Unsurprisingly, the 2020 Super Bowl inspired some of the best creative in TV advertising. And many of those ads included a key piece: voice over.
I thought to myself…
Can’t we learn something from these ads?
The top creatives in the world strut their stuff this time of year. And voice seekers like you (and voice over actors like me) can study their work to discover what voice read styles are current or what role the voice overs are playing in the year’s pinnacle of TV commercials.
So, I decided to do just that.
I gathered every ad that featured voice over during this year’s Super Bowl (27 total) and laid out some important details and findings:
Key Overall Takeaways (Click to skip ahead)
Voice Over Read Style
Voice Age Range
Name of Voice Actor (bummed I couldn’t find more names)
Agency Behind the Spot
Key Overall Takeaways
And My Favorite Voice Over Performance
There were a lot of ads with voice over this year, so let’s dive right in.
p.s. If I missed a national ad with voice over or if you know who the voice actor is for a specific ad, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll fix it as soon as possible.
Celebrities accounted for 8 of the 27 ads featuring voice over
Many pro voice actors bemoan the use of celebrities in big TV commercials, but as we can see here, there is still massive opportunity for non-celebrity voices.
Announcer-y is not dead
While the “real” person read still reigns supreme, the “announcer-y” read is far from dead and still occupies a large space in some of the country’s most expensive commercials.
Age is just a number
The 30-40 year old age range was expectedly the most popular, but younger and especially older voices were prominent throughout.
Voice over as mirror or contrast
The juice in most ads was the live actors involved (celebrities, actors, etc.) while the voice over served as a mirror for the action at the end of the ad or as a direct contrast to the silliness or seriousness of the ad. However, the few ads which used voice over as storyteller (New York Life, Budweiser, Google) were my favorite. Shocking.
My favorite voice over performance
Tessa Thompson in New York Life’s “Love Takes Action” ad drew me in from the start and left me wanting more. I’ve already watched it about ten times. Listen to how she differentiates each kind of love and makes each feel important but ultimately contrasts them all with “Agape” as the highest form. It sounds like a story from beginning to end – as if she studies Greek literature and mythology, so this is a passion for her. It’s effortless throughout (even though we know it’s not). *chef’s kiss*
What was your biggest takeaway from these ads?
Comment below to share your insights.