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The voice of MyBudget
By Tammy May

Tammy May: the voice of MyBudgetWhen I was little I dreamt of being a singer. I even joined the Johnny Young Talent School. Fortunately — to the great relief of my family’s ears — I eventually came to the conclusion I wasn’t cut out for it.

That’s not to say that my voice isn’t unique and attention-grabbing. It has through the years been described in such euphemisms as nails on a chalkboard, squeaky hinges and a sick kazoo. That’s to name just a few. My voice is one of the more persistent topics of feedback we get from the public.

The criticism concerned me at first, but I’ve long-learned to accept my nasal Aussie twang. Bernie Fraser (from the industry superannuation ads) and John Symonds (from Aussie Home Loans) get similar feedback about their voices. I suspect one of the underlying issues is that we’ve become so used to hearing media-type voices that real voices sound weird when we hear them on television and radio.

In 2008, when we made our first TV ads, Luke from Rocketeer Films suggested I be the face of MyBudget. From there, Austereo suggested for me to do the voiceover for our radio commercials. It all made sense and we quickly realised that my voice had ‘cut-through.’ The ads stood out because I don’t have a traditional media voice that blends in with other advertising. We were excited — people were actually hearing our ads! I continue to meet people who don’t recognise my face but say “I know your voice from somewhere.”

(By the way, having a cut-through voice also comes in handy for gaining the attention of children, ordering drinks in a noisy bar, calling for the ball in team sports, and parodying Kath and Kim. But I digress!)

MyBudget’s first advertising campaign was a huge breakthrough for us. Before 2008, we had been growing mainly by referrals and word-of-mouth. Our challenge in reaching out to the public was that MyBudget was a new type of service. We had made our own category — what was the best way to explain what we do in less than a minute?

We figured we’d let the stories tell themselves. That’s why we use real clients in our commercials. Their real-life stories are much more inspiring than we could possibly invent. In the process, MyBudget has grown to be bigger and more multi-voiced than my twangy vocal chords.

For a fleeting second, we thought about recruiting a celebrity spokesperson for MyBudget, but who wants to hear about budgeting from a celebrity? That’s not what MyBudget is about. We’re here to help everyday Aussies with their finances, from every walk of life, at every income level, no matter what their financial goals may be.

So, my dream of being a singer is long gone, but my dream of reducing financial stress in the community is rocking on. This is my passion and I couldn’t be prouder to put my voice to it. (But I do apologise to those with sensitive hearing!)

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