Hiring Voice Over for Global Advertising

Ultimate Guide To Hiring Voice Actors

When you’re working in global advertising or helming creative projects targeted at an international audience, you’ll need to customize the way you communicate in order for your message to fully resonate across different markets.

When you are hiring the voice for your next global advertising project, it is crucial that you hire voice actors who have a handle on cultural specificities and can do justice to your project’s message. Just because an individual can speak a language doesn’t mean that they can accurately translate from one language to another for your global advertising campaign. Unless you are immersed in the specific cultural context all the time, then you may miss slight nuances, colloquialisms, or additional elements of your target market’s lexicon.

This is where the process of localization can become an invaluable part of your global advertising strategy.

Luckily, you don’t need to have a team of in-house translators standing at the ready, because online marketplaces like Voices offer a variety of translation and localization services, as well as access to an expansive roster of voice actors who are either native speakers, or fluent in a number of languages, accents, and dialects.

What is Localization?

Translation and localization are often confused with one another. Translation involves taking content in one language and directly converting it into another language, without any attention to cultural or linguistic specificities that may be necessary to include, in order to adapt your message to fit the new context.

Localization, on the other hand, takes the entire spirit of the message into consideration. It ensures that words, dialect, and cultural and social conventions are all considered so that a message will resonate with the specific needs of a local audience or market.

Research has shown that localization tends to be a more effective route than plain and simple translation, particularly because it has the ability to convey a lot more than mere information: a localized message can convey authentic emotion that hits home with a certain population.

While some may presume that translating a script is enough, anyone with experience producing global advertising campaigns will be well aware that properly localizing that script will be far more effective than simply translating it into a new language.

Global Advertising Strategies

Dubbing and Animation

Dubbing, also known as revoicing, involves replacing the original audio recording of one language with an audio track of the same script performed in another language.

In a world where information is primarily circulated online, and is no longer bound by geographic regions, dubbing stands as one of the industry’s most popular global advertising strategies. Dubbing is a great method because it is adaptable to different regions, and grants you the ability to swap in any recorded track of any language into the audio.

When you are casting a voice actor for dubbing, be sure to seek out someone who knows the cultural nuances of the language or dialect that they are voicing, so that they can express the vocal qualities that the voice requires. Native speakers, as well as those who are fluent in the language and living in the market you are targeting, tend to be your best bets.


Transcreation is a form of localization that allocates the creative control for a global advertising campaign to a translator or team in each region the campaign is intended to reach.

This strategy has become increasingly popular among brands that want to maintain creative control over the overarching message, but recognize that their message needs to be conveyed differently in order to hit home in a given region. For example, one major firm that has opted for this method of localization is the Ogilvy and Mather Advertising Agency, who are behind the majority of Coca-Cola’s global advertising.

Transcreation enables a number of individual market locations to build their own version of the creative efforts around the marketing message in a way that specifically appeals to the local audiences in the given territory.

Including Accents and Dialects in Your Voice Over

While crafting your global advertising campaign, you may decide to consider incorporating accents and dialects to achieve a heightened sense of localization.

Dialect refers to the vocabulary and grammar used by a group of people of the same region, socio-economic status, ethnicity, etc.

Accents refer to the pronunciation of common language, rather than the vocabulary itself.

Rendering the voice behind your global advertising efforts in a given dialect or accent will help your project achieve a degree of authenticity and appeal to a certain audience.

However, it is worth noting that while some regions prefer to use their own accent in their advertising efforts, others prefer an accent from another country or region altogether (e.g. certain UK regions, including Bristol and Birmingham, dislike hearing advertising in their native accent, and prefer to hear ads recording with an RP accent instead).

Localizing a Script Will Help Your Project Resonate With Audiences

Localizing your script is not only a crucial step towards achieving linguistic and cultural accuracy, but it also helps ensure that your content will avoid unintentional mishaps, including inappropriate or even offensive words showing up in your global advertising campaign.

When discussing translation, remember that certain words, and even concepts, don’t exist from language to language. Localizing a script can help you find common ground with your audience and communicate your message more masterfully and authentically.

If you need any help with localization, translation, or any other aspect of project management for your global advertising campaign, Voices is happy to help out. Contact us or ask your account manager.