Most Attractive Accents to American Companies
Popular accents are used in advertising vary differently depending on where you are in the world.
But what about the world’s most saturated advertising market, the U.S.? The U.S. spent more than 72 billion dollars on advertising in 2016. What popular accents, languages, and dialects drive that advertising industry?
America has so many accents across its nation. It’s fascinating to see the origins of the regional accents, and how each area is represented in pop culture. Business Insider published this awesome video on the colorful accents of the U.S. Watch it before we move on to the more ‘foreign’ accents found in American advertising and media.
(If, for some reason, the video doesn’t work for you, you can find it here on the Business Insider as well.)
Voices’s database provides quite the sandbox to showcase these trends…
As the world’s largest voice over marketplace, Voices has purview into trends in U.S. advertising and media. Outside of the typical “North American” accent hired for American advertising, the most popular accents are British, Spanish, and Australian.
Let’s take a closer look at how each of these accents appears in American advertising, and what connotations are associated with each.
Popular Accent #1 – Spanish
Spanish accents used in American advertising help to create a sense of relatability between the 57 million Hispanic people in the U.S. and the brand being advertised. With strong cultural ties, the Hispanic population in the U.S. responds well to advertising that delivers information in an authentic Spanish accent. According to Voices marketplace data, 4% of all jobs in the U.S. incorporate a Spanish accent. That percentage is growing, too! This means that American companies are realizing that they need to make cultural ties within the messaging geared toward Hispanic populations.
Beyond just the growth in this area, is the growth in more localized Spanish dialects and accents being incorporated into marketing messages: Colombian, Venezuelan, Puerto Rican, and Cuban are just a handful that are seeing notable growth.
Voice actor, Daniela Sierra, provided expertise on how each of these accents, and many others, can be recognizable from one another. Check out the article on Training Your Ear for Different Spanish Accents if you’re interested in how to tell these different Spanish accents apart.
Popular Accent #2 – British Accents
The ‘British’ RP (Received Pronunciation) accent is the most persuasive accent from the UK.
Unlike the Spanish accent, which creates a relatability with its audience, British accents used in American advertising appeal to the part of us that yearns to be a part of something more sophisticated. It exposes the gap between who we are and who we desire to be. Essentially, these voices communicate the message that ‘without this product, I am not living up to my full potential and am not living my best life.’ This is why brands of luxury goods will often choose a narrator with a UK accent to voice over their advertising spots.
The accent can also be found in PSAs and important fact-delivery style messaging, as the accent is proven to be perceived as more credible and authoritative (even though it’s frequently also the accent of villain voices in American films).
Up for some UK accent education? Explore the accents of the UK on our interactive accent map! Hear how people from different regions of the UK speak. It could help you determine exactly what accent you want featured in your next advertising campaign.
Popular Accent #3 – Australian Accents
When we hear any accent, the sound triggers the automatic associations that we have with that accent and its origin. An Australian accent is most commonly associated with lightheartedness, sociability, adventurism, and laid-backness. It makes sense that some American companies want to create these associations with their brands by employing the Australian accent in their advertising.
The tactic of employing this accent is similar to that of British accents, in that it showcases a persona that we aspire to become. In the case of the Australian accent influence, it highlights our desire for a less structured, scheduled, run-of-the-mill, everyday routine. We are reminded that the life we want to live is full of spontaneity, loose expectations, and an anxiety-free 24/7 calendar.
One percent of all Voices’s completed jobs in the US incorporated an Australian accent. So, although it’s not frequently used, it holds its niche in the U.S. and delivers on the ideals of the carefree lifestyle.
The Diversity of The United States Makes Accent Selection in Advertising a Convoluted Process
The accents used in American advertising are as varied and diverse as the U.S. population itself. The Voices platform can attest to that. Every year, thousands of voice over jobs are completed for American advertising and media that incorporate accents. Yes, these are more popular accents, yet, there are also voice over jobs completed in just about every accent imaginable: Swedish, Ecuadorian, South African, Slovakian, Scottish, Polynesian, and Persian, just to name a few!
What that tells us, is that more and more often, American companies and advertisers are remembering that the country is filled with cultures from every corner of the world. And to capitalize on the purchasing power of these different cultures, their marketing messages need to represent those voices, too.
What accents have you recently seen in American advertising? If you’re a producer or creative director looking for an accented voice over, sign up for a free Voices account to find voice actors in over 100 accents and dialects.