What is promo voiceover?
As someone who feels extremely fortunate to make his living as a promo voice for the last 15 years (and who thinks promos are coolest gig in voiceover), Stephan Cox often gets asked, What is promo?
Everyone is familiar with TV commercials—they’re spots aimed at selling a product or service, and they’re how TV networks and their affiliates make money. But those same networks and affiliates also want to advertise their programming, so they dedicate a portion of their airtime to spots that let you know about those shows. These are called promos.
Promos can be made a number of ways, either produced in-house by the networks themselves, or by an external production house contracted by the network. The content is geared to be very similar in feel and tone to the show the promo is promoting.
For example, for an action show, the promo will usually be full of fast smash cuts of car chases, explosions, and so on. A promo promoting a drama may be quieter and more intimate. And promos for a comedy will generally pull out many of the funniest lines of a given show, to give the viewer an idea of the humor.
And they almost all use promo voices. Many promo announcers will specialize in one genre, but many are versatile and can promote pretty much anything.
One of the most well-known promo voices was the late, great Don LaFontaine. He was primarily known as the movie trailer guy, famous for the phrase “In a world,” but he did a ton of TV promos, too.
Stephan Cox doesn’t consider himself in the same league as the Godfather of Voiceover (though he did get to work with him a couple times), but he’s an extremely versatile TV promo announcer, and has done thousands of promos for comedies, reality shows, dramas, action shows, and even the occasional western.
Listen for Stephan as a TV promo voice, as well a radio promo voice. When you hear him once, you’ll hear him everywhere!
Here is a recent blog post about promo voice over, in case you’re curious.
Click here to contact Stephan about doing your promos!