Friday, May 23, 2008

Consumer Psych

Have you noticed how television commercials always use a male voice-over? There's always a man's voice asking us to go buy a brand of detergent or cooking oil (although they're products more likely to be used by women).

It seems consumers (including women) associate a male voice more strongly with reliability & knowledge, rather than a woman's voice -- so says some consumer research.

I find it completely bizzare though...none of the men I know would be able to make a knowledgeable recommendation on a brand of detergent. They would rather check with their wives or moms on what to buy.

14 comments:

Parth said...

That's interesting. I didn't notice it unless you pointed this out. I'd have imagined the use of the geneder for the voice-over would have been decided based on the product in question (for eg. male voice for beer ads, female voide for shampoo ads).

Satyajit said...

If you recollect GOD is referred to as HIM and not HER in most faiths. Also some of the best chefs in the world are men though the kitchen is supposedly a women's forte. Its history rather than preferences that dictate our thinking.....

tejbir said...

a counter ques....
why does the world need women in ad for men garments and even undergarments?
Its deep marketing philosophy...
a concept of BSDP if i recollect correctly (the sequence that is)

Radha said...

Parth,
I hadn't noticed it either until I read this piece of consumer research!

Satyajit,
Yeah, it sure is a man's world. But I just wonder whether sometimes these research findings could be faulty. Maybe women dont trust a man when it comes to buying home products.

Tejbir,
Pretty women get everyone's attention :)
It may not be a "sale" factor; but its more an "attention-grabbing" factor, I guess.

shakester said...

aaargh. a long comment just lost in cyberspace! bah...

i dont think women mistrust or trust the male voice over. There is usually a housewife in the ad showing the female consumer the right cooking oil or the best detergent. The man/male voice usually only narrates or leads us through the spot. I guess its cause of the inbuilt 'man is the breadwinner' type feeling in people. Not necessarily correct or real, but existent nonetheless.

Also, a female voice over stands out instantly, and the marketing people won't always think that a good thing.
I do feel the last few years we have seen more female voices though. Dove, garnier fructis, discovery T&L... pbrands very clearly wanting a female personality, while others rely on the safety (and reliability?) of male voices.

enough rambling. what about years and years ago "washing powder nirma!" admittedly, it was a jingle.:)

ps- "none of the men", radha?? :)

Radha said...

Shakester,
Umm, maybe you're an exception :) ...although I still suspect you would check with D before switching to another brand of detergent :))

The most unreal detergent endorsement I've seen so far was this old ad in which Hema Malini recommended a detergent powder. Do you remember it? I mean...everyone knows movie stars don't wash their own clothes!!! She's probably the last person to take a recommendation from!

J said...

I rem. reading an article on this few days ago.. yeh so it seems, marketing hype.

kaya said...

True their are certain products which have male v/overs and I think most of us women will agree, that we cook to please our men.
left to our own devices when he is out of the country I will live off cereal or cup a soups.
However theres those MALE BONDING adverts where MEN are doing the bonding thing. You know RED BULL or CAR adverts.
Notice how prophylactic adverts have husky breathless women voices.
Duh!
Millions are poured into adverts and the right voice/pitch/timbre all play a huge role on our subconcious. memories from childhood.
Purely female oriented products, (Fair and lovely, Immac, or sanitary napkins) will have women voiceovers. You know as if its a girly secret thing, said in a conspiratorial tone. Like we dont want MEN knowing those details of our lives.

Radha said...

Kaya,
@ "You know as if its a girly secret thing, said in a conspiratorial tone."....
haha, thats so true!

Lotus Reads said...

You know, I'm not surprised to read that male voices are preferred for selling products. I read one time that even when it comes to a female voice, a deeper tone is usually taken more seriously than one that is higher-pitched. It could have something to do with the fact that higher-pitched female voices tend to sound almost girlish. I dunno.

Radha said...

Lotus,
I understand why a *mature* voice would be prefered to a *girlish* voice; but I still don't get why men shd sound more reliable than women.

Aathira said...

I guess what I have seen is that, most of the work with the cooking oil and the detergent is done by the women and the men come along happily and endorse the work done and the product in the process :D :D

Moi said...

i honestly didn't notice..till you pointed that out.......so all this while, it was males manipulating our grocery bills??? isn't there any ill in the world, men can not not take blame for??? ;DDDD

iamyuva said...

where is this coming from??

I remember reading research that commercial more effective when the gender of the voice-over in the commercial matches the targeted gender of the product being advertised. thatz reason we could kids voice-over as well these days.

actually thinking back- i cannt remember too many male voice-over for female products but more vice-versa