Voice Overs of the World: 2010 Winter Olympics
Olympic fever has gripped the world, and we here at Voice Coaches are just as excited about the games as anyone. Every day since the Olympics started, there’s been water cooler talk about the previous night’s events, and there hasn’t been an unexciting evening yet. I thought it would be fun to take a look at a few really terrific commercials from the Olympics that feature some truly outstanding voice overs.
The first commercial above is a terrific piece from Molson Canadian, and boy, does it ever evoke a sense of national pride. Sure, the nation represented in the commercial is Canada, but since we love our neighbors to the north, I just had to share this great spot with you. I really, really love the voice over in this ad. The voice actor behind this commercial delivers a perfectly rugged, slightly bombastic (yet with a sense of humor) “rah rah, Canada!” high energy rant about why Canadians are “the way they are.”
I think my favorite line from this brilliantly written piece is “We have more square feet of awesomeness per person than any other nation on earth.” And the way the voice actor delivers that line, you believe him 100%. By the end of the piece, between the sweeping music and the cheerleading voice over, you feel proud as heck to be a Canadian.
Even if you aren’t one.
Normally I don’t spotlight celebrity voice overs here in Voice Overs of the World, but, come on, this is Morgan Freeman we’re talking about. For this year’s Olympics, he’s voiced a whole ad campaign made up of numerous commercials for Visa, all of which feature that deep, rich, memorable voice. But this is the one that stands out the most for me. Sure, Dan Jansen’s story is both heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time, but Freeman delivers it just perfectly. While most of the other commercials are upbeat, even humorous spots, this one requires some subtlety and real emotion.
By the end of this 30-second spot, due to the combination of the story, the music, and — of course — the voice over, I’m about ready to well up with tears. That’s a pretty impressive feat for a credit card commercial to accomplish.
Finally, this commercial for Hudson’s Bay Clothing is another terrific example of a more dramatic voice over. Unlike the Morgan Freeman narration above, which tugs at your heart strings, this spot really goes for a sense of history and pride. The voice actor is pitch perfect throughout; he’s got an incredible voice, and he really conveys a sense of having been there for the past 340 years’ worth of history.
What’s interesting is if you compare this ad to the Molson Canadian ad above, they’re similar in terms of the sweeping, dramatic background music used. So isn’t it amazing how utterly unlike each other the two ads feel thanks to two very talented but very different voice actors?
When it comes to your voice over career, simply use the same mentality as the world’s olympians: go for the gold!
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