America’s favorite accents

Every time you glimpse an advertisement in a magazine or see a commercial on TV, someone is selling you something.

And we’re not talking about the person who put the ad in your orbit, we’re talking about the person who is pictured in the advertisement. Marketers are known for picking the right people for their ads based on a huge number of criteria, from the type of product they’re selling to the audience they’re selling to. But there’s one factor that goes into choosing a spokesman you might not have considered – their accent.

Of course, everyone has some kind of accent or dialect but the way a person might sound to you plays more of a role in your customer potential than you know. The associations you have with that accent shape your first impression of the product, and that’s exactly the kind of thing marketers are trying to play off of. So, we decided to do our own market research.

Our team surveyed over 500 people across the US to see what they thought of individual accents in different scenarios. Which did they think were most attractive, which did they trust the most, and which made them want to buy something? If you’re wondering whether people are more likely to buy from a Brit than a New Yorker, check out the results below.

Pie chart displaying which accents make people more likely to purchase

The most basic answer a marketer wants to know is “What is going to make a person want to buy this product?” According to our research, a Southern accent is the most likely accent to make a person want to purchase something. Southern charm is a powerful thing! The British accent came in second, followed by the brasher New York accent.

Poor Minnesotans and Louisiana natives are at a disadvantage. Almost no one said their accents made them more likely to impulse buy.

Graph showing the most pleasant and unpleasant accents

Nothing is going to stop a sale in its tracks faster than an annoying voice. Accordingly, we asked people what the most and least pleasant accent to listen to is. Overwhelmingly, people like the Southern accent best, followed by British and Australian accents. Southern accents tend to be thought of as friendly and welcoming, while British and Australian accents are more exotic.

Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the spectrum, people did not like the New York accent or the Boston accent. Apparently, New England is the hub of very grating voices!

Graph identifying the most attractive and least attractive accents

Marketing strategy is always about making the product you’re trying to sell as attractive as possible, and that means picking the accent people find the most attractive. Apparently, if you’re looking for the perfect way to position your marketing campaign, you should head to the South because once again, people found the Southern accent to be the most attractive accent to have. Australian beat out British accents by a bit. It must be the beachy culture or the way they say “G’ day mate!”

Poor, poor Bostonians. Their accent makes them instantly unattractive to people from anywhere outside of the city, and New Yorkers are in the same boat. I guess “Hey I’m walkin’ here!” and “Park the car in Harvard Yard” doesn’t do it for most people.

Just for fun, we decided to look at some celebrity crushes to see which accent adds the most to their level of attractiveness. For a sample, we picked 3 famous Chris’s with 3 different accents. According to women and men everywhere, Chris Hemsworth carries the day with his dreamy Australian accent.

Bar chart presenting which actor named Chris has the most attractive accent

Since we analyzed men, we had to see how women stack up too. We picked 3 of the most beautiful women we could think of from 3 different countries, and in this case, Kate Moss’ English accent added the most to her attractiveness according to both men and women.

Bar chart showing which model has the most attractive accent

Marketing is all about knowing your customers, from addressing complaints to answering their questions. Moneypenny specializes in providing the resources you need to build trusting relationships with your customers – relationships built on more than a Southern accent.

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