Thursday, August 06, 2009

The 'Viral' Voice Over Landscape

The 'Viral' Voice Over Landscape
'National, regional, and local' are words we have all heard for years. However, the modern day voice talent must now consider handling a new voice over landscape that has popped up in the past ten years, and within the last two years, has exploded due to social media sites such as You may find that one day, the national spot you did has turned into something bigger you never thought possible, overnight. You never saw it coming nor could you do anything about it.

I am referring to the 'viral' landscape. I give to you a recent example of how such a thing can happen. Given that times have indeed changed, the need for understanding the responsibility of the 'viral' landscape is important:

  • Back on July 6th, 2009, a Voice123 voice talent (choosing to remain nameless) booked a national spot for a type of exercise equipment called 'The Shake Weight'.
  • The talent negotiated the contract, and all seemed like it would be just a regular national spot. Yet, when the product hit the web, it took on a life all its own. You may see the reason why here. Unexpectedly, in just two days this national spot became 'viral' and in less than a week it has appeared on 'Attack of the Show' on the G4 Network, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and 'The View', and has received over 500,000 views on Youtube from the link the talent provided for me. The other links in which other people posted the video have easily added up to another 300,000 views.
The truth is that you simply cannot control the 'viral' landscape because you never know when that national, local, or regional spot will strike a chord with someone and they will begin giving you more exposure than you had ever expected. If this kind of thing happens to you, try the following:

See the opportunity
When exposure has reached 'viral' proportions for you, see the opportunity! As unusual as this video was, its exposure almost overnight led to more work immediately. It is important to note, too, that more than 40% of U.S. households under age 35 watch Internet video on their TVs at least once a month. That includes watching movies via game consoles, Web TV gadgets like the Roku box and Apple TV, and/or hooking up a laptop to the TV. Just because it 'looks like the Internet' does not mean it should be paid less attention to, or ignored as lesser an opportunity.

'Humble + Humor = Safety' and 'Ego + Keyboard = Trouble':
If you really think about it, the Internet belongs to 'everyone' because 'everyone' provides the content. The Internet is filled with experts, professionals, and influential players. So, when one person is given a great amount of exposure, it is best to be humble, and humorous about it.

If this voice talent proclaimed, 'Look at how much exposure this product got, and MY voice is on it. It is because of me.', you would have millions more thinking, 'Who does he/she think she is?'. Marketing the work you have done is important. If it is a job that led to 'viral' exposure, you will get more positive reactions with a humble, 'Yes, that was me. What did you think?'. The 'viral' landscape was created by people communicating with each other, so they did find humor in something that happened, especially in this case. Humor... works on the Internet. It humanizes us in a rather anonymous online world.

I want to sincerely thank the voice talent for bringing this news to my attention. I cannot thank her enough for sharing this with me.

Thanks for reading!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Public Relations Manager
My Blog
Twitter: @stevenNYC123


Anonymous said...

That was a great article, thanks for sending it to me....

Yours, Joshua Bennington.

Smilenappy said...

Thank you for sharing that with us, Steven. It's better to be aware and informed.

Thanks again!

Geri McCann

mike e said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Did the original contract mention the spot would be posted on YouTube? If not, did the talent get additional money for the unauthorized use of their work? Did the talent get extra work because of it, or is she dying of viral exposure?

The Voice123 Team said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Voice123 Team said...

The talent is doing very well due to the 'viral' exposure.

Thank you Anonymous.