02 Sep

Your Brand Voice – Male or Female?

When creating a radio campaign, we’re often asked for our opinion on male and female voiceover artists to front radio commercials. A very big question for a brand, as they will ultimately be responsible for the impression you leave on the listener. They will convey the sound of you. In casting a male or female voice artist, people often wonder which works best.

The reality is that neither one is better than the other. Both male and female voices have different attributes that can make them better suited to your radio advertising campaign. And in most cases it’s these attributes that make the voice relevant to your brand. That said, the gender of your voiceover can have many specific connotations. Female voices are very often associated with being trustworthy, soft, believable. A study in the States discovered that only one in five people consider a female voiceover to be more persuasive than a male. At the same time, male voiceovers are most associated with being authoritative and factual. But in the same study, only 48% of people believed that a male voice is more forceful, and 46% believed a female voice to be more soothing.

So it comes down to what message you are trying to convey in your radio commercial. And also, importantly, who your true target market is. The best voice artists are the ones that resonate most with the audience they are trying to appeal to. Consumers of make-up are mainly women (sorry guys). Consumers of razor blades are mainly men. So it’s common sense to use a trustworthy, believable female voice for a cosmetics radio commercial. And to use a straight-talking, factual male for a men’s razor campaign.

But what if the product appeals to everyone? Another study that came across our desk recently showed that the gender of a voiceover artist was irrelevant for products that were either neutral or aimed primarily at men. In this study, the gender of the voiceover artist only really mattered when it came to female-oriented products.

So if your product or service is “gender-neutral”, there are many other factors to consider when choosing a voiceover.

The tone of voice. A kids soft play company will no doubt want a bubbly, fun, excited, playful voice. An injury lawyer will need the other end of the spectrum – professional, serious, genuine. Whether they’re male or female is largely irrelevant.

Age. The kids soft play ad will probably work better with a younger VO whilst the lawyers would need a more mature sound.

Then there are accents. Where are you based. Are you appealing to local people. In which case, a local accent will work much better than someone from the other end of the country.

There is a lot to consider when choosing a voiceover to represent your brand. Ultimately, tone, personality and accent are just as important as gender. And it’s essential to put a lot of thought into finding the right voice for you. After all, that voice artists may represent your brand, certainly in terms of impression on a radio listener, for years.

Questions? If you’d like to discuss the right voiceover for your brand, drop us a line and we’ll look into some options for you. And for those of you wondering, a male wrote this article… although as you know, that is irrelevant…

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