The Sweetest Sound is a Person’s Name

We’re constantly looking at Hopper and thinking, what can we improve, where can we make it better. Then in conversation with Josh Shirt (who voiced the ‘Hopper promo’ and ‘How it works’ videos), we mentioned the idea of wanting to have people’s names vocalised as well. His response was the rather poetic “the sweetest sound is a person’s name”.

Well, that comment got us really motivated. Everyone who gets a Hopper video sees their name, so we began investigating how can we generate the audio for it too. How can we tap into that deep part of the psyche where you hear your name and are immediately engaged?

There are plenty of synthesised voice generators out there, but there’s one problem with these, it’s called the “uncanny valley“, this is when the human in us recognises that what we’re seeing or hearing is almost human but not quite.  The result is your guard is up. For Hopper this would be a total failure, a first impression when getting a personalised video from a brand is getting creeped out…. game over.

So we did it the human way. We rolled up our sleeves, identified the key demographics for recipients of Hopper videos and had started getting each name recorded….. hundreds and hundreds of them!

The result is if you’re name is in the database, you get to hear that sweet sweet sound of your name, and if not, it falls back onto the failsafe of “Hi”.

So now our clients have the option to have an even more nuanced personalised video (so long as they use our recommended VO artists) and we’ll continue to add to our library because for every name that gets requested that’s not in our library, it get’s added to the next recording session.

Have a go and see if you’re name is in Hopper, click here or “Try it” above.

Matthew.

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