British standards for voice personalities are changing. As one actor says, “I’m too posh, too middle class, too white, too male.” Jon Briggs was a popular choice for advertisements and is currently the British Siri.
But according to a Wall Street Journal article, voices like Briggs are “out of vogue.” Companies want voices that are less “commanding, elite-sounding” and “froufrou”:
For British consumers, the stiff-upper-lip speaking style of the nobility, where vowels are slightly flattened—so “happy” sounds like “heppy”—has become negatively associated with authority and privilege.
One ad executive said today’s jobs are going to those who are “able to hold a conversation . . . in a pub.” Companies are looking for voices that reflect the diversity of Britain, particularly, as the article says, “people from working-class backgrounds.”
With what types of British accents are you familiar? What’s your perception of people with those accents?
How does this article translate to the United States? What are the most common accents you hear in TV ads? Listen to a few examples. What does the person’s accent say about the brand?
Explain the relevance of authenticity or authentic communication to this story.