Study: Unfamiliar voice-overs are best
Research by the University of Washington and Rice University suggest TV commercials featuring unfamiliar celebrity voice-overs are the most effective.
UW's Mark Forehand and Rice's Andrew Perkins studied consumers' reactions to TV commercials featuring the voice of actors such as David Duchovny.
The study determined when consumers didn't recognize the celebrity voice, their brand evaluations shifted in the direction of their attitude toward that celebrity. "For example, subjects who liked David Duchovny responded more favorably to brands paired with his voice than did subjects who disliked him. This effect is called assimilation," explained Forehand.
Forehand and Perkins also found when consumers recognized the celebrity voice, their brand evaluations shifted in the opposite direction -- subjects who liked David Duchovny responded more negatively to brands paired with his voice than did subjects who disliked David Duchovny.
That effect, called contrast, was credited to people not wishing to appear irrational. "They believed the voice-over should not logically influence their evaluation and, therefore, tried to remove the influence of the celebrity," the scientists wrote.
The research appears in the December issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International