February 15, 2018

Voices.com eleased its annual industry Trends Report, revealing the most significant marketing and advertising trends of the last year, and predictions for how these trends will continue to drive business decisions in 2018.

The Voices.com research found that marketers want an “Approachable Expert” to represent their brands with target demographics, driving a selection of authentic and “just like me” actors. This approach relies on a voice that sounds like a friendly, confident peer of the target audience. With an aim to increase audience trust of their brands, 92 percent of respondents indicated creating “emotional connection” as their number one consideration when selecting voice talent.

The “Approachable Expert” style gave way to several voice casting trends for 2018:

  • Demand for languages and specific accents grew, supporting an intent to create more relatable and engaging connections to audiences. Demand for non-English speaking voices grew 60 percent year-over-year. The most in-demand non-English voices were Latin American Spanish, Spanish (no dialect specified), and German. Voices.com predicts that in 2018, requests for English with accents will continue to rise.
  • Marketers are hyper-focused on Millennials and Gen Xers. Respondents said 39 percent of their efforts were focused on Millennial audiences and 54 percent on Gen X. Meaningfully, 78 percent also said they choose voice over actors who sound the same age as their target audience. Voices.com predicts the requests for senior voices to continue to grow in 2018, but won’t come close to demand for these two younger generations.
  • Natural, human-recorded voice is preferred over artificial or synthetic voice . While robots might be taking over other industries, voice over jobs aren’t going away anytime soon. 93 percent of respondents say the human voice is more powerful than synthetic or computer-generated voices.
  • The future is female. Postings calling for female voices grew by 24 percent vs. 16 percent for males, a trend that has been tracking for the last four years. At this rate, the number of job postings for female voices will exceed that of males by 2025.

In 2018, Voices.com predicts a continuing push to select voice over talent who sound like the same dialect, age and gender as the target market – which is overwhelmingly focused on Millennials and Gen Xers, and increasingly, female.

“As Millennials and Gen Xers have become the target audience for the majority of advertising campaigns, creative professionals have begun to shift away from the authoritative sound that has dominated the voice over industry for so long, instead now focusing on natural voices that sound like their knowledgeable friend, rather than a professor or even a robot,” said David Ciccarelli, co-founder and CEO of Voices.com. “The need for voice to elicit an emotional connection by sounding conversational, authentic and engaging will continue to be a trend in 2018.”

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