Ever wondered why you tend to offer your right ear when trying to more closely hear what is being said?. New research from an Italian study suggests we are more likely to ‘weigh’ more favourably a comment if heard in the right ear.
An innocuous piece of information to many, but to those working within the audio field, this finding could have its advantages.
Ever thought about gently aligning the voice-over a little off-centre? Admittedly I have only just started to play with this idea so have yet to see if this transfers well into a commercial application. Will keep you posted on any discoveries.
What is exciting is that as the microscope widens within the field of neuromarketing (in short, scanning the brain for responses in reaction to stimulus), audio is more and more coming into view(sorry for the poor pun) as a critical player. Over the decades, the importance of audio within advertising and televisual broadcasts has always played second fiddle to the images. The reasons are many, but now many advertisers are asking if they’ve overlooked this crucial participant a little too much.
The three main elements in any audio track are the voice-over (message), the music (mood-setter), and the sound effects (gluing the soundtrack to the image content). What neuromarketing findings are telling us is that maybe we have been missing a trick in all three of these areas.
With the voice-over, are we sure we need a male voice selling us peace of mind for insurance ads? Do we really connect with the female voice when she espouses the virtues of a particular nappy brand? Does an inviting ‘soft’ sell ensure a car manufacturer’s 30 second cameo will be enough to propel it to front of the mental queue when it comes to deciding on our next runabout? The focus groups and the cash registers would seem to suggest they are as that’s all we hear on television currently.
But are we asking the right questions?
As neuromarketing gains momentum and more companies hop on the magnetic imaging wagon, we will soon be able to get a better picture of the truth of these scenarios. Till then, it’s worth mentioning this:
Marketing guru and neuromarketing flag-bearer Martin Lindstrom found that Nokia’s ubiquitous phone ring is actually losing Nokia its market share. The brain-scan reactions of his study sample were so severe, he likened it to a bad experience or feeling ill. The problem is, is that the high recognition factor of the phone ring has only ever been thought of as a positive. To achieve a sonic ‘hook’ is every company’s dream – which is the main thrust of both the music and sound design areas (remember them?). What brain scans do, however, are to reveal the truth. How the person (read: consumer) actually responds. In this case – that the worldwide high-recognition factor is a broken wheel in their company’s fiscal performance.
This crucial difference will make ads and programming a lot more consumer-focused over the coming decades and possibly, just possibly, a liberating thing for audio. From out of the shadows it just may live long and prosper (now just where have we heard that that phrase before?!)
Senior Dubbing Mixer
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