Do Voice Overs Induce Hunger?
A reflection on the effects voiceovers for food commercials have on television viewers.
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 sugges-
One would suspect that an internal reaction to the material presented acts as a subcon-
scious 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, appetiz-
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 dis-
cussed 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 pota-
Perhaps they are voicing a commercial that targets people on the go, marketing quick