This much we’ve learned as an animation studio: Big companies want to appear small, small companies want to appear big. Small is cute, trustworthy, hand-rendered, authentic. All the values you don’t normally associate with a business you’re looking to buy electricity or insurance from. Nowhere is this clearer than in the style of voiceover chosen. As big business looks to reassure, comfort and ultimately make us part with our cash, it does so through the unthreatening regional tones of plump dinner ladies offering another spoon of custard.
‘Here at WE GAS we know we’re all in these difficult times together’ whispered like your kind Auntie pressing a shiny fifty pence piece into your palm, no mention of the bewildering tariffs that lie beneath.
It cuts both ways of course. New businesses know they’re on a sticky wicket in terms of trust and credibility, so need to sound established and dependable. So whilst the titans of tech might be able to get their kid or neighbour’s dog to do a VO, if you’re looking to market a new credit card, you’re going to want to appear a lot more like the person who did an MBA after College.
Of course everything in cyclical so eventually we’ll be back to having Ben Elton barking to us about buying a car again. But for now, ass the world licks it wounds from pandemics and crazy politics, we’ll be listening to the soothing tones of Diane Morgan for some time yet.