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Is The 'Announcer Voice' Really Dead? Nope,
Not For Older Generations With Buying Power...

October 30, 2015

By Rick Lance

Voice Actor

The 'Announcer Voice' - that sales-pitchy "voice of God" style that was so popular years ago - is no longer the norm in voice over. But is it really dead? Well, yes and no.

While there is undeniable evidence that the announcer voice is used less and less frequently, there are some interesting factors at play about why this is happening and what the future holds for this traditional style of VO.

Let’s look first at why this style of voice over is declining.


In the past, the announcer voice was valued for its confident, self-assured style that could sell just about anything. 

Now, however, audiences - and especially those in the coveted 18-30 demographic - don’t want to be sold to. They want to be talked to, and they want it in a non-salesy, conversational manner. 

The announcer voice smacks of corporate dominance, and for millennials, this is a huge turn-off.

Because of this, there has been a move to voice overs that are more conversational in nature.  The conversational style is much more appealing to younger generations, which is who the majority of advertisers are trying to reach.


Again, though, the question is raised - is the announcer voice dead? While some may argue that it’s dying, it’s not quite dead yet. 

There’s still a large segment of society that appreciates and responds to the announcer style in advertising. And, more importantly, it’s the older generations who value this style that have the buying power right now in America. 

Millennials are more unemployed and underemployed than ever; they have less money and are more reluctant to spend what they do have. 

Data like this is what marketing strategists take note of, which may ultimately change the way they communicate with consumers. And once this happens, it won’t be too surprising if we see a return in the familiar confidence of announcer style voice over. 
Rick Lance has been working as a voice talent since 1993, transitioning from singing demos and personal projects in Nashville’s music business to voicing hundreds of commercials, then promos, narrations, character voices and more. His vocal style is described as Americana, the voice of the Heartland. He is currently the voice (narrator) of three hunting programs and one outdoor program on the Sportsman Channel and the Outdoor Channel. His client list includes Toyota, Harley Davidson, Sony Entertainment, Coca Cola, Life Care Centers of America, John Deere, Jordan Outdoor Enterprises and Sacred Seasons II. He has also become a leading voice for the industries of construction, manufacturing, energy production, trucking, agriculture/equine, outdoor sports, travel, community banking, finance and health care. And he is a colorful voice for film, television, museum and corporate documentaries. "I’m lucky to be working within my comfort zone," he says, "literally living out my voice acting life as an outdoorsman, horseman, weekend cowboy and working man, gentleman farmer on my six acre mini ranch with my horses, dogs, cats and my wife near Nashville.”

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Comments (5)
10/30/2015 at 10:26 PM
I was assigned a spot today for a manufactured home dealer that specifically asked for "high energy" with heavy emphasis on "Save Thousands" and etc.
Bobby B
10/30/2015 at 11:27 AM
Well said, nailed it! Those of us with the "Timber" that most VO peeps don't have are faring pretty well these days. We, too, can be "conversational" and the "guy next door" - BUT we also have that Rich "Announcer" Voice in our arsenal as well. Thanks for your welcomed post.
Joe Geoffrey
10/30/2015 at 11:27 AM
I sure hear A LOT of "it" for "it" to be, I agree with you that "it's not quite dead yet."

But, where do you get the data to suggest: "There’s still a large segment of society that appreciates and responds to the announcer style in advertising."

If you're trying to market long-term care or a reverse mortgage, who are you going to listen to? Fred Thompson, Henry Winkler, William Devane or, Don Pardo?

Have you seen a study to suggest that older folks "appreciate" an "announcer style"? Or, are you referencing the economic facts, older generations have "buying power" and millenials less so. Which can be argued whose "buying power" is more lucrative. Millennials have another 50 or so years to be "brand loyal", establishing households, buying furniture, cars, and rearing kiddos. While the "older folks" have 20 or so years to plan for some comfort in retirement, along with long-term provision for themselves and spouses.

"The announcer voice" is probably most represented in radio - and specifically "radio imaging" (and bad, local DJs - where they even exist anymore). Imagine if Coke used radio imaging as a model for their VO. (Say this with a growl) "More calories than a field of cane sugar...COKE."

I think some people have a polished "delivery" (news anchors) and some people have rich character and resonance in their voices. It's when those with character and resonance figure "it" out that they'll be over-the-top in demand. But, the announcer voice - so "last century"...
Wes Cunningham
10/30/2015 at 11:13 AM
From your lips to God's ears.....
Larson Bennett
10/30/2015 at 10:26 AM
I'm in the older demographic, yet I appreciate being talking "to," not "at". Some local car commercials still employ the big voice with images flying onto the screen at a frenetic pace, but, gladly, even local auto clients are seeing the folly in this. As a mature adult, I tune out when abrasive commercials hit my TV screen. The irony in all this is that I was creative director for several years at an ad agency that pumped out those BIG, BAD, BALL-BUSTER spots for dealers all over the country. Sure, there's a place for high energy, but now it's mostly for monster truck events and such. Clearly, viewers and listeners want honesty and clarity when they're about to sign on the line for a big-ticket item like an automobile.
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