I was a Finalist For Best Political Voiceover Talent of The Year at the Reed Awards. The Reed Awards are the most prestigious awards in the political industry, recognizing excellence in political campaigns, advocacy, and communications. The 2023 Reed Awards were held in Las Vegas, Nevada, and brought together some of the most talented and innovative minds in politics. With so much talent in one place, the awards ceremony was nothing short of spectacular.
The 2023 Reed Awards were hosted at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Aria is known for its luxurious amenities, and the Reed Awards did not disappoint. Attendees were treated to five-star accommodations and top-notch service throughout their stay. Well, we weren’t treated to it. We paid for it and we got what we paid for.
The Aria is a beautiful hotel and the lunches at the breakout sessions were great. I attended the Democratic strategy session on day one where I had an opportunity to meet democratic strategists and introduce them to my ideas and services, as well as make friends with like-minded individuals.
The awards ceremony itself was a dazzling affair, with the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas on full display. I arrived in a tux, as it was advertised as a black tie affair. Other attendees arrived in a variety of styles, from business casual to their finest attire. Regardless of dress, everyone was ready to get tipsy, get trophies, and celebrate the best in political campaigns and communications.
I was a finalist for Voiceover Talent of the Year. Going into the awards I was excited about the possibility of giving an acceptance speech. I’ve seen many awards shows in my lifetime. The highlight always seemed to be the winner accepting their award and thanking their parents and everyone who worked with them. I was prepared with a somewhat off-the-cuff speech. I hadn’t written it down but there were elements of it that I had memorized in the event I was chosen as a winner.
But disappointment happened even before the winner was announced. We were informed at the ceremony that there would be no acceptance speeches. A collective low volume of gasps was released upon announcement. I wasn’t even sure if I cared about the award any more.
The awards ceremony recognized outstanding work in several categories, including Best TV Ad, Best Digital Ad, Best Website, and Best Direct Mail. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges who reviewed each entry and evaluated them based on creativity, effectiveness, and overall impact. This year was the first year that there was a category for voiceovers. Upon learning this, I entered my name into the competition, and months later, I was emailed letting me know that I was a finalist.
One of the most exciting moments of the evening, the announcement of winners in the Best Political Voiceover category, came early in the ceremony. I knew that with stiff competition, I was not a likely winner. But I was hopeful. I have never competed for an award before. The winner was a campaign ad for Voiceover Artist of the Year went to the super talented J Micheal Collins and was tied by Soraya Butler. J Micheal won for his ad called John McCann for Chula Vista Mayor and Soraya won for her “Sandwich Generation” ad.
I entered an ad into Best Political Voiceover competition which got national headlines for attacking Georgia Governor Kemp for supporting segrated schools. The ad made news on the AJC, the Root, NewsOne, and others. The ad caused News One to call it “a royal rumble of political mudslinging going on in the peach state”
Some of the other winners in the voiceover categories included my beloved friend Bev Standing for best use of a voiceover talent in an online video. Keaver Brenai won for Best Use of an online talent in a radio or podcast ad. And Maria Pendolino from Bluewave Voiceover won for Best use of a Voiceover in a radio ad. For a detailed list of all the winners click here.
The 2023 Reed Awards were a reminder of the importance of effective communication in politics. Voiceover talent stand at the forefront of that communication and have finally been recognized. Whether it’s through television ads, social media ads, websites, or radio, effective communication can make all the difference in a political campaign. The winners of the Reed Awards in the Voiceover categories demonstrated that by voicing creative campaigns, we can be impactful and resonate with voters on a personal level.
As the ceremony came to a close, I left feeling inspired and motivated. I had met great people and hung out with other that I already knew. I didn’t lose. I won. I had been recognized for some of the best work in the political industry, and was eager to take what I had learned back to Atlanta to hopefully be effective in voicing future political voiceover projects. The Reed Awards set the standard for excellence in political campaigns and communications, and the winners earned their place among the best in the business. Congrats to them. Now if only I can get them to change the spelling to the “R.E.I.D” awards for next year.