• Rob Marley

Working the Plan

What are your goals as a voice artist?

Who among us doesn't have "being 'the voice of' for some big corporation" on their list of career goals? It’s a great goal to shoot for.

But for Kelley Buttrick, she took it one step further: She came up with a plan and executed it. She took Jeep’s slogan of “Go anywhere, do anything” and hired an army of photographers, advertising people, graphic designers and friends to launch an all-out marketing campaign directly at the client.

In a previous article, I talked about the need to "Be Phenomenal, or be Forgotten." Kelley Buttrick is a perfect example of this strategy in the wild.

With her assembled team, she produced a series of videos showing how she is the ideal voice for Jeep. She explained how she’s a mom - a demographic specifically targeted by Jeep - and because she was born into a fanatical Jeep family, it’s remained an important part of her life. She sent these videos along with a snail mail campaign directly to the executives at the corporate HQ.

And she was crafty about it, too! Her video subtly showed off her recording space and gear and emphasized her dedication to voiceover. In words and pictures she sold the idea that this isn’t a hobbyist-level soccer mom; this is a professional.

In her blog post about it, she talks about how she “veered from the traditional marketing path paved for her industry.” Is direct mail marketing REALLY that much of a swerve into 4WD territory? I don't know. Back in the day, this was the standard method of pitching yourself to the agencies. Since the dawn of email, this strategy was largely forgotten about. As a result, getting a postcard in the mail now tends to stand out from the rest of the noise, making it a good strategy to consider.

Could Kelley have (in my opinion) improved on the strategy a little more? Absolutely. For example, marketing directly to the people that do the hiring of the voice talent might have been a better idea than marketing to the people you hope will forward the email and whose considerable clout you hope will help move the idea forward.

Or maybe not. You never really know.

Read more about Kelley's goal here.

Did it work?

Will Kelley achieve her dream? Will the executives at BBDO Detroit - Jeep’s advertising agency - watch the videos and actually consider replacing the voice talent they currently use (and trust) with this unknown simply because she spammed the client?

Honestly: I doubt it.

However, in the grand scheme of all things marketing, that really isn’t the point. There are a lot of advantages to a carefully designed marketing strategy like this besides the obvious one.

Yes, Kelley wants to be the voice of Jeep, but whether she gets a job with them or not, she probably just got on the radar of a few other people who might like her voice. Perhaps an agent that wouldn’t previously give her the time of day might respect her recent chutzpah and now consider taking her on.

And I bet she got on your radar too. My guess is that she shined a spotlight on that little note taped to the back of your head that tells you what you already know: that the best way to get hired is to stand out from the crowd, and that usually involves a lot of hard work and dedication to a plan.

If Kelley’s story helped light a fire under your ass to get out there and be bold with your marketing, then it was worth it.

So what are your goals as a voice artist?

What are you doing to achieve them?


About Rob Marley - A Los Angeles native, Rob is an accomplished voice talent, producer and writer, now living in the Hill Country of Austin Texas.