The jingle of sleigh bells. Deep, jolly, Father Christmas-character belly laughs. Choruses of Christmas carolers. That reassuring, cosy crackle of a slow-burning fireplace. Michael Bublé’s 19th radio play of the day… Yep, it’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas!
You simply can’t mistake the sound of Christmas. The opening chimes of Mariah’s All I Want for Christmas is You alone are enough to stir up that unmistakable warm-and-fuzzy feeling that makes you want to grab a mince pie and blanket and binge every single festive film on Netflix.
We curate our own personal Christmas soundtrack throughout our life. From excitable Christmas mornings as children, to overindulging at glitzy festive parties, to precious time spent with partners and loved ones: memories of everything that is watched, danced to, and sung along to are stored deep-down in our brains.
Then, as Christmas rolls around each year, hearing these distinctive sounds and songs again releases an influx of neurochemicals like dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, all of which make us feel happy and nostalgic. Yes, there’s science behind that ‘Festive Feeling’!
Brands and Christmas Nostalgia
More and more, brands are tapping into this Christmas nostalgia. They are producing adverts that catapult us into our blissful Christmases of yesteryear, and they’re using an incredibly powerful tool to do it: the voice over.
Take Aldi, for example. In 2016, they launched their Christmas advertising campaign centered around Kevin the Carrot, a loveable cartoon vegetable who is heading on a perilous quest to meet Father Christmas.
— Aldi Stores UK (@AldiUK) November 8, 2018
The 2016 campaign helped Aldi grow sales by 15.1% and data showed that the campaign outperformed those of the supermarket giants such as Lidl, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, with Aldi winning “the hearts and minds” of consumers.
Since Aldi has brought back Kevin the Carrot for the third year in 2018, the buzz around the campaign has only grown, with reports of shoppers battling it out in the aisles to get their hands on a plush toy version of Kevin.
What’s in a Voice?
So what is it about Aldi’s campaign that has made it so successful?
Aside from the endearing animation and Edward Scissorhands score, the advert is narrated by Jim Broadbent: the beloved British actor who took the part of Professor Slughorn in the Harry Potter film series.
His narration plays on the format of the classic festive poem The Night Before Christmas, drawing upon our childhood nostalgia for magical Christmas Eve story-telling.
Broadbent’s comforting, dulcet, Santa-style tones also evoke the festive delight of watching Professor Slughorn’s infamous Christmas party scenes from the Potter franchise.
With a carefully-chosen voice over actor, Aldi’s ad campaign suddenly became an emotive, nostalgia-inducing modern Christmas classic that has reaped real rewards for the retailer.
This isn’t Just a Voice Over… It’s an M&S Voice Over
Who could forget M&S Food’s mouth-watering Christmas advertising campaign launched back in 2005? The now-iconic TV adverts featured deliciously plump turkeys being carved and extravagant, melting Chocolate puddings, the sales of which increased by 3,500% after the ads!
But the real star of the show was the sultry voice over of Irish actress Dervla Kirwan, which sparked imitations, parodies and, most importantly, a barrage of positive press coverage and advertising awards.
M&S Food now feels as much a part of the fabric of Christmas as Love Actually or a festive eggnog (or two). It’s the nostalgia that keeps us consumers coming back. As well as helping increase overall M&S profits by 35% to £751m, Kirwan’s melodic accent and alluring delivery can surely be credited for cementing our idea of M&S Food as a luxurious must-have at the Christmas dinner table for the last 14 years.
The Power of the Voice Over
Voice over is one of the most powerful tools available to brands and advertisers. Done right, it can be a key factor in ensuring that you connect with your customers in a meaningful way. It can elicit that heart-warming nostalgia that big brands spending millions attempting to manufacture. It can tug on the heartstrings, it can go viral, and it can secure you those all-important sales.
And whilst it doesn’t hurt to hire an A-List actor, that certainly isn’t the only way your brand can harness the power of the voice over. Why not check out our extensive library of artists to find the perfect voice over for your project? Or, if you’re stumped for choice, get in touch with a member of our super-friendly team for a helping hand!
Article written by Sofia Lewis, Marketing and Translation Intern at VoiceBox