3 Things We Learned from Our Interview with Voiceover Artist Kelley Buttrick

On our podcast we recently had the pleasure of interviewing Kelley Buttrick.

Kelley is a voice artist who specializes in matching the right vocal attitude to fit the message for efforts ranging from broadcast advertising to corporate video narration to everything in between. She has done voice work for a ton of big brands—from Volva and Tiffany & Co. to Dick’s Sporting Goods and Progresso.

The way Kelley popped up on our MONSTER radar was the result of a unique marketing effort where she is pitching herself to be the voice of Jeep. That effort created a lot of online buzz (including this article in AdWeek) and got us curious to meet the mind behind the marketing.

3 Key Takeaways on the Role of Voiceover in Marketing

Our interview with Kelley was both awesome and informative. If you haven’t listened to it yet, we highly recommend you give it a spin. In the meantime, here are just a few interesting things we learned from Kelley through the interview…

1. We hear voices everywhere

“Recently I did work for Garmin where I talk to pilots and I got to say the classic ‘Pull up! Pull up!’,” Kelley told us during the interview.

You may not realize it, but voiceover is everywhere. In the podcast, Kelley rattles of a list of some of her recent work on both the local and national level that includes TV ads, radio ads, live announcing, public service announcements (PSAs), corporate videos, how-to videos, apps, and even video games.

“Whenever I go speak to UGA advertising students, I usually ask if anybody can define what voiceover is. And then we go through the things and it’s funny how many people come back—even friends—and say ‘wow, I’ve never thought about that before but I was shopping and heard someone’s voice in Kohl’s and that’s voiceover’. Yes it is!”

2. The “real sound” is what’s in now

“When you’re listening to national spots, it’s very much ‘the real sound’. Probably 98 percent of the auditions we get, they’ve even coined a term: ‘non-announcery’. Do not sound like an announcer. Make it sound real, genuine, authentic. That’s kind of the trend,” Kelley explained.

But while the “real sound” may be what brands are seeking, as with any marketing communication, achieving it can be more challenging than it seems.

“You have to make somebody’s else’s words sound like your own. Which sounds really easy—until you have say things like ‘zero percent APR financing’ like that’s something you chat about with your buddies all the time.”

3. Brands have unique logos—why not unique voices?

“You are married to a company’s pantone colors and logo. And the logo placement must always be in the upper left hand corner. And the font must always be Garamond such and such and so and so. As advertisers, we’re married to these things,” Kelley explained.

“But I think what a lot of brands don’t think about is the sound… I think it would be great for a brand—especially a brand like Jeep to think of one or two voices that can deliver multiple messages.

The tone of voice for the Jeep Wrangler is going to be different than the tone of voice for the Jeep Wagoneer, which is going to be an eight-passenger luxury vehicle. But one voice can still deliver that message in a way that will engage their target. It’s just little differences in the voice, but still when you hear that voice you want them to think ‘that’s the sound of my brand’.”

Get more great insights. Listen to our full interview with Kelley now…