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The Sound of Financial Services Commercials

What do all financial services commercials have in common? Bottom line: to create or nurture trust. This important goal is at the heart of the creative (story, images, messaging) and the essence of the voiceover in anything finance. Money is a touchy issue and can foster anxiety and fear. The cash itself is not what people actually care about, but what it represents – freedom, security, space, time, independence, community, pride, experiences (travel), the ability to pursue your passions, relaxation, status, choice. Sound right?

But the flip side of that coin is stamped with the negative emotions surrounding the lack of understanding about money, and by the shortage, waste or loss of money. Financial shortfalls bring disappointment, frustration, and the feeling that banks and financial service companies don’t really care about their clients or customers.

For these reasons, the message, the story, the voiceover work in concert to build and solidify trust. We go to investment advisors for retirement, for savings accounts, for saving money for transactions or on loans. The financial services sector includes credit unions, banks, brokers, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, general and life insurance, mortgages, and fin tech, like digital services. Done well, ads for products or services target messages to address consumer concerns and offer solutions.

To the consumer whose eyes glaze over at mutual funds and investments, the messaging centers on being complication free. A matching voiceover might be friendly and warm, light-hearted or reassuring. The sound and mood counter the scary and bring relief.

Mortgages and educational savings products can be big long-term ventures. People undertaking them are looking for a partner not an institution. Sincerity, heart and authenticity speak volumes in these ads.

Fin tech produces results for issues in today’s world. Messaging, story and voice over in these ads range from the savvy and authoritative to the modern, confident sophisticate.

It’s a fine line to ride. Listeners and viewers like to think the decisions they make are logical, but purchase decisions are almost always emotional, then backed with logical justifications. The most well-crafted ads for financial services do both.

Female voice over artist Kim Handysides has narrated hundreds of commercials for the financial services sector and coaches actors how to connect with messages to drive results for clients.

What is Voice Over Narration and How Much Does it Cost?

If you’ve watched a lot of online videos, you’ve surely run across voice over narration. Voice over narration uses an off-camera voice to provide pertinent information to the audience, to coordinate with the visuals on the screen.

Although voice over narration is not the same as the commercial voice overs you find in broadcast or advertising, it can still be used to market, promote and sell your services. You’ll also find it useful for videos that explain or instruct.

Online videos are a prime place you’ll find corporate voice over narration, often used to provide information about a company’s services, products, history, philosophy or internal processes. Depending on the purpose of the narration, the target audience may be employees and volunteers, contractors and vendors, customers and prospects, or the general public.

Examples of Voice Over Narration

Examples of corporate voice over narration include videos that:

You’ll also find voice over narration in specific niches, such as technical, health, medical, e-learning and explainer videos.

What is the Cost of Voice Over Narration?

Like all projects in the voice over industry, the cost of voice over narration depends on a number of factors. The cost of voice over narration can range anywhere from $150 to more than $1,500 for a project up to five minutes long.

Factors that come into play when setting the rate include:

  • Minimum starting rate for up to five minutes of finished recording
  • Additional minutes of recording, usually charged per finished minute (pfm)
  • Total length of project, in finished recording minutes
  • Where finished project will be played
  • Audience size
  • How long the project will be used
  • Rewrites and re-recordings, known as pick-ups
  • Phone patch services that allow real-time direction from client

Additional factors may include the company budget for the project, whether or not a union contract or talent agent is used, the rates competition charge for projects of the same scope, and the voice over actor’s level of experience with the particular type of project.

For more information on voice over rates, you can always check out the Standard rate guides, the VO Resource Guide and an online pricing calculator similar to one professional voice over actors may use. The best way to get a solid quote on voice over narration is to contact the talent you want to hire. This way all the details can be ironed out and agreed upon before the project even begins, paving the way for a successful project overall.

Voice Actor Debbie Grattan has been working behind the mic, on stage and on screen her entire adult life. With over 20 years of experience as a full-time VO talent, she has recorded for hundreds of clients, including many Fortune 500 companies.

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