Political advertising: How can voiceover add to the effectiveness of a campaign?

by | Nov 2, 2022 | political

We recently brought in a political expert – Ryan, President of an award-winning political advertising agency in the Midwest, to shed some insider knowledge from the creative side of how voiceover work can help shape political ads that people don’t hate. Read ahead for FAQ:


Which elections should I pitch myself for?
Presidential years can be tricky because there are so many people in the running who won’t make it to midterms. One way to capitalize on time and money is to look for voiceover work with Congress, mayors, governors, corporate PACs, or ballot initiatives. This way, your voice is always in the mix on more than one project, rather than backing someone whose ads might not air for long or at all.

Where are people streaming political ads?
Traditional media such as cable and terrestrial radio still holds power, but the audio entertainment world is growing at a fast pace, and advertising is catching up. With podcast voices, and their guests, becoming more and more highly anticipated, some shows have gained millions of listeners and become a part of cultural conversation, including politics. Joe Rogan, for example, has millions of listeners hearing his opinions on social, economic, and global issues — and they care about who he votes for.

What kind of voice actors are political ads hoping to get?
Versatility is everything! Especially in republican ads, the voiceover trends lean to an older and white demographic to target the majority of those voters. In democratic ones, they are looking for Latinx, Black, Asian American talent as well as Gen Z and Millenials to better relate to their key markets.

On the other hand, having a voice that can fit with specific accents or geographic regions is helpful in identification for some audiences. If one person can alter themselves to target voters in California and Georgia for example, or speak multiple languages, that versatility is invaluable.

How involved are VO actors in production?
It varies depending on the agency, but many boutique agencies prefer to include VO every step of the way to ensure messaging accuracy.

Does voice talent need to choose political parties?
Not at all. Voiceover talent can choose to be a part of democrat and/or republican party candidates or issues. Just be sure to track for conflicts.

When should I send samples to political ad buyers?
Plan ahead! Whether you’re submitting a demo or requesting an audition, the key to political ads is to submit work early or even in off years to make connections before it’s too late in the season. It’s also important to keep in mind when submitting your various talent demos, VO doesn’t necessarily have to be specific to political examples.

CSM has a booming list of clients in the political advertising space, across the spectrum of political opinions – and we’d love to add you to our list! If you’ve had any of these questions before or have more, get in touch and we’d love to work with you!