The Voice First #SpeakEasy2017 Report By Mindshare + J. Walter Thompson Is Here.


This Report Is Stocked With Deep Insights For Anyone Joining The Voice First Revolution.

“The rise of a voice-activated world will allow us to get closer and more intimate with technology. Voice interaction will rede ne not just how we live our lives, but the digital advertising landscape and how brands reach consumers. Now is the time for marketers to learn how to Speak Easy.”

Mindshare Futures and J. Walter Thompson’s The Innovation Group have produced a landmark report on the Voice First revolution.  The SpeakEasy report is a fascinating insight on how fast this will take place.



Mindshare Futures, is an emerging media and technology research program. It focuses on the underlying consumer behavior behind future trends and advises marketers on the implications for communications. J. Walter Thompson’s futures, research and innovation unit charts emerging and future global trends, consumer change and innovation patterns—translating these into insight for brands. It offers a suite of consultancy services, including bespoke research, presentations, co- branded reports and workshops.

“Web browsing isn’t going to go away, apps aren’t going to go away, video on demand isn’t going to go away, but voice interactions will be one channel.  A lot of this stuff will move to being called up by voice.”—Joseph Evans, senior research analyst, Enders Analysis





The research identified efficiency as a primary motivation for using voice. By using Neuro-Insight, a leading neuroscience research agency, to investigate the brain’s response to voice interactions, compared to touch or typing the report shows an insight confirms 12 empirical studies I have performed. The report demonstrates voice interactions showed consistently lower levels of brain activity than their touch equivalent (Figure 6). Specically, both left and right brain memory encoding were lower, indicating that the brain was not working as hard to process information (Figure 5). This was particularly pronounced when respondents were receiving information, suggesting that a voice response is less taxing than its screen-based text and images.

The report highlights an issue I have presented for over 20 years, Anthropomorphism, the human tendency to apply a human characteristic to things that are human-like, for example a Voice First system.   70% of regular Voice First users who say “I want to feel like I’m talking to a real human when I talk to my voice assistant.”



This natural Anthropomorphism will allow for bonds and trust that is quite unlike anything we have seen thus far in computers and technology. The report shows once trust grows, emotional bonds grow too. The Neuro-Insight neuroscience experiments found that the emotional response  to Alexa grew during the course of the experiment as people became more comfortable using it, pointing to the latent potential for a closer relationship. The study did not compare to a text interaction, however other studies and my empirical research shows that one doesn’t grow similar  human connections to other devices.

Over 37% of regular Voice First users say that they love their voice assistant so much that they wish it were a real person. Even more astonishing is that more than a 25% of regular Voice First users say they have had a sexual fantasy about their voice assistant.

Additionally another element I have pioneered, Proactivity, the contextual preemptive interaction from a Voice First system that is far more advanced than smartphone notifications is mentioned in the report.  32% of smartphone users are excited about a future where “my voice assistant will anticipate what I need and take actions or make suggestions.”





J. Walter Thomson is one of the largest and successful advertising consultancies in the world. The report is designed to be tilted to help companies and brands find their way through the changes in technology.  One rather large insight in the report is how a Voice First system can create higher authority to a company and brand.  72% of regular Voice First users say “I think brands should have unique voices and personalities for their apps/Skills and not just use the assistant on my phone.”

Additionally the neuroscience research gives early indication that speaking to a brand delivers a deeper emotional connection than interacting with it through type or touch. When people asked a question involving a brand name, their brain activity showed a significantly stronger emotional response compared to people typing. There is greater than 50% rise in the creditability and authenticity when their Voice First devices deliver the information.

The neuroscience research gives indication that speaking to a brand delivers a deeper emotional connection than interacting with it through type or touch. When people asked a question involving a brand name, their brain activity showed a significantly stronger emotional response compared to people typing.



The SpeakEasy report is perhaps one of the best reports I have seen, that is publicly available to illustrate the huge opportunities the Voice First revolution presents companies and brands.



We are at the early days of the revolution, however those with the courage to act fast and pioneer will benefit to a degree that has no precedence in history.  Voice is more powerful and pervasive than the rise of the PC and Mobile combined.  This report is a road map to help start the journey.


Full SpeakEasy report:




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