of resurrection), but is no longer produced at the time you take stock of the market place.. can you say.. "valley girl" (pun intended)
Paul Payton
8/8/2017 at 12:13 PM
Perhaps because I am a rare presence on Facebook and I avoid other social media (pretty much timesucks, in my opinion), I miss "trends," "waves," etc., but somehow I keep on working. What I do hear frequently is that the "straight announcer" or "straight narrator" are "dead" - then I get hired for those parts. Perhaps they're not glamorous, but when the checks come in, they're absolutely delightful!

Thanks for the thought-provoking article. Continued good luck to you!
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