How Does an American Voiceover Artist Help UK Businesses?
What Do UK Audiences Get Out of an American Voiceover?
A genuine American accent can be a valuable choice when selecting an artist to do voiceover – especially in the advertising world. It adds a unique flavor in the UK market and touches audiences in ways you might not reach otherwise. As a voice artist from the other side of the pond who often works with British content creators, there are more than a few potential benefits that UK audiences get from an American voiceover.
For starters, because of one of the USA’s most influential exports (that being media content from Hollywood), people understand, use (and speak) general American English virtually everywhere. It saturates nearly every industry and demographic – it crisscrosses markets and audiences to make for an international feel that resonates with consumers and adds warmth, grit and depth to any product or service. By using an American voice over artist, you don’t just give your brand international legitimacy to audiences within the UK, but a global reach that’s impossible to beat.
Why Should I Work with an American Voiceover Artist in UK Markets?
American voiceover artists can do different US accents, dialects, and often Hollywood sound-alike voices. Because General American is their mother tongue, it gives them the versatility and understanding of subtle dialect differences a UK voice actor might miss. It’s not just about being able to perform an American accent – it’s about knowing it inside and out. It’s a competitive edge that makes a difference between a genuine connection to your target consumers, and a performance.
As we all become more aurally savvy, UK consumers can spot the difference between genuine American narration voiceovers and emulated ones. They’re more discerning and know whether they’re hearing a generalized American cowboy accent or a specific dialect we might hear from someone who grew up in South Boston or Queens, New York. Where twenty or even ten years ago, we might have been open to a well executed accent, audiences today want authenticity (which is why most American voice actors attempt the diverse bevvy of UK accents less and less).
Looking at connotations, being the younger country that it is, the American accent is often associated with authority, confidence, innovation, approachability and youthfulness. An American accent may be particularly well-suited for certain types of projects and industries associated with the USA, such as commercials for cars, technology, or certain foods.
Can an American Voiceover Artist Help UK Businesses Reach International Clients?
More and more international markets are moving towards creating media with the American narration voiceover. Until recently, a UK accent (especially RP, but surprisingly other dialects as well) was associated with the height of luxury and made for elegant voiceovers that could add dramatic appeal to any project. But with the increased demand for a Hollywood feel in audio content and voiceovers in new media like podcasts, videos, e-learning, and virtual assistants, there has never been a greater international demand for American voiceover.
Why is an American Accent More Accessible to Foreign Audiences?
An American accent is considered to be more globally accessible to foreign audiences for several reasons. First, thanks to global export of its culture through movies and television series American English is one of the world’s most widely spoken and understood languages. Many countries who speak English as a second language, improve their skills by consuming content on YouTube. General American English is the primary language (dialect) in the United States, but is also spoken by many people internationally.
Secondly, the American accent is considered a neutral accent internationally, which can be understood and related to by people from a wide range of cultures. This can be beneficial when trying to reach a global audience with a message as it doesn’t add any cultural bias, making it easier to connect with people from different backgrounds. It’s modern and, well, given today’s political climate and public memory, for some countries, less rooted in bad memories of colonialism.
How Do American Voice Actors Help You Access American Audiences?
When UK businesses want to make a splash in the American market, they need every competitive edge they can get. By using an American voice artist, you get more than an authentic voice over accent, which resonates more with their lived experiences. Whether you’re a UK business creating an ad or a publisher producing an audiobook – you want to reach your target market as genuinely as possible. Likewise, having an American voiceover artist narrate your projects for a US audience might be the extra push that separates a market-savvy UK business from one still operating as if it was speaking to a UK-only audience.
When it comes to narration voiceover, it can be challenging for a UK voice artist to fully emulate the dialect differences of an American voice over actor. This is because different regions in the US have unique accents and dialects, often shaped by a person’s upbringing, education, and socialization. It’s not just about trying to mimic the accent but also understanding the culture and context of the dialect used.
American Accents are Dynamic
An American accent can give a more dynamic delivery of the narration voice over, adding a touch of enthusiasm, energy, and confidence. This can create an emotional connection with the audience and make an ad more memorable than it would have been otherwise.
Using a narration voice over artist with an American accent can add a touch of Hollywood glamor and excitement to UK advertisements. Bringing a sense of aspirational luxury, and cutting-edge technology to whatever your voiceover narration project might be.
Is the General American Accent a Neutral Accent?
While there’s no such thing as a global neutral accent, there is a general American one. We refer to it as a “general” American accent for a reason – it’s broadly spoken by a majority of US citizens. A General American accent is broad, non-specific, and ubiquitous. Attributed to origins in New York and the Great Lakes region, it was widely adopted as the standard in radio in the 1930’s, then in Hollywood especially after WWII.
It lacks the peculiarities of certain coastal New England dialects (the aforementioned Boston, the Maine dialect, the Philadelphia or Baltimore accents). It is missing the lilting drawal of the Southern regions and the flattened and stretched vowels of the West.
The American Accent is more Broad than General
A UK voiceover artist may be able to emulate some aspects of an American accent, but fully simulating the dialect differences of an American voiceover actor can be challenging and may require special training and practice. From an outside perspective, American dialects are three regional accents – the East Coast, the West Coast, and the South. But there is much more beneath the surface.
In fact, dozens of regional accents and sub-dialects up the different parts of the US. At the moment of writing this, there are at least 24 distinctly recognized American accents – and the list keeps growing.
Can a UK Voiceover Actor Do American Accents Well?
Even as a voiceover artist born and raised in America, it can be challenging to authentically capture every one of the US dialects in a way that sounds accurate. Now, imagine a UK voice artist recording a narration voiceover for an American audiobook or a video game set in a specific region of the US. It’s even harder to replicate the nuances and subtleties of different dialects around a single town in the United States, let alone an entire region.
It’s not just about trying to sound like an American but understanding the culture and context of that specific region. Even American voice over actors need coaching to help replicate some dialects from non-native areas.