Travel & Tourism

Commercial Voice Over & Narration

The (Marketing) Magic of Storytelling

Once upon a time …”

Nothing captivates an audience better than a good story, well-told.  Whether you’re marketing a movie, a product or service, or a travel destination, if you want to kick your business up a level, and cut across boundaries and barriers, it’s time to make the most of professional voice over narration.

Consider the incomparable storyteller, and one of my all-time entrepreneurial heroes, Mr. Walt DISNEY.  While Disney animations did employ stunning artwork and cutting-edge technologies, the Magic was in the stories and the telling, the emotional connections between character and audience.

Have you ever watched a Disney “cartoon” that brought a tear to your eyes?  How is it you felt a connection with an imaginary character ‑‑ an animated one, no less.  Mr. Walt DISNEY understood how to use the power of story to buoy our spirits, pull at our heartstrings, play on our deepest fears, and appeal to our sense of goodness.

No wonder Walt Disney World and Disney’s ever-growing franchise of parks and resorts are among the top tourist destinations year after year.  That’s the genius of storytelling at work.

You don’t need a theme park to attract an audience.  Today, well-narrated video can be the most effective form of marketing for the travel and tourism industry, and your online visibility is key.

GOOGLE conducts annual studies on this very subject, consistently revealing that two out of three people will watch an online travel video on YouTube or other web sites when planning a trip.  I’ve done it.  How about you?

A Passport Full of Experience … and MORE

One of the most exciting decades of my younger life was spent in the travel industry, mostly with Continental Airlines, followed by some multinational work with American Express.  I lived on airplanes, flying the equivalent of around-the-world nearly every week.  I traveled so much that the U.S. State Department required me to send my full passport back for additional pages ‑‑ TWICE !

I know something about this business of travel.

It’s no longer enough to READ ABOUT destinations.  Vacation time is at a premium.  People want to SEE places before committing their precious time and money.  Video is the closest experience to “being there” without actually making the trip.  This is why well-crafted, well-narrated video content is such a game changer.  Once people feel they understand the essence of a destination, they’re mentally packing their bags and ready to book that adventure.

The Power of a ‘Virtual’ Ticket

The travel and tourism industry lends itself to storytelling marketing like no other.  Tourists want to see and hear a place before going.  Sights, colors, foods, and also voices, music, and real-life stories from other travelers, locals and even experts on the destination.  And it’s the voice over narration that weaves all these sights and sounds together, and that invites your audience to visit and makes them feel welcome.

Rachelle GILLET, an editor for FAST COMPANY, says it well:

Our brains are insanely greedy for stories.   We spend about a third of our lives daydreaming.  Our minds are continually looking for distractions.  About the only time we stop flitting from daydream to daydream is when we have a good story in front of us.”

Professional voice over narration enables you to create feelings, perhaps of adventure or identification with a place, that will connect with the audience on an emotional level.

Destination videos embrace a growth in digitization and democratization in travel marketing.  By relying on images that allow the traveler to experience for themselves, you’re minimizing tendencies to inflate marketing promises, instead letting the actual sights and sounds help tell your destination’s story.

For travel and tourism consumers, video has become the go-to source for information, and the marketplace is hungry for new product.  Consider how a series of short videos can target niche interests offered at your venue (family, sports, music).  Destination videos that highlight specific events or seasons can even help fill in seasonal gaps.

Online marketing expands your reach.  Using social media, your videos will be seen around the world.  How involved are you with telling the stories and sharing what the world knows about your destination?

Book Your Ticket to Exotic … ( wait for it ! )

Want to see and hear an example of doing this right?  It’s probably not where you would expect.  The Pure Michigan® campaign, developed by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, is exemplary.  Comedian-actor Tim ALLEN does the voice over for many of those videos.  The script writing is brilliant, and you can really sense how Tim ALLEN’s heart comes through for his native Michigan in his voice over work.

What can I say?  It will make you want to visit Michigan.

No matter the destination, if you want people to visit, they first need them to see themselves there. Tell them the story of their trip in a way that resonates before they go: create an artful presentation of your special destination, professionally narrated by the guy who knows the business.

What’s the story of YOUR destination?

Let’s tell it TOGETHER.

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