There's a lot that goes into creating a video. You have your idea, your script, and of course, your voiceover. Now, in general, most of us have a good idea of the kind of voiceover we want for our videos. At least as far as things like tone or style are concerned.
But, is there such as thing as choosing the right gender for your voiceover project? Well, if studies are to be believed, that just might be the case. That’s why we are here today to discuss whether you need a man or a woman to handle the voiceover for your next marketing video.
In a study conducted in 2010 by AdWeek Media and Harris Poll, involving around 2194 respondents, it was found that:
48% of respondents considered male voices to be more forceful while 49% stated that gender had no real impact. So, it’s 50-50, but it’s still half the population that considers male voices to be forceful – that’s a considerable number of people if you ask us. The very same people who are likely to be your consumers.
46% of respondents considered female voices to be soothing while another 45% stated that gender did not make a difference.
19% felt that a female voice was more persuasive while 18% felt the same about a male voice. However, 64% stated that the gender did not have an impact on persuasiveness.
As you can see, there is a clear difference in the way female and male voices are perceived, which can influence how impactful your marketing videos are. For instance, if your goal is to create a video that is forceful or authoritative, it's better you opt for a male voice. Why? Well, 48% said they found male voices to be forceful while 49% of them said they don't care. So, essentially, you'll end up satisfying 98% of the market.
But, then again, the study above only looked at persuasiveness, forcefulness, and how soothing the voices were. There are other factors that need to be considered a well.
THE TYPE OF PRODUCT
In a study published in the Journal of Advertising, it was found that the gender of the voice did not matter for products that were aimed at men or both genders. However, when it came down to products that were exclusively for women, gender mattered. Customers preferred to hear a woman’s voice.
So, a man and woman, both, would do good at selling a lawnmower, but when it comes to selling makeup kits, a woman would be the better choice.
Trust is another factor to be considered. When Psychologist Phil McAleer from the University of Glasgow got more than 300 people to listen to 60 voices simply saying "Hello," he found that the highest-pitched female voices were considered most trustworthy. As for least trustworthy, it was the lowest-pitched male voices.
In other words, female voices that sounded more enthusiastic and easy-going created more trust among audiences.
Other than that, McAleer also determined that inflection had a role to play. Female voices that dropped at the end of a phrase were ranked as extremely trustworthy. This is because there was a certainty to the voices that created another layer of trust.
Truth be told, we have no clear answer here. However, what we do know is that it all depends on the kind of product you're selling and the kind of impact you want to have on your audience. If you want to create trust or be a little more persuasive, you need to use a female voiceover. The same thing goes for products that are typically feminine.
However, if you are looking to sell a neutral or male-oriented product, you could settle for any gender, as long as the voice meets other criteria.
So, do take the time to figure out what works best for your product and your message. Once you have a good idea, it can help you decide whether you need a man or a woman voicing it. Also, don’t pin all your hopes on using the right gender.
There’s a lot more to voiceover than that. For all you know, a man might just be the right fit for you. So, a tiny study of your own might be in order.
If you’re considering having a video made, contact Melty Cone today and let us know - we are here to help! Melty Cone is a full-service video production company in NYC providing video production services for New York and beyond!