Filter by/
Region/  All
Type/  All
Sorted By/  Most Recent

The voice of advertising and marketing is male, new research reveals

By / / In In the News /

The UK marketing and advertising sector speaks with a middle-aged, male voice, new research has revealed.PH Media image_4 WEB

A study conducted by PH Media Group found the most popular voice used by agencies is male and aged between 35 and 45. It is also friendly, clear and distinctive in tone, helping to reinforce a sense of accommodating service and authority.

The male voice is generally perceived by customers as authoritative and professional, so can work particularly well for business-to-business organisations.

But audio branding specialist PH Media Group advises firms to choose branding that suits their specific company values and claims a female voice may be equally as effective.

Dan Lafferty (pictured), head of voice and music at PH Media Group, said: “An older, deeper, masculine voice  can be used to convey a sense of authority, especially when combined with corporate music,.

“This is important in portraying a sense of knowledge, professionalism and standing to business customers.Director of Voice and Music, Dan Lafferty (WEB)

“But that doesn’t mean it will necessarily be the best fit across the board and companies should use a voice which best reflects their products, customer base and service proposition. A feminine voice can be equally authoritative but is also perceived as soothing and welcoming, reinforcing an ethos of dedicated service.”

The research audited marketing and advertising agencies’ on-hold marketing – the messages heard by callers when they are put on hold or transferred – to reveal which voice and music is most widely used.

The most popular music tracks were purposeful and confident in style, designed to reinforce the energetic and creative nature of the industry.

Many firms opt to use popular music tracks but, due to existing emotional associations, these tracks are often unsuitable in convincing a customer to buy.

“Sound is a powerful emotional sense,” added Lafferty. “People will often attach feelings, both positive and negative, to a piece of commercial music, which will be recalled upon hearing it.

“Placing a piece of commercial music in an on-hold situation, no matter how cheery and upbeat it may seem, is a lottery of the individual’s previous experience of the track. Using commercial music is also a square peg, round hole scenario, taking a piece of music and trying to make it fit a new purpose to convey a message it was never intended to.

“A bespoke music track starts from the ground up, with each element forming or reflecting the brand proposition, and with there being no previous exposure among the client base. The physical attributes of the track – whether major, minor, fast, slow, loud or quiet – are used to communicate emotional meaning, rather than the personal experience of the individual.”


Sally Hooton
Author: Sally Hooton
Editor at The GMA |

Trained as a journalist from the age of 18 and enjoying a long career in regional newspaper reporting and editing, Sally Hooton joined DMI (Direct Marketing International) magazine as editor in 2001. DMI then morphed into The GMA, taking her with it!

Leave your thoughts

Related reading

  • Keep up to date with global best practice in data driven marketing

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.