Voice Overs for Commercials: Everything You Need To Know

When it comes to ad campaigns, voice-overs for commercials is an important part as it helps you to attract the attention of your target audience by projecting the right tone and emotions while delivering the advertising message.

A professional voice over artist brings years of experience to the table and can ensure that the voice over is aligned with your ad copy, music and other elements, thus making an impact. Also, most big companies work with a specific voice over artist for longer periods, which results in the ‘voice’ becoming synonymous with the brand itself.

Voice overs for TV and radio advertisements are quite popular and is usually done in short sessions. Dubbing for commercials and using narrative voices for commercial videos are some of the other things that a voice over artist can help you with.

In this blog, let’s look at the different types of commercial voice-overs and things to consider when selecting a commercial voice over artist for your advertising campaign.

Different Types of Audio Commercials

1. Television Commercials:

While appealing visuals are important for TV ads, a voice over has the power to make an otherwise dull telecast engaging. Consumers not only view the images on the screen, but also listen intently to the advertising message being delivered. As such, here, using the best commercial voice over artist can help bring any script to life. Also, as TV ads are generally targeted to a larger audience, matching the audio with the visuals is important to make the commercial more interesting.

2. Radio Commercials:

Unlike TV ads, voice-overs for radio ads need to create a distinct picture in the mind of the listeners through their voice. As hundreds of ads are produced daily for radio stations; depending on the subject matter, the voice behind the commercial needs to be charismatic, funny or catchy to hold the attention of the listeners and offer an enhanced listening experience. Sometimes, the radio stations use their in-house RJ or hosts for commercials. However, in most cases, independent brands prefer to record ads with a VO artist and then send it to the radio station for broadcasting.

3. Internet Commercials:

This type of audio commercials are increasingly becoming popular today as they can reach millions of people. These ads can either be pre-roll for a YouTube channel or used in a podcast (which is similar to traditional radio spots). Ads on social media and streaming platforms are also quite effective. Plus, explainer videos are a popular format that is used for internet marketing.

4. Live Read Commercials:

This is the most powerful ad format as its an outright endorsement with no ad-breaks or recorded ads. Here, the host or VJ or a VO artist reads the ad live on air, which makes it more persuasive. The average length of live read commercials is between 10 to 60 seconds. It can be done in small segments throughout the entire show, which helps impart more information about a product or service to potential buyers. Also, this form of ad is likely to generate a better response, which helps boost your ROI significantly.

5. Sponsorship Commercials:

This is a subtle advertising format that is much more engaging as it stands out from the daily tirade of constant ads. Here, the host will mention that a particular product or brand sponsors the show. For example, Traffic News brought to you by Assam Tea – India’s No. 1 Tea Brand. This way the host informs the listener about a product or give information about a service without being too salesy.

6. In-Store Commercials:

This is a great way for brick-and-mortar businesses to drive sales. Sometimes, you may have the best in-store promotional offers on a variety of products, but if customers are not aware of them, they are not going to take advantage of it. Here, an in-store commercial (announcements) played on an in-store radio can help you to inform and direct customers to these different products deals on offer. Thus, along with an enticing display of product offerings, also run an in-store commercial recorded by a professional voice over artist.

What Does a Commercial Voice-over Artist Do?

Simply put, a commercial voice over artist helps businesses/brands to promote/market their products and services through voice over narration or voice acting. Brands may have different commercial voice over scripts for different mediums – radio, television, social or the internet. These commercials (ads) are typically in 15/30/60 second formats.

Depending on the script and audio commercial format chosen by the client, the VO artist will deliver the message through different voice styles (funny, authoritative, persuasive, cautious), ensuring their tone has the intended emotional effect and offers complete clarity.

In a video format, the primary role of the VO artist is to narrate or engagingly read through the script either to give more information about a product or service or create a buzz (awareness) about a new product launch. Most importantly, some brands may require commercial voice over artists to create a unique voice for a specific product, which helps in branding.

Voice Overs for Commercials – Things to Look For

1. Versatility: Every commercial voice over script is going to be different. If brands want their ads to stand out, then they need to select a VO artist who is versatile and can deliver different messages in a different voice, tone, pitch, vibe, etc.

2. Tone: People are prone to make snap judgements based on the way a person speaks. Most times, it is ‘how something is said’ rather than ‘what is said’ that helps make an impact. As such, to choose the best voice-overs for commercials, you need to, first, know what your brand tone should sound like. Do you need a calm/authoritative tone for your life insurance commercial? or Do you need an empowering/uplifting tone for a beauty & self-care product? Getting the tone right will help you maintain consistency across different channels.

3. Delivery: Typically, the delivery style includes hard-sell or soft-sell.

  • Hard-sell

Here, the information is delivered in an enthusiastic, forceful and energetic way, mostly conveying a sense of urgency. Generally, car dealerships use the hard-sell delivery approach for commercials.

  • Soft-sell

This includes a light-hearted conversational style delivery, wherein the goal may not be to urge the customers to buy now, but rather generate excitement about a product or spark imagination. The soft-sell approach is mostly used by luxury brands.

4. Demo: Check their portfolio to understand the types of work they have done for different voice genre. You can also send your commercial script to the VO artist and ask them to record a demo for you.

5. Age: While a voice over artist can modulate their voice to cater to different age-groups, considering the right voice age is important as your target audience may relate to some voices better than the other. For example, teens may relate more to a youthful and upbeat voice, whereas adults are likely to connect with a mature voice that is naturally deep, rich, relaxed and resonant.


One of the easiest ways to make your commercials stand out is to use a voice over artist for advertising. The right voice can make all the difference when it comes to forming an emotional connection with your target audience. They can help familiarise your audience with your product/service. They can also help make your advertising message more relatable and trustworthy, which will help boost sales. Thus, always use an experienced and professional VO artist for your commercials as they can turn any subject matter into an engaging listening experience.

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