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“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”

We’ve all heard this before, but how true is it really?

According to a study conducted by the University of Glasgow in Scotland, there is evidence to back it up. People start making judgments about an individual’s personality and character from the start.

“From the first word you hear, you start to form this impression of the person’s personality,” said Phil McAleer, the psychologist who led the study.

In advertising, that can affect how a consumer perceives your message.

McAleer recorded 64 men and women saying the word “hello,” and then asked study participants to rate each person on personality traits such as trustworthiness or confidence. Men predominantly voted least trustworthy had significantly lower voices than the men voted most trustworthy. The opposite appeared true for women: Ladies who drop their voices at the end of words seemed more trustworthy.

“In less than a second, the time it takes to say ‘hello,’ we make a snap judgment about someone’s personality,” said Jody Kreiman, a UCLA researcher who studies how we perceive voice.

At Gavin, we recognize that finding the right sound and voice is imperative for a successful campaign – especially for radio and video advertisements. In a recent radio spot Gavin created for a building supply company, we positioned the client as an educational resource. An imposing or demanding voice would have undermined the smooth tone that the ad required to portray the client as an approachable expert in their industry.

Hello, success.