The Power of Voice

In a previous blog, we discussed brand thinking and that you had to go deep; examining and thinking about your brand involved your whole company from top to bottom. One of the most effective ways to promote your brand is to use video, whether this takes the form of film, animation or a combination of the two. It can be an explainer video or a motion sting to get attention, or even a documentary capturing some aspect of a process you are looking to share.

As with everything, you want to align this with who you are and what you stand for – you want your genuine personality to come through. You want to continue to differentiate yourself, and to do so you need to set the right tone of voice – literally – the power of voice can be really impactful in helping to deliver this. Here we look at three examples across tv, film and even music where someone’s voice alone has elevated their message to another level.

David Attenborough

David Attenborough finds association with excellence and is an obvious choice in many categories. He has an incredible CV and a worldwide following that has made him famous. His experience, together with the way he carries himself, the actions he takes, and the wonder of our planet he expresses in any project he has found involvement in, have solidified his reputation across the decades.

All of this comes through in his voice – there is real empathy there – conveying emotion and deep understanding without it being syrupy or condescending. Narrators often sound like they are reading from a script – that it is someone else’s words and that it’s just a job they are doing. Even when they make attempts to get your attention, it can seem out of place or false.

In Attenborough’s voice, his experience comes through, shaping each pause, modulation and syllable with weight and gravity that only he can deliver. You genuinely feel like he is a participant in what is being viewed and that he alone has just the right manner and wisdom with which to convey what is being witnessed. His voice is perhaps his greatest asset, and there will never be anyone like him again. 

James Earl Jones

From a planet activist to a planet destroyer – could anyone else have voiced Darth Vader? Special effects are often the element most discussed about Star Wars, and yet as with many films, there are often more overlooked elements such as sound that play just as big a part. They are indeed special effects themselves. Imagine Darth Vader without the voice of James Earl Jones – it just wouldn’t have been the same.

Star Wars, at its heart, is about good vs evil and in order to root for the good guys, you need someone truly evil and menacing for this to connect with an audience. If Darth Vader is the embodiment of that evil, then Jone’s voice is the biggest reason you feel that. David Prowse, the actor in the costume, was chosen for his height and stature – unfortunately, he did not have the voice to match.

Enter James Earl Jones, whose job was to deliver menace, fear, and power – take his voice away and leave you with an empty shell. Jones’ deep, reverberating voice commands attention and matches the physical presence of David Prowse with the sheer weight of it hanging in the air. James Earl Jones starred in many films and tv shows such as Roots, Conan the Barbarian, Coming to America and Clear and Present Danger and yet in isolation, his voice behind the mask of Darth Vader is probably his most effective role. 

Liz Fraser – Cocteau Twins

This final example might be lesser-known but is equally powerful and unique. While this is about music and a lead vocalist, it is still worth highlighting to show how a very unique approach can deliver something quite special using voice.

Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins truly uses her voice as an instrument – her vocals are often largely unintelligible in terms of formed words that you can hear or translate and yet more powerful because of it. They allow her to tap more deeply into a subconscious dream-like state and deliver surreal, abstract, textured sounds that capture the imagination and make you wonder what she is singing about. It’s all about how it makes you feel at a very basic level. She is perhaps best known for her collaboration with Massive Attack on their 90s standout track Teardrop. A song that would later find use in the intro to the tv show House starring Hugh Laurie. 

Are you looking to elevate your marketing with the use of video and unlock the power of voice? Click here to learn more about our video capabilities, or click here to contact us and find out how elastic can help you bring your genuine story to life.



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