We’ve covered some great tips and advice about casting the best voice-over artist for your commercial; however, there are some things you should be familiar with before starting your project such as differences in usage (is your video a standard marketing video or a commercial?) and union vs non-union talent.
In this blog we will cover these topics.
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photo by Scott Graham
One key element to keep in mind for your marketing projects is the difference between standard marketing videos and commercial spots as well as the usage of each.
Marketing videos: these are videos that showcase a company’s products and services and do not have a standard length–they can run from a few seconds to ten minutes or longer. These videos are to improve sales but can also act as instructional videos to help customers become familiar with how to use a product or service.
Commercial spots: short segments, typically 15, 30, or 60 seconds in duration that also showcase a company’s product or service but with the primary purpose to increase sales and shared with potential clients through paid advertising.
The usage for the two types of videos above generally differ: marketing videos can be stand-alone videos that appear on the company website or official YouTube page–for instance a series of tutorial videos on a new line of products. Commercial spots, on the other hand, generally appear as a quick spot between television or radio programming as well as pre-roll before a YouTube or Facebook video. Commercial spots can also pop up on social media platforms as sponsored content and are meant to grab the user’s attention. Marketing videos in comparison typically require the user to voluntarily click on the video to watch.
Because of the difference in usage, commercial spots generally have a higher budget than a standard marketing video. Depending on whether you decide on union or non-union with either type of voice-over will also have an impact on your budget (with union rates being generally higher).
When hiring a voice-over artist, one of the first key considerations is whether to hire union or non-union voice actors. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Union commercial voice-over actors in the U.S. are part of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). SAG-AFTRA charges their members an annual membership fee and promises their members higher pay rates, pension, legal protection, and a number of other benefits that a non-union actor would not be able to receive. In order to receive these benefits, the union actor promises to pay dues, not take any non-union work, and adhere to all union guidelines. Here are some key things to know:
Despite the paperwork and higher costs, some companies unionize their commercial projects so that they have access to the union talent pool. Non-union projects are unable to hire union voice actors, though being non-union does have a number of advantages for companies:
photo by Dylan Gillis
As you can see from the above, it’s important to determine whether you video is a standard marketing video or a commercial spot, and from there decide if you’d like your project to be union or non-union.
These considerations will help you with your casting and also how you’d like to use the video within your company’s bigger marketing strategy.
We wish your marketing project all the best! If you need help casting talent for your upcoming project, contact us today for a free quote by clicking the button below: