The Commercial Industry Shake

The Commercial Industry Shake

Posted by John in Articles

The Commercial Industry Shake

A Recipe on Versatility In a Changing VO Market


Combine together carefully in a well equipped studio

  • company that needs to advertise
  • creative advertising agency
  • talent
  • YouTube
  • TV, Radio, Newspaper
  • a changed market


Combining this mixture of ingredients usually results in a winning recipe, but in today’s market of TVO, PVR, Internet, and commercial free specialty channels, this recipe is not working the way it used to.


If you are a part of the commercial industry, then I suggest you read this article and stay ahead of what is happening. There are HUGE changes taking place and while most of you are fighting for legitimate rates, perhaps what you’re not aware of is that you will soon be fighting to work at all in the commercial industry, let alone get the rates we’ve been used to. Why? It’s because ALL companies are turning more and more to social media to spend their advertising dollar. Advertisers are investing in products and interactive shopping experiences and less on radio and television ads.

By focusing on a specific target market through social media, advertisers will spend less money on targeting audiences that don’t want or need their product and this is great for advertisers, but not so great for talent and production crews in this market. There is still a need for commercial voicing/on-camera work, but it’s much less than it ever was and yet far more competition and because advertisers are finding more success with more isolated advertising, they aren’t willing to spend the big bucks they once did. Now they are all looking to reduce budget and reallot funds to social media.


We are seeing many forms of advertising now. Banner ads placed on the shows, product placement, mini 4-10 second banner videos that play while the show is playing, etc. As much as most of society wants to fast forward the commercials, it really messes with our economy. However as much as this changes the Actor’s career, this newfound way of advertising is great for the clients. Now it’s up to us talent to figure out our way in. The problem with banner ads or mini video ads that play during a show is that there is no VO. There may be on-camera acting, but no voice, so that takes a ton of work away from many of us who thrive off the commercial industry.
Then of course there is the YouTube or online commercial industry. Forced commercials that come on for 10-15 seconds–some you can skip–while others you have to watch in their entirety. It’s a tough market to know how to rate it because it’s on the web, but it’s also national. It’s getting amazing exposure, but your rate probably won’t reflect that of the old market for national commercial work, so this has talent frustrated about the new rate industry affected by technology.


In near/current future we will be doing more tag ads, than full commercials, and instead of being paid for the one spot, you’ll be paid to do several tags that they will interchange on the Internet. Because clients will be forced to create several mini ads, this will mean more cost to them. Therefore, like the rest of the planet, rates for actors will drop considerably. They will want a lot, but will want to pay a lot less.


Radio is also in serious trouble here. Because of specialty channels, satellite radio, music apps etc, radio is struggling to get by and it was already struggling. Yes, there is a need for the current nature of radio…the up to date need our society has, but unfortunately the internet is allowing this as well, so if advertisers are finding better results on the social media side of things, then newspaper, radio, TV etc. are not going to be a priority, no matter how much they may love the medium.

I think it’s important that you still stay in touch with ad agencies and production houses in order to maintain a standing in the industry. But you do need to prepare for lower rates and more mass production. This is where I believe the future of advertising is going and I’m here and ready for the next phase. I know it sucks to see the rates decrease. It’s not right, I don’t debate that at all, but basically the Wal-Mart has arrived and is taking over, so you either fight it, or join it! I want to love what I do and work. I want to be a part of growth always and I will still work hard to get the rates I think I deserve, but the categories are changing and I will change along with them. Thank god for narration and character work, but as you know, those rates have changed too. Welcome to the new world: like it or not, it’s here!


I hope my words are helpful in some way and help you so that you can stay forward thinking. How will you mold your business model with this newfound medium? Ultimately it’s up to you!
If there is anything I can do to help you in your journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


Until Next Time Everyone

All my best

VO ChefDeb



22 Sep 2016 No Comments

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