Written by Henrik Timm
Which is better for Advertisements?
We have helped a lot of clients find the right voice for their advertisement. From this, we have learned that the choice between a male or female voice-over is often the starting point for their decision. We think this is a quite interesting behavior – and we’d like to challenge it a bit.
The battle of the genders regarding which voice is better for conveying a certain message has been going on since the early days of radio. In history, male broadcasters have often been preferred for factual content, whereas female broadcasters were favored for the reflective broadcasting. Because of their deeper tone, male voices are naturally perceived as trustworthy and capable of conveying authority – think Morgan Freeman – that man only tells the truth. Opposite, people tend to dismiss female voices in relation to authority, as they generally perceive them as soothing and emphatic. Studies conclude that the differences in gender preference are, more often than not, caused by prejudice and stereotyping. As we take a look at the modern voice-over market this seems apparent – female voice-overs promote beauty and cleaning products while male voice-overs promote cars, tools, and aftershave (are you thinking about Old Spice too, even though it’s not technically a voice-over?).
This makes perfect sense, and we know that it works. Women promote women-stuff and men promote men-stuff.
“Isn’t advertisment all about standing out from the crowd?”
However, isn’t advertisment all about standing out from the crowd?
What if we told you that women compensate for their high vocal pitch by charging their voice to sound energetic, thus conveying authority? Well – they do! Women in powerful positions tend to thrust their words to increase their authority.
This is interesting as it goes against the stereotype – an authoritative woman, who would have thought? (Well, being a married man this isn’t really a surprise to me). In fact, men and women are equally capable of conveying all speak styles and emotions, they just don’t do it the same way.
So – in fact, the gender decision does not necessarily have to conform to stereotypes. You can convey the same message either way and maybe even have an added bonus of “sticking out”, as you go against what is expected.
We are not telling you to ignore stereotypes – they do work. We are just informing you that there are alternatives that can work just as well.
It all comes down to your goals, brand, product and target audience.
Does it sound interesting? Let’s have a talk about your project and the voice you are considering.