Back in 1906, radio pioneer Reginald Fessenden broadcast the first ever music and voice program over the airwaves – making him the first registered voice artist.
Since then, the speech and voice industry has continuously grown, and is now expected to reach $26.8 billion by 2025. There are so many voices we grew up with on TV, film and radio. Some fill you with excitement, others with anticipation, and some are so familiar they feel like family. Yet despite their skill and lucrative work, many of us have never seen their faces. It’s rare that we get chance to meet the creatives inspiring us from behind the scenes – so we’re showcasing three of the most famous voice actors of all time.
The voice of God:
The first needs no introduction, only three words: ‘in a world’. This phrase alone is powerful enough to transport many of us back to the red velvet seats of the cinema, and it was the hallmark of the late Don LaFontaine
It all started as a stroke of luck for LaFontaine in 1965, when a no-show for western film ‘Gunfight at Casa Grande’ allowed him to step in and try his hand at voice acting. Since that day, he’s recorded over 5,000 film trailers and hundreds of thousands more TV ads, earning his reputation as the ‘unseen star of Hollywood’. The secret behind LaFontaine’s enduring success is down to the baritone tales he so often told. His distinctive deep voice and understanding of how to create suspense meant he could raise hairs whether he was reading a script or supermarket receipt – and it’s for this reason he remains an icon among voiceovers and cinema-lovers to this day.
Mr Movie Trailer Man:
Of the many men that LaFontaine inspired, Redd Pepper is one of the UK’s most successful. He began work as a train-driver on the London Underground, and in an unusual turn of events, caught the attention of a TV exec on-board while making his regular morning announcements. After exchanging details that day, Redd Pepper set his sights on the big-screen – and ever since, he’s been busy voicing more than 100 movie trailers.
While you’d be forgiven for walking by him on the street, Pepper’s voice is arguably one of the most recognisable in film and TV today. Showcasing the same deep, dynamic tones that made LaFontaine an overnight success, his talent has brought suspense and excitement to a wide range of projects –from Disney promos to Jurassic Park – which is why he now goes by the name of ‘Mr Movie Trailer Man’.
A nation’s favourite:
Our last name is proof that you don’t have to be in the Hollywood game to make an impact. Peter Dickson was voted one of the top three most iconic voices of the decade in a national poll, and once you hear about his past work, you’ll know why. Dickson was making a big impression on TV from the age of 17, when he became the BBC’s youngest ever news presenter, and has since featured on over 60 channels and 100 shows worldwide. Alongside bringing fun ad campaigns like MoneySupermarket to life, his booming voice has been fundamental to adding a touch of excitement to the nation’s favourite entertainment shows over the past 40 years – and today, you’ll catch the ‘king of voice talent’ using his beloved vocals to introduce both The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.
Each of these voice actors has been strategically selected to make TV and radio more engaging and memorable, and the same can be applied when it comes to strengthening a brand. Choosing a speaker that reflects your character, and using that voice consistently, can have a huge impact on how successfully consumers respond to and recall your business. At PHMG, we work with the world’s top voice artists – so we can help you build a sound as recognisable as the legends themselves.