In political ads, it seems that men and women are not created equal, according to research on the selection of voice-over announcers in campaign and political broadcast advertising.
In the study, "In a Different Voice? Explaining the Use of Men and Women as Voice-over Announcers in Political Advertising" published in Political Communication, author Patricia Strach, an associate professor of Political Science and Public Administration & Policy at UAlbany, and a team of researchers find that male voice-overs still dominate the airwaves during the political season, yet women's voices can be used strategically, with success.
The research team examined some 7,000 unique political ads during the 2010-12 U.S. Congressional elections and learned that, true to patterns in both politics and advertising, campaigns chose to employ male voice-overs more than twice as often as female voices—about 63 percent male to 28 percent female, while nine percent used both genders.
However, the team found that the campaigns' choices of voice-overs poked surprising holes in gender and political strategy stereotypes, including:
Male candidates were more likely than female candidates to use women to voice their ads.