Children have some magnetic pull that instantly captures your attention. For example, some of the most popular commercials that immediately grab attention are done by children. It makes casting children voice-over artists one of the tricks to create a mind-blowing commercial.
The attraction in children can be found because they tend to make the audience laugh and instantly fall in love. The best commercials by children are usually memorable and incredibly powerful, helping to push the message as desired by the brand.
Luckily, you can use children to entice adults and children alike, ensuring that your brand capture market attention. Children can identify with their own while adults will love the courage and presentation by children. It is also a chance to capture a generation of years down the line because the face or voice is never forgotten.
While using children in a commercial can be rewarding, it is not as easy as it sounds. Many things can go wrong, leading to lost time, resources, a messy commercial, and even legal challenges. The result can also be a depressing presentation that does not resonate with the children or adults. As the producer or brand manager, many preparations and considerations must be in formulating any commercial involving children. With inadequate preparation, you might have to rethink the idea, make it expensive, or abandon the entire project altogether.
Directing a children voice over project is another element that will tax your skills and patience. Children do not have the initiative. They also fail to understand instructions like adults. Furthermore, some regulations govern the use of children in commercial ventures. Prepare for these headaches even as you try to work with kids on your project.
Success with Children Voice Overs
The challenges of working with children are not meant to discourage you from using one of the most valuable voice assets in developing commercials. You only need to know how to align these talents to help you achieve the desired goal. Further, you must identify danger signs early while developing mechanisms for overcoming these challenges.
That said, how do you know that the use of children in your campaign is successful. Plus, how best can you achieve excellent results?
Here are tested tips that will help you use a child’s voice over, having great success and least trouble.
Tip #1: Children’s Voice Over Must Complement The Brand Or The Message
Using children on some products or messages is strictly prohibited. Alcohol and adult products are areas where children’s voices and images cannot be used. Further, a severe message might be diluted by the use of a child. However, there are numerous options whenever you feel that the voice of a child is the perfect fit.
A company that wants to project the image of fun and easiness is at liberty to use the voice of a child. Family-friendly products will also benefit from the sound and impression created by children. In this case, children are used to talking to parents or their peers. Children’s voice-over has a psychological element of capturing the attention of parents and causing the kids to demand the products from their parents.
The demographic of the target audience will also guide you on whether to choose a child for the voice over or not. If you are talking to people in their 30s and 40s, they will quickly identify your message when you include children. Using children when talking to youths in their 20s will be futile.
The bottom line when using children in your commercials is to assess their suitability in delivering the message. If the audience can identify with their presence on the commercial, you can proceed and incorporate them. Do not force a child’s voice into a commercial. It will be a disaster.
It’s all about getting into your audience’s head and matching what they want.
Tip #2: Review the Labor Laws Regarding Children
Children in the media are not treated in the same way as adults. It means that you cannot wake up one day and decide to use a child on your commercial without facing the consequences. Each state and country has different laws on the use of children in media.
In most cases, a permit from social services officers is required. It aids guides you on the does and don’ts alongside reminding you of responsibilities you have to fulfill when hiring the child for a voice-over. The permits indicate the hours of engagement, compensation, and working conditions, among other factors.
The fines are punitive in case any rule is broken. It would be best to remember that the kids must reap the benefits for as long as the commercial is running. Look at a guide on children in entertainment in different states within the USA and see where your project falls.
Tip #3: Dedicate More Time To Casting
Casting children’s voice-over artists requires more background work than an adult. Adults are more comfortable because you call for an audition and might even be spoiled for choice. However, children are different: they are more than what you see. They may talk naturally but find it challenging to produce the voice you want.
Visit the kid at home, in school, at a social gathering, or in such places where you can assess character. It will be important when directing because it determines the ease with which children take instructions. Remember to talk to parents to understand how easy or difficult a child will be when working on a project. It will be useless to have a superb voice that cannot take directions.
The mention of parents when casting children is not by mistake. Hiring a child means that you also have to deal with his or her parents. Do not be surprised when the parent becomes the source of trouble. Will the parent release the child on time, or will unreasonable demands interfere with your project schedule? These are real concerns you have to think about when working with kids.
Voice Bunny has a database of highly trained child voice over talents that will make it easy to complete any project using kids.
Tip #4: Modify the Studio to Fit the Kids
Kids want a comfortable place with few instructions and a pleasing appearance. A studio that is a few feet long and wide may, therefore, be uncomfortable and unfamiliar. Moreover, it may interfere with the ability of the child to give the project his or her best. You have the responsibility of making the studio friendly and calming to use.
Pick colors, microphones, seats, and decor that appeals to children. Safety is also a significant concern for children. Cables and electronic equipment are a potential danger when dealing with children. Make the experience as simple and relaxing as possible. Such enables the child to produce an exciting voice that will make your commercial captivating. Moreso, the project will be more comfortable, faster, and enjoyable to complete.
Tip #5: Direct A Child and Not an Adult
Children are easily distracted and might respond negatively to criticism. You will need real grace to remain calm when directing a child. They might not achieve distinct voices, not because of their skills but an inability to understand instructions. Hence, it requires tact and patience to direct children’s voice-over actors.
It helps to have a familiar parent or relative to help. Moreso, the child feels more comfortable with a parent or than a stranger. Beyond being receptive, the child will give the script his all because of the excitement.
Recording a child who has to act in distinct voices will naturally take longer. Luckily, when a child gets your drift of doing things, he or she will produce excellent results. Patience and persistence is the only way to benefit from children voice over talents.
Bunny Studio has an endless list of children’s voice-over actors that will fit your next campaign. Their vetting and training guarantee the most comfortable experience once you hit the studio. You will also get a perfect voice for any project you have in mind.
Do’s And Don’ts When Working With Children’s Voice Over Talents
Work on the streets has it that children are challenging to work with for voice over projects. However, it is inevitable to engage them because children can only execute some of the projects.
However, do not panic whenever you land a project that requires the engagement of children. We have included additional the do’s and don’ts that will give you a smooth ride when working with children.
Let’s continue, shall we?
1. Talk to Children Nicely
Children can be adamant when irked. You require real skill to get them to follow your instructions, especially at the elementary level. Worse still, if a child develops a negative attitude towards you, you will have to wait for adulthood to change that. Such pronounces the end of your participation in that project. They are like actors with nothing to lose. You end up losing an incredible talent that would have changed your branding fortunes.
Thus, do not talk down on children at any point in the course of the production phase. Children want to be treated with dignity and respects. Remember that they do not understand this as a job and can, therefore, do without it. Be friendly, straightforward, and respectful. While you may use humor, the child may think that everything is fun. Measure your approach to achieve the best results.
2. Set the Scene Using a Detailed Briefing
Children can be talented voice actors. Once you set the scene, they can identify with the props and respond accordingly. For instance, inform the child voice over artist that the recording will be heard as children watch a presentation on a screen. The visual image created helps the child actor to twist the voice to suit such a scenario.
A link to the images or videos could also help the child to deliver the script better. Allow the child to listen to previous or similar productions. It will help the kid to understand your instructions better, aiding them to deliver a captivating voice over.
3. Take Regular Breaks
Many commercials and audio productions have used children’s voice over talents that were not actual children. A lot of adults can imitate and accurately deliver children’s voices. Such a scenario will make your work easier but might not get the quality you are looking for in a talent.
Some projects demand an actual child’s voice, with the expectations being reasonable. It means that you have to deal with a short attention span that results in boredom should the session exceed ten minutes. Awakening the spirits again to deliver on the project entirely will be difficult. Use the following tricks to maintain attention
- Divide the project into clips that can be completed in 10 minutes
- Take breaks between sessions. It could even mean shooting on different days
- Please do not make it to appear like hard work
In cases where a tight deadline is forcing you to work continuously, a young-sounding voice over talent is the best bet.
4. Allow Children to be Children Always
Regardless of the brand, budget, or production team involved, children voice over talents remain children. They like playing, touching stuff, and having fun. Hence, accommodate their attitude by providing incentives, breaks, complements, and friendly language. Please do not deal with kids like adults; else, you will lose their services and attention.
The parent or guardian may help you with rehearsal. Record the words and provide the file or link to the parent for practice. You may also ask the children to say the lines differently to see the impact it will have on the performance. You will be surprised at how children can speak to fellow children with ease. The freedom of creativity is also one of the tricks to make the child proud of his performance.
Remember, recording today is not done in the presence of the client in most cases. To avoid mistakes, determine the lines that require multiple reads beforehand. Also, include this information in the script to prepare your voice talent. Such gives you numerous choices when the audio file arrives after recording. Studios will offer chances for re-runs if the lines require another take. At that point, the instructions and delivery will have been polished, ensuring that the project meets your expectations.
A youthful perspective makes many voice-over projects attractive. It is a perfect way to reach parents and the under-18 crowd. Once you have gotten the right child’s voice over talent, you can be sure that your project will be a blockbuster.