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Can A Successful Brand Have An Accent?

Dancia has a Post-Graduate Certification from Wharton University of Pennsylvania for Digital Marketing.

Introduction

With the right one, yes. However, as with all tools, voice talent can be misused.

We all have accents but assuming this article refers to using voiceovers without a North American accent with a North American audience.

A successful brand establishes them in the mind of their target audience, be it directly to consumers or other businesses. They give their audience a reason to remember and select their products or services. In order to have a successful brand, they must market themselves in a way that enhances their desirability and consolidate consumer loyalty.

Why Voiceovers?

Voiceovers are ear-catching because people automatically listen to recognizable phonemes (Davine, Tucker, & Lambert, 1971) but accents can make the message stick. People tend to remember or pay closer attention to things that are unique or stand out (Jamieson, & Morosan, 1989). This should make the company and their message more memorable for the audience, with the exception of having an accent too thick to understand.

Subtextual Context

Accents can create subtextual context (Mauchand & Pell, 2021). For instance, French provokes the idea of elegance and high fashion, which is used by companies like Dior.

German is often associated with intelligence and efficiency, which is used by VolksWagon (notice the end of the ad where they say the brand name).

British is thought of as high class, which is used by Rolls Royce.

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B2B Marketing

Accents can be beneficial for B2B marketing as well. Take a look at AveryDennison’s British accent.

Here is also Docusign’s Australian accent.

Accent in History

Throughout the early 20th century, the Golden Age of Hollywood, the Transatlantic accent (or Mid-Atlantic accent) was popularly used to target consumers and businesses. This accent is a blend of British and American. It was used in a variety of industries for many products such as radium.

Sources

Davine, M., Tucker, G. R., & Lambert, W. E. (1971). The perception of phoneme sequences by monolingual and bilingual elementary school children. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science / Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, 3(1), 72–76. https://ezproxy2.cpa.ca:2055/10.1037/h0082251

Jamieson, D. G., & Morosan, D. E. (1989). Training new, nonnative speech contrasts: A comparison of the prototype and perceptual fading techniques. Canadian Journal of Psychology/Revue canadienne de psychologie, 43(1), 88–96. https://ezproxy2.cpa.ca:2055/10.1037/h0084209

Mauchand, M., & Pell, M. D. (2021). French or Québécois? How speaker accents shape implicit and explicit intergroup attitudes among francophones in Montréal. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science / Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement. Advance online publication. https://ezproxy2.cpa.ca:2055/10.1037/cbs0000292

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