Sounds Like Creativity: Storytelling With The Human Voice

Eric Suliga, Creative Director

This blog post is part of a series celebrating Cannes Lions and creativity in advertising. If you missed the kick-off, you can catch up here

Storytelling isn’t just a buzzword created by the media industry--but it does give us a great excuse to fly to France once a year to award those who do it best! Telling a good story is one of the most powerful communication techniques we have as marketers to convey a message or move someone to action. It’s no wonder that the art of oral storytelling has been part of human civilization since Day 1, helping provide the entertainment, education and cultural preservation we needed to prosper.

We know that brands who tap into this long history of storytelling have more success among their target audience. If you think about it, the human voice is so unique in its ability to express an array of emotions, an important step in forming lasting connections between people. Everything from a timid whisper, to an uncontrollable giggle, or a curdling scream can convey a great deal of feeling to another person.

In advertising, this is what’s called a Voice Profile--and it’s an essential consideration for creating a successful audio spot and picking the right voice talent for a brand. In the world of digital audio, in particular, it’s critical to not use a Voice Profile that takes advantage of a listener’s attention with shouting or excessive repetition. Pandora's audio ads are delivered directly into the ears of an individual listener, so a Voice Profile that feels more genuine and authentic tends to benefit the brand more.

Let’s see an example...

[audio m4a=""][/audio] This clever ad for Clover chocolate milk uses a Voice Profile that sounds down-to-Earth and real--a perfect personification of the company’s brand identity. The light-hearted tone and entertaining script give the listener a sense of relatability--because, c’mon, who doesn’t want a glass of milk after a workout?!

Clover also successfully checked the boxes on our proven best practices for telling a brand story with sound:

1. USE A CONVERSATIONAL TONE Most audio is consumed through earbuds, so there is no need to shout anymore. Consumers will appreciate you more for speaking to them like you would a friend.

2. ADDRESS THE INDIVIDUAL LISTENER Digital audio allows brands to reach millions of people, one listener at a time. So make it personal! A natural tie-in to the platform will make your message stand out as part of the experience, rather than another ad.

3. EMPLOY A CLEAR CALL-TO-ACTION Tell the listener exactly what you want them to do and why. Be specific and straightforward, and they’ll be more likely to follow your direction.

4. COMPLEMENT WITH DISPLAY In an ideal scenario, audio and display go hand-in-hand. Let the audio message deliver the hardworking information, while the display captures the eyes.

It’s great when you have an audio expert on staff who is skilled at choosing the right Voice Profile for your campaign, but often that’s not the case with many companies. Luckily, Pandora has an in-house Ad Creative Team to help our advertisers with everything from copywriting to production ad even choosing voice talent. Get in touch so we can tell you more!