Aussies switch off Meghan Markle as favourite celebrity voice assistant

Aussies switch off Meghan Markle as favourite celebrity voice assistant;
Soothing tones of Shawshank star Morgan Freeman most popular

Key findings:

  • Meghan Markle is least favoured celebrity to be a voice assistant; followed by Malcom Turnbull; Kylie Jenner; Bill Cosby and David Beckham.
  • Morgan Freeman is most preferred celebrity to be a voice assistant; followed by George Clooney; Sean Connery; Nicole Kidman and David Attenborough.
  • 69% of Australians (11.3 million) have used a voice assistant such as Siri, Google Assistant; or smart speakers such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomePod.
  • 6 in 10 Aussies use voice assistant to check weather; 54% to set an alarm; 53% to ask directions.
  • NSW leads the country when it comes to asking sex related questions; followed by Victoria, WA and QLD.

Sydney – 6 June 2019: She’s a former Hollywood star and now British royalty, but the voice of Meghan Markle is a turn off when it comes to which celebrities Aussies would choose to be their voice assistant, the largest study into how Australian’s use voice assisted technology and smart speakers has revealed.

While the Duchess of Sussex ranked as having the least favoured voice, the soothing southern drawl of actor Morgan Freeman topped the list of celebrities Australian’s would choose to be their assistants.

The study called ‘The Voice of Us’ is the most comprehensive ever undertaken in Australia and was commissioned by creative agency The Works, part of RXP Group. The online research of more than 2,000 Australians aged 15+ was overlaid with census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, to gauge the increased popularity and use of assistants and smart speakers including Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana.

The second most popular celebrity voice assistant after The Shawshank Redemption actor was Ocean’s Eleven star George Clooney, with the Scottish brogue of former James Bond actor Sean Connery third. Our own Nicole Kidman – the only woman to make the top ten – ranked as the fourth most popular voice, with the dulcet tones of global treasure and environmentalist David Attenborough at five and Samuel L. Jackson at six. While he may attract considerable controversy amongst some, the voice of US President Donald Trump was rated as the seventh most popular with Aussie heartthrob Chris Hemsworth coming in at eight. John Cleese and The King, Elvis Presley, rounded out the list at ninth and tenth respectively.
In addition to the Duchess of Sussex vocal assistant turn off, Aussies also least wanted to hear from PM Malcom Turnbull (2nd), Kardashian star Kylie Jenner (3rd), convicted sex offender Bill Cosby (4th) and British footballer turned model David Beckham (5th).

Douglas Nicol, creative partner at The Works and leader of ‘The Voice of Us’ study said: “The way we interact with technology has moved from clicking, to swiping and now we’re increasingly using our voices to make requests using assistants and smart speakers.

“While none of the celebrities on the list are actual assistants just yet, it’s clear the great actor Morgan Freeman is the favourite for all Aussies and it’s hard to argue with that. His distinctive voice identifies him without looking at him, which is a common trait amongst most of the celebrities on the list. Their voices are instantly recognisable and in most cases, perhaps Trump being the exception, quite relaxing to listen to. Unfortunately for Meghan Markle it appears that despite being British royalty, the majority of people we asked would politely decline the opportunity to have her as the voice of their assistant.”

Freeman’s voice topped the preferred voice list for both men and women, but for men the voice of Darth Vader, James Earl Jones, was second; Arnold Schwarzenegger (3rd); Samuel L. Jackson (4th) and George Clooney (5th).

For women, Sean Connery was second; Nicole Kidman (3rd); George Clooney (4th) and David Attenborough (5th).

Aussies love using their voice

The use of assistants and smart speakers are booming in Australia with 11.3 million people or 69% of the population reporting they have used their voice to interact with one or more devices. Smartphones are the most popular device to use assistants, with 61% of respondents claiming to have used their smartphones for voice related inquiries, followed by tablets (17%); laptops (14%) and smart speakers (12%).

The ‘Voice of Us’ research also asked respondents what they commonly used their assistant for, with 66% saying to check weather requests, just over half (54%) said they used them to set an alarm and 53% to ask for directions. However, New South Wales leads the country when it comes to asking sex related questions. Nearly one in ten (8%) admitted to having asked their voice assistant about sex, followed by four percent of Victorians, Western Australians and Queenslanders.

Almost three million Australians (2.9 million) now own a smart speaker, making us one of the fastest adopters of the technology across the world. More than half of smart speaker owners (56%) have a Google device, followed by Amazon at 13%. Apple’s HomePod comes in third at 8%.

Nicol added: “Smart speakers and assistants are here to stay. The trend to use voice for searching and making requests continues to grow. That is also evident by the boom in sales of smart speakers and the millions being invested by the likes of Google, Apple and Amazon into refining and enhancing their respective physical products and the software that powers this technology.”

Most preferred celebrity voice assistants

  1. Morgan Freeman
  2. George Clooney
  3. Sean Connery
  4. Nicole Kidman
  5. David Attenborough
  6. Samuel L. Jackson
  7. Donald Trump
  8. Chris Hemsworth
  9. John Cleese
  10. Elvis Presley

Least preferred celebrity voice assistants

  1. Meghan Markle
  2. Malcom Turnbull
  3. Kylie Jenner
  4. Bill Cosby
  5. David Beckham

/Public Release.