As the branding voice for Canada’s national televised weather channel, The Weather Network, I have the pleasure of providing voice over intros & extros, on a weekly basis, for the various on-air weather features and segments.
As with most voice branding or imaging – continuity is crucial. This is one of the key elements that make any radio or television station identifiable in its tone and style. That voice – on a 24/7 basis – can provide a sense of familiarity and comfort that can help keep the listener/viewer tuned in, or at least coming back.
In the case of The Weather Network, considering EVERYBODY is affected by the weather this means you have both genders, young and old – and all socio-economic backgrounds wondering what the days ahead will be like. From contractors to pilots, landscapers to painters, golfers to drivers and every mother wondering how to dress their kids for school or the park.
You’re speaking to a broad range of people. Your sound needs to be appealing, non-distracting and, well, almost blend into the background enough so that it doesn’t stand out as much as simply keeps elements (commercials, features, etc.) transitioning and moving along smoothly.
With a network catering to such a wide spectrum of viewers I try to ensure my vocal approach is as non-intrusive as possible while still commanding a presence to do the job required. Thus, this would be one of the more laid-back styles to the branding voice delivered:
While it’s important to know your demographic and remain consistent it is also beneficial if you can provide a range of vocal styles and tones should the opportunity present itself. TWN’s programming department was looking for something a little edgier for their HD Promos. Here was a shot at providing some High Octane VO for High Definition TV:
That’s pretty much channeling a typical movie-trailer-announcer style to give the whole piece a bit more bite for an exciting new network feature that deserves it. In this scenario the branding was required not to blend in – but to stand out – and it does precisely that.
This style of voice over I file under ‘Force of Nature!’ (Too much?)