British English Voiceovers Get a Good Positive Reception - Why?
British Voiceovers: Higher Trust & Conversion
There is no such thing as a British English voice; England has a hugely diverse range of English accents. Scouse from Liverpool, Geordie from Newcastle and Brummie from Birmingham; all strong and all, to the English at least, instantly recognisable, even if not always understandable!
For some people, the Cockney Rhyming slang (that used to be) a typical East London accent is the English accent; think Guy Ritchie's films like Lock Stock and Snatch, not the bombmaker from Ocean's 11...
For others, it is the Queen's or King's English that is a true English accent. For others, the latter is quite a posh, aristocratic accent.
My accent is naturally close to the BBC's Received Pronunciation (RP) because I grew up in Sussex, near London. What does this mean? I benefit from the ingrained stereotypes that see the British as trustworthy, honest and authoritative (think David Attenborough).
People worldwide react in different ways depending on how someone sounds when they speak. A British voiceover over a video will feel different than an Australian or American accent.
In England, you might be interested to know how much accent matters. People judge your class, which is still important in England, based on your accent; even if the two only have a historical correlation.
Studies show that people with posh British accents make people more likely to get good reactions from others; be more trusted and have more authority.
The typical British English accent is almost a passport to a good reception internationally; though the British foreign policies often thwart this. The British shouldn't act like this, is occasionally the cry. But this is based on the idea of a history of British playing saints worldwide.
But let's face it; they often weren't.
The British Empire didn't expand to encompass the world because of good manners and red-coated soldiers.
No, the British used all sorts of underhand tricks. They lied to enemies and allies alike, promised this and delivered that.
But their success gave them the luxury of grace. The general becomes the gentleman, polite and engaging.
Years later we see people like the great ad-man David Ogilvy use this Britishness to sell; to sell and succeed.
This is the principle that underpins the success of British expats in business abroard. It is the fun promised in the film Love Actually, in which an English chap visits America and is swarmed by beautiful American girls who love his accent.
Despite the fall of the Empire - the UK budget deficit has just passed a trillion pounds - the traditional British stereotypes persist.
Stereotypes of English Gentlemen, bowler-hatted and playing cricket, never lying and always believable.
Even now, the BBC World Service broadcasts with clear diction and authority into homes worldwide, refreshing and enforcing these stereotypes.
David Attenborough may have the best voice for believable, trustworthy videos in the world. His British accent is his mark and profile.
So much of sales is trust. If someone shady sidled up to you in a bar offering cut-price macbooks, you'd be right to be suspicious; it just wouldn't sound right.
But who wouldn't buy from Prince William? Trust, authority and believability are necessary to sell anything.
You can spend years building up this trust through bare sacrifice and 18 hour days.
Trusted stereotypes that the British gentleman has developed over years and years; and which a large amount of British-speaking people benefit from by birth.
On the Internet, businesses are choosing a British voiceover artists for anything from narrating sales and marketing videos, to website introductions, to voicemail messages. Whenever there are client interactions, a British accent aims to make the impression of the brand more trustworthy, authoritative, and worth doing business with.