One of the trends in voice over and voice acting has seen many clients calling for a more natural and conversational read. Radio and TV in America continues to buck this trend. The proliferation of that same old big, scary, deep and ravenous VO might be doing more harm to your brand and imaging than good.
According to a Pennsylvania State University study, reported in The Business Standard, “male voices are not deeply pitched in order to attract female mates, but instead serve to intimidate competition.” The gist of the study is that the deep voice doesn’t help in attracting females, it’s there to scare and intimidate the competition. The deep voice implies, “physical aggression and formidability and seem to provide competitive advantages in fighting or threatening other men more than they help attract women.”
This is really bad news for stations targeting women, and probably bad news as well for formats targeted towards men. Male driven stations and their PD’s subconsciously opt for the big, deep scary voice VO guy to intimidate the competition (other stations) and not as a gravitas for listeners. Seems logical to me. Want to hear a good trend? Listen to the BBC, Sky or other Brit broadcasters. Their imaging and promo VO’s sound like real people.
The first VO below is a good example of the current BBC trend: