Accents in advertising are used very differently depending on where in the world you’re advertising.
But what about the most saturated advertising markets: The U.S.? The U.S. spent more than 72 billion dollars in advertising in 2016. What accents, languages, and dialects drive that advertising industry?
Voices.com’s database provides quite the sandbox to showcase these trends…
As the world’s largest voice over marketplace, Voices.com has purview into trends in U.S. advertising and media. Outside of the typical “North American” accent, the most commonly sought after accents are British, Spanish, U.S. African American, and U.S. West Coast accent.
How Spanish Accents Are Being Used in American Advertising
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.com marketplace data, 4% of all jobs in the U.S. incorporate a Spanish accent. That percentage is growing, too! Which means that American companies are realizing that they need to make cultural ties within the messaging geared towards hispanic populations.
Beyond just the growth in this area, is the growth in more localized 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 if you’re interested in how to tell these different Spanish accents apart.
How British Accents Are Being Used in American Advertising
The ‘British’ RP accent is the most persuasive accent from the UK.
Unlike the Spanish accent, which creates a relatability with its audience, when it comes to British accents used in advertising, these accents 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 this 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).
How Australian Accents Are Being Used in American Advertising
When we hear any accent, the sound triggers the automatic associations that we have with the accent and its origin. An Australian accent is most commonly associated with light heartedness, sociability, adventurism, and laid-backness. It makes sense that some American brands want to create these associations with their products by employing the Australian accent.
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’s 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.com’s completed jobs in the US incorporated an Australian accent. So, although it’s not frequently used, it holds its niche in the US and delivers on the ideals of the care-free 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.com platform can attest to that. Every year, thousands of voice over jobs are completed for American advertising and media that incorporate accents. Yes, there are more popular accents (as mentioned above), 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 this 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, are you using accents in your projects?