There are some jobs that I know I couldn’t do in a million years. Anything involving blood, no thanks! Well, I’ve also added ‘voice over chooser’ to this list after spending a Saturday night nursing a cold (I’ll explain that part in a second). There are so many factors that marketers and advertisers must consider before hiring someone to vocalize their product’s features. Some companies do an excellent job, while others are lacking. Let’s look at the best ones today.
While I settled in with my chicken noodle soup and hot tea, a commercial came on for Michigan and the warm, caramel voice of Tim Allen entered my living room. I not only felt my scratchy throat and stuffy nose lessen, but my soul was uplifted too at the scene of the changing leaves along Lake Michigan. I immediately had a thought that if I had a million dollars, I would pay Tim Allen to walk behind me for a day and narrate my life.
Now, I know there are flaws to this plan. One, I think I’d need more than a million dollars to get Tim to do this. Two, if he would do this for a day that would mean he wouldn’t be recording commercials for Michigan’s tourism board, which would be sad. So, instead I compiled a list of celebrities that have made listening to commercials a lot easier to handle and present them to you in this blog.
Tim Allen: No matter the season, I love hearing Tim Allen’s voice come through my car speakers to paint a picturesque scene of utter tranquility. Hiking through the forest while the leaves slowly change above me? Count me in! Ice skating on a lake while a fire is made in the nearby cabin’s fireplace? Heavenly. Getting caught in a rainstorm while touring a small Michigan town? Name the town and I’ll be there! Fishing in Lake Michigan while the sun slowly sets behind me? I’ll grab the worms! He’s been the voice of Pure Michigan’s commercials for the past few years and I’m not the only one who’d pay him to talk about the simple pleasure of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. According to Forbes in 2009, Michigan’s “Pure Michigan” campaign ranked sixth out of the top 10 travel campaigns. If you haven’t heard Tim Allen’s work or just need a quick thirty-second vacation, I suggest checking out their YouTube Channel.
Zach Braff: I was an avid viewer of Scrubs for a couple years, but even though I dropped it, I still love the sound of Zach’s voice as he tells me the benefits of clean water straight from the tap with a Pur Water Filter. He reminds you of that buddy from college that would always lend an ear and offer great advice. His voice has a playful, yet trusting quality that you can’t help but want to turn up the volume and listen to. His quirky sense of humor that has made him famous really shines through with his random litany of quotes about how amazing this filter is: “Booyah! Shazam! H-2-Ohhhhhh! Hydrolicious! Look what I can do! Magic bananaaaaas! Adios contaminos!” For the full commercial, check out this clip:
Morgan Freeman: I can’t imagine watching Bruce Almighty or Evan Almighty without having Morgan Freeman as God. His voice is so warm and comforting, like putting on a sweatshirt straight out of the dryer, that this match just makes sense. This same feeling applied to his voice over work for Visa that aired during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics again gave me chills (the good kind). Freeman may be an obvious choice for voice overs, but he does them so well that I couldn’t help but mention him as one of the greats! Check out the video below to see what I mean:
Picking the right actor for a commercial’s voice over can’t be an easy business to get into. Advertisers need to select the right person who can convey all your product’s attributes, without having people instantly know who it is and risk them losing focus on your commercial.
Michigan’s tourism board, Pur Water Filters, and Visa have done an outstanding job selecting these celebrities to be the voice behind their brands. Who would you select for yours?
Are there any commercials that you love the voice over work? Is there a celebrity you’d pay to narrate your life? If so, who? Sound off below!