Television is in crisis: is the myth of the promo voiceover still alive?
We have now assimilated the fact that television is in constant audience crisis. In the nineties, therefore almost thirty years ago, the italian tv promo voiceover was considered a myth, an element of network identity that served to define and distinguish one generalist channel from another. I bow to the great and late voice over artist Fabrizio Casadio who was a pillar of the identity of Italia 1, before Raffaele Farina took his heritage. Even today, the voiceover talents of the Mediaset networks are characterized by unmistakable voices, such as that of Enrico Maggi for Canale 5. The audience of these networks – we can admit it – has aged with them, and habituality offers the suggestion that nothing changes with the passing of time.
Talking about tv’s flowing in the free air, the voiceover of the promos is still fundamental today. A bit of a substitute for the “Miss Good Evening” from the sixties – eighties. My dear mother is a devourer of televisions, in the sense that she destroys one every three years, since she keeps it on from early morning until late evening. For her, the voice talent of the promos is the daily informer of the news that are worth seeing, the ones in front of which you can take a nice nap, the ones that “oh still? I’ve already seen it twice! “
So do you want to see that the tv promo voiceover has passed its purpose? Not yet, and let’s find out why.
If television content is on demand, does it still make sense talking about promotion?
The present of digital television are on demand channels. Content platforms where anyone can choose according to their preferences, and that memorize our tastes by offering us content similar to those we have appreciated before.
However, platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video also have voiceovers in their ranks. These are the announcers who in the pre-rolls before the start of a film, tell about other productions in programming worth seeing.
Similarly to the on-demand television model, the tv promo voiceover also takes on relevance on the radio stations, since it represents the last bastion of a “flow” programming. After all, who doesn’t like digging around by car twisting between radio channels? The radio station voice over plays a very important role in placing the identity of the channel in a specific sector. Youthful, contemporary, fresh, institutional.
I also briefly return to emphasize the importance of the TV promo voiceover which offers its own identity contribution to digital channels.
As many of you know, I have been the official voice over of the Discovery Channel promos for many years, and while the pay satellite landscape is constantly evolving, the character of the voiceover remains the same. Let’s say that the flagship network of the Discovery platform offers mainly entertainment content, in which the element of discovery and knowledge plays a primary role. That’s why is necessary an engaging voiceover capable of defining the mystery of the discovery and at the same time ready to give relevance to profound and relevant contents.
Well, when you pass through the 400 channels of the sky platform, let’s say hello!
Short guide for aspiring italian tv promo voiceover
Are there any particular skills that need to be acquired to become an effective TV promos voiceover ? An important question for which reflection needs to be made. Television content is always very varied within a channel, albeit thematic, like Discovery Channel. Versatility therefore represents a fundamental character for the official voiceover to be able to properly interpret every program launch, be it a reality show, a special production about killer sharks, or an informative program that shows how common objects are produced. However, the versatility of the italian tv promo voiceover is not the only quality one must have. It must be accompanied by a deep knowledge of how to properly use the microphone to get the best out of your voice.
A little sound technique tips in interpreting in front of the microphone are absolutely necessary and allows, playing with microphone proximity, to be warm, intimate, institutional, serious, aggressive, epic and so on and so forth!
Training in front of the microphone is therefore a piece of advice I give to all italian voiceovers who want to improve their vocal qualities to become a true voice professional.
Thirdly, I would add a subjective element. Curiosity. In fact, it is not possible to give back different deliveries as the official italian voiceover of Discovery Channel, if you don’t constantly immerse yourself in reality, if you don’t see many movies, if you don’t stay connected with current events. Being able to pick and offer your autobiographical experience is essential: in the recording booth there is never enough time to “build the emotions” imagined by the promo producer, a real specialist in the genre!
A super-specialized job for monsters of creativity that enhance the italian tv promo voiceover
We mentioned the promo producer, a fundamental figure for us advertising italian voiceovers when it comes to promos . The promo producer is a particular professionalism, halfway between a copywriter, an art director, a creative, a strategist, an editor and a language expert. In short, it is a true communication animal, willing to spend entire nights searching for the creative idea to make the most of a television program in time for the première.
The turnaround time of the TV promoter is in fact very tight. Often the production releases the materials of the program or series only a few days before its airing and the creator of the promos must immerse himself in the contents in the short time available, understand the objectives of the network, translate them into a creative idea and put it into practice. practice. That’s why promoters wake up late, always have a tired face and dress like nerds with surf shirts and skateborder sneakers.
A job that lasts a few seasons, because it consumes. But it promises so much of that experience to make you whoever you want to be in the golden world of television whether live or on demand.
Some of them in fact become directors, other executives, creative directors in advertising agencies, still others decide that it is better to move to a high mountain refuge away from the stress of the city!
One of them I’m friends with is very determined to become an adv italian voice over talent. This is why he practices at night with his own microphone in his home studio!
I can’t wait to meet you again, dear colleagues. In these months of distancing our interaction with creative promoters has been truly sacrificed, seeing us from a distance, interacting as we can. Because the interaction between the Italian TV promo voiceover and the creative is an essential moment to be able to recreate an on-air magic capable of attracting large audiences around a television program.
We’ll be back on Discovery’s audio facility soon. I promise. Meanwhile we keep on recording from our italian home recording studios.