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Do VoiceOvers Induce Hunger?

Aug 17, 2007
Sitting down to watch television can be an enjoyable, relaxing experience. However, while a person is contentedly watching a commercial about a food or beverage product, regardless of time of day, there are numerous creative elements trying to persuade stomachs that their master needs to eat, especially if that tummy is subjected to food commercials prior to consuming a decent meal.

Ever wonder why it is that people react so intensely to these subtle, yet edible suggestions?

One would suspect that an internal reaction to the material presented acts as a subconscious catalyst to induce symptoms of hunger. The hidden ingredients that trigger an emotional urge to eat, aside from the obvious visuals, are found in the copy (script) of the commercial and embodied in the voiceover, reading the copy in a cleverly, appetizing manner.

It makes a great deal of sense that the captivating essence of a message on TV would heighten an individual's interest and magnify a state of hunger to proportions unrealized until the onset of deliciously executed advertising.

In theory, the copy and voiceover performance in a food commercial is supposed to conjure insatiable cravings in a viewing audience. Now that this topic has just been discussed in detail, it's time to consider the other side of the coin. How does the actual production of these commercials affect those, particularly the voice talents, involved?

If a viewing audience is being persuaded by the copy that a voice talent is reading, is it then not inconceivable that the very talent delivering the message of a good home cooked meal could be subject to the same hunger pangs?

For example, a voice talent could be reading the copy for a commercial about a hearty, home-cooked meal, complete with roast beef, glazed vegetables, and mashed potatoes...

Perhaps they are voicing a commercial that targets people on the go, marketing quick fixes like fast food restaurant fare, take-out, or pop in the oven TV dinners. Alternatively, the voice talent could be promoting lavish culinary delights such as rich, creamy ice cream, pastries, and confections.

Depending on the time of day, if they have had anything to eat recently, where they are in proximity to food, and how appealing the copy is, the voice talent could be writing him or herself a recipe for Death by Chocolate or go running out the back door to the garden in search of some organic grub.

When it comes down to it, the voice talent is being paid to market a product, and they must, as a good salesperson, believe in that product to the full in order to sound genuine and trigger an emotional response from viewers.

The voice talents' interpretation of the copy is key to initiating hunger pangs in a viewing audience just as much as the visual component is responsible for luring eyeballs to the screen. Judging by the eating patterns, diets, and spending habits of consumers today, these advertisements are doing their job, and quite well at that.

To quote a famous restaurant chain, "Have you had your break today?".

In conclusion, creative elements in food commercials and the voiceovers performed in them are very persuasive, indeed. It takes a stoic stomach to say no, whether in front of the tube or behind the microphone.
About the Author
Stephanie Ciccarelli is the VP of Marketing with Voices.com, the voice over marketplace hosting more than 7,000 professional voice talents. Stephanie is also the author of The Definitive Guide To Voice-Over Success.
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