The Effect of Voice-over Gender and Targeted Gender of Product on Television Commercial Effectiveness Melissa W. Alfaro Ruanjia Hu Joyce Kosley Casey Martin Mount Holyoke College
Male Voice-overs Used • 1976- Mc Arthur & Eisen • 1978- O’Donnell & O’Donnell • 1988- Bretl & Cantor • 1995- Pierracine & Schell • 1997- Synder
Hypothesis We hypothesize that Mount Holyoke College students will find a commercial more effective when the gender of the voice-over in the commercial matches the targeted gender of the product being advertised.
INDEPENDENT VARIABLES • Gender of Voice-over • female or male • Targeted Gender of Product • female or male • DEPENDENT VARIABLE • Commercial Effectiveness
Why are no Main Effects predicted? ME: Gender of Voice-over Conflicting Research ME: Targeted Gender of Product A product’s gender image is related to the sex of its most likely user (Alreck, 1994; Alreck, Settle, & Belch, 1982). Why is an Interaction predicted? “Match-up” Hypothesis The product’s gender image and the spokesperson should converge in an effective advertisement (Kahle & Homer, 1985).
Materials • Questionnaire –determines effectiveness* score • Highest Effectiveness Score = 30 • 1-5 rating scale ( 1= strongly disagree and 5= strongly agree) *defined as total positive attitude towards the commercial • Sample Questions: “This commercial is persuasive.” “The individual presenting the product is credible.” • “A member of the opposite sex would be more suitable in selling this product” • Emailresponse (not part of dependent measure)
Participants • Randomly Assigned to one of four conditions • Total = 82 • Male VO Male P= 20 Female VO Female P= 20 • Male VO Female P=22 Female VO Male P=20 • *no special requirements
30 second Commercial Clips • Female VO Female P • Female VO Male P • Male VO Male P • Male VO Female P
Procedure Email sent in 3 days 24 hours to respond to email Debriefing Statement
RESULTS • HYPOTHESIS RESTATED and VARIABLES USED • We hypothesize that Mount Holyoke College students will find a commercial • more effective when the gender of the voice-over in the commercial matches the • targeted gender of the product being advertised. • Independent variables: • Gender of Voice-over • 2 levels: male/female • Targeted Gender of Product • 2 levels: male/female Dependent variable: Commercial Effectiveness Effectiveness = positive attitude towards the commercial based on the questionnaire score
ANALYSIS AND RESULTS • Performed a two-way independent groups ANOVA • Found a significant interaction between gender of voice-over • targeted gender of product as hypothesized • F(1, 84) = 10.08, p<0.01 • No Main Effects • Gender of Voice-Over • Targeted Gender of Product
Mean effectiveness scores of commercials with different gender of voice-overs and targeted gender of product Female VO Female P M=19.29 Male VO Male P M=18.43 Male VO Female P M=16.91 Female VO Male P M=16.0
Hypothesis Supported For the female-targeted product: • The FEMALE voice-over was significantly more effective than the MALE voice-over
Hypothesis Supported (Cont’d) For the male-targeted product: • The MALE voice-over was significantly more effective than the FEMALE voice-over
Hypothesis Supported (Cont’d) • The commercial was rated as more effective when the gender of the voice-over and the targeted gender of the product MATCHED. • The commercial was rated as less effective when the gender of the voice-over and the targeted gender of the product MISMATCHED.
Hypothesis consistent with past research Kahle & Homer (1985) The product’s gender image and the spokesperson should converge in an effective advertisement Whipple and McManamon (2002) Commercial is more effective when female voice-over is used to advertise a female-targeted product, than a male voice-over
Implications Male voice-overs are not always the most effective in commercials. Advertisers should choose the gender of the voice-over according to the targeted gender of the product. Future Studies • Different audience • Neutral voice-over • Neutral product • Labeling
Problems and Concerns • Did we choose a proper product? • Were the male and female voice-overs consistent? • Technical Difficulties • Recognition of gender of product • Low effectiveness score across conditions
Acknowledgements We’d like to thank Professor Binder, Lisa, Natalie, Cheryl, Meredith, Roy and especially Nicole.