Divya Dutta, a prominent actor and the voice behind a number of touching ad films, speaks to Social Samosa about her journey as a voiceover artist in the ad world and how the impact of voice cannot be replaced by any technology.
The other day an Amazon ad played on TV with a voiceover focussing on how the brand defines ‘Nayi Shuruaaton Ki Apni Dukan’. The voiceover for #AmazonNewBeginnings was given by Divya Dutta – an artist with sublime acting skills and an effective voice that can convey just the right message. “I never really did too many voiceovers. But in the past 2-3 years things have changed,” Divya Dutta tells Social Samosa as she reminisces her journey as a voiceover artist.
Dutta recalls giving her first voiceover for a Berger Paints ad commercial which talked about a whole lot of memories that get imprinted on the walls and why it’s imperative to keep them spotlessly clean.
Apart from being a crucial part of the ad films as an actor, she has given voiceovers for the recently launched Whatsapp #MessagePrivately campaign, the now off air- Tanishq’s Ekatvam ad film, Being Beautiful #StayHome film, and more.
The ‘Emotional’ Appeal
Her voice expels emotions like no other and the actor admits to getting calls when an ad director seeks to make something ‘emotional’ and high on sentiments.
“I have not been a regular voiceover person because they call me when there are ads created on emotional sentiments and plus of course, I have no credit to take there but also because they think that my voice is nice,” Dutta shares.
The Right Voice For The Right Ad – Finding The Fit
For Dutta, knowing the concept and the director of the ad is very important before taking up the voiceover role.
“I need to feel happy about giving my voice to it and not just for the sake of the profession. So, if I have a bright smile when I see something – it becomes relatable, and then you kind of give a lot more to the ad in terms of the message that it wants to convey,” she quips.
Commenting on the creative freedom she enjoys while being a part of an ad commercial and during its making, Dutta asserts that primarily she is an actor, so the creative freedom does come her way. “They do look up to me for ideas and inputs. But anyways you direct it as what you want. I just recently did audio for my own book. When it is something that belongs to you – you end up adding lot more emotions to it,” she emphasizes.
Significance Of Voiceovers
Voiceovers convey a brand’s message effectively and when it gets associated with the right voice for a campaign film, it becomes relatable and forms an instant connection with the consumers. What kind of impact do these voiceovers and narrations have on ad films apart from the context and the content they are set into?
“The voice highlights the product that you are talking about and makes it more relatable and not just informative but emotional too”, Dutta adds.
She observes, “Shooting an ad is like creating a story while adding voiceovers to it is like weaving it together. But with short-form content things are different – ek hi emotion ko 5 second me daaldo- ya 10 second me– earlier I used to counter the point like how is it possible to put those emotions in much less time and words. But eventually, I started enjoying that.”
According to her, voiceovers go well beyond being the brand’s voice. It represents the people’s voice and what they have gauged from that ad.
“Somedays I might speak about a product which you might not like, but some script which I narrate might affect you and connect with you; through the voice, you might relate with me and the brand. I think that’s one of the major impacts of having a voiceover,” she notes.
Will Technology Take Over Voiceovers?
“Not all the ads require voiceovers, but some do and that requirement will always stay.”
She adds, “So it’s not that the technology is going to take that away. Human voice and emotions can never be taken away or replaced.”
Talking about her experiences of recording voiceovers during the lockdown, Dutta exclaims, “I think these are experiences. For me, shooting is absolutely different from giving a voiceover. Especially during the lockdown, when we talk about emotions, voiceovers became imperative.”
“In the world of technology, we are talking about emotions. That is a great paradox and it’s beautiful,” she concludes.