Virtual Spokespersons: How to Choose a Look

When it comes to virtual spokespersons, props, makeup, and wardrobe can make a difference. Most actors are able to play many roles and are comfortable altering their appearance to match. Because of this, try not to rule out actors based on their initial appearance in a demo tape. For example, if you have your heart set on having a virtual spokesperson dressed in medical scrubs, don’t rule out an actor who appears on camera in a business suit. Look for qualities like a friendly smile, approachable look, and pleasant tone of voice and then imagine your favorite actors in suitable attire.

While this is helpful for website owners who know what they want, what if you don’t know? How can you choose the right look for your site? Start by examining the following considerations:

  1. Consider your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? Women? Teens? Senior citizens? Business people? Write down the largest audience segment.
  2. Consider your brand. Describe your brand using three different adjectives. For example, a financial advisor’s adjectives might be traditional, conservative, and authoritative while a personal trainer’s might be athletic, fun, and disciplined.
  3. Consider props. The above two considerations may give you a better idea of the type of virtual spokesperson your site needs such as a traditional, conservative, authoritative woman or an athletic, fun, and disciplined man. Now think about props that could help your virtual spokesperson reinforce what your site is all about. For example, a stethoscope, stopwatch, clipboard, and briefcase each represent different professions.
  4. Consider hairstyle. For women, buns and ponytails create dramatically different impressions. A woman with her hair pulled back into a bun may be a perfect fit for the financial services site. Meanwhile that same woman wearing a ponytail could resonate with the personal trainer’s website.
  5. Consider wardrobe. Finally, consider the wardrobe. From professional attire like business suits, medical scrubs, lab coats, and uniforms to casual wear, athletic clothing, and work clothes, the possibilities are unlimited.

Be careful not to overdo it though. For example, a virtual spokesperson in business attire would likely be more effective on a legal website than one dressed in judicial robes. A young adult in a polo shirt and khakis may look more collegiate than one dressed in a cap and gown. Remember your audience; you want your audience to relate to the virtual spokesperson, not be intimidated by her.

Fortunately, if you’re working with a video production company, you’ll likely work with talented professionals who can help you select the right look for the virtual spokesperson as well as for your website, brand, and audience.

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