Some people have voices that are made for commercials. You can listen to them talk about products as unglamorous as toilet paper, and somehow, it sounds so much cooler.

The actors on this list have that “it” factor. They make you turn your heads, stop what you’re doing, and pay attention – everything you want from a good TV commercial.

Here are 14 of the best celebrity voice-overs in commercials!

1. Tim Allen – Pure Michigan

Tim Allen voiceover
Source: disney.fandom.com

Tim Allen is the guy who voices the Pure Michigan commercials. These ads started in 2008 and had a solid run up until 2018.

According to Michigan’s tourism website, the “Pure Michigan campaign is helping drive the state’s economy.” Forbes, meanwhile, ranked the ad as one of the top travel campaigns of all time. Tim Allen’s distinct voice-over is full of infectious enthusiasm. He deserves a lot of the credit for the campaign’s success. To infinity (or Michigan) and beyond!

2. Morgan Freeman – Visa

Morgan Freeman voiceover
Source: biography.com

You simply can’t have a best voice-overs list without mentioning Morgan Freeman. This Oscar winner lent his hypnotic voice to a series of Visa commercials that aired from 2008 to 2018.

Freeman was paid between $1 million and $2 million for being the voice of Visa and that isn’t even his only voice-over work. The actor has also worked with other brands like Mountain Dew and served as the narrator for movies like War of the Worlds and March of the Penguins. There’s something distinct and comforting about Freeman’s drawling tone.

3. Julia Roberts – Nationwide

Julia Roberts voiceover
Source: hollywoodreporter.com

Julia Roberts has a ton of fans and is always a huge draw at the box office. Few people know, though, that this A-list actress also did the voice-overs for Nationwide commercials in 2012.

According to Jennifer Hanley, senior VP of brand marketing at Nationwide, “Julia Roberts’ voice brings an assuring, confident tone to the campaign that resonates well with our target audience.” Roberts is well-loved and recognized by many people, but especially female viewers. Her voice draws them in and makes them want to be on Nationwide’s side.

4. Jon Hamm – Mercedes Benz

Jon Hamm voiceover
Source: imdb.com

Jon Hamm has proudly done the voice-overs for Mercedes Benz since 2010. The first commercial was for the S400 Hybrid, a vehicle with night vision, adaptive cruise control, and no kidding, massage seats!

It makes sense for a dapper gent like Hamm to be the voice of a luxury vehicle, and to his credit, he’s completely embraced being the spokesman. The Golden Globe winner even made a surprise appearance at the New York International Auto Show in 2014. Hamm’s voice exudes confidence and sophistication – everything you want from a vehicle that costs upwards of $30,000.

5. George Clooney – Budweiser

George Clooney voiceover
Source: imdb.com

Budweiser is the beer of sports games, concerts, and parties with friends, but it was missing a sense of intrigue and mystery. Cue George Clooney – the Oscar-winning actor who did the voice-over for the commercials in 2005.

Anheuser-Busch was looking for “a classic voice” to promote Budweiser beer. Clooney was a no-brainer as he’s got that old Hollywood charm, while still being adored by a modern audience. All of this booze must have gotten under his skin! In 2013, Clooney started his own tequila company called Casamigos.

6. Julianna Margulies – Pampers

Julianna Margulies voiceover
Source: britannica.com

Julianna Margulies is the proud mom of a beautiful baby boy, so she was the perfect choice for Pampers, diaper company in business since 1961. The actress lent her voice to many of their commercials.

Pampers is currently the #1 diaper brand in the world, with over $10 billion in annual sales. Margulies, meanwhile, is an actress you know only if you watch any of her shows. She’s not overly flashy on the red carpet or in your face at awards events, and it’s this humility that makes her an approachable voice for Pampers.  

7. Queen Latifah – Pizza Hut

Queen Latifah voiceover
Source: onthisday.com

Do you have a craving for a slice of pepperoni pizza? Blame it on Queen Latifah! The talented celebrity did the voice-overs for a ton of ads for Pizza Hut starting in 2003.

Tom Jones, the CMO at Pizza Hut, wanted to promote “family” in the campaigns and believed Queen Latifah would help push the idea. The pizza chain threw $300 million toward the ads, and 7,000 locations even took it further by handing out free DVDs with the order of a large pizza. That way a family could spend a night-in together eating pizza and watching movies (hopefully starring Queen Latifah)!

8. Bill Hader Planters Peanuts

Bill Hader voiceover
Source: imdb.com

Following in Robert Downey Jr.’s footsteps, Bill Hader took over in the role of voicing Mr. Peanut in 2013. No word yet as to whether or not he’s going to voice Baby Nut, too

Peter Cotter, the brand manager for Planters, believed the SNL alum had the best voice-overs since he has a “sense of humor and personality perfectly in sync with Mr. Peanut’s style, wit, and charm.” Mr. Peanut was officially killed off by Planters in 2019, but don’t worry. Hader is still going strong with a ton of new projects in the works.

9. Rashida Jones – Southwest Airlines

Rashida Jones voiceover
Source: imdb.com

This is your captain speaking, and today’s flight is brought to you by Rashida Jones. The actress took to the skies in 2015 to do celebrity voice-overs for Southwest Airlines.

In the commercials, “transfarency” was introduced by Southwest for the first time. This phrase quickly became a buzzword, and for her part, Jones’s voice-over helped bring emotional storytelling to the ads. The end result was praise for the TV spots and more travelers flying Southwest than ever before, with 151.7 million in 2016.

10. John Goodman – Dunkin’ Donuts

John Goodman voiceover
Source: imdb.com

Back in the early 80’s, John Goodman did celebrity voice-overs for Dunkin’ Donuts commercials. This was right before his starring role in the hit sitcom, “Roseanne.”

A lot has changed for both Goodman and Dunkin’ Donuts since their early collaboration. Goodman is returning as Sully in the new Monsters Inc. spinoff show on Disney+ and starring in the sitcom “The Coopers.” Meanwhile, Dunkin’ Donuts is now just Dunkin’ and has been steadily growing with quirky branded merchandise and over $23 million in revenue. Still, those early days for the actor and brand were hugely successful.

11. Aaron Paul – Mazda

Aaron Paul voiceover
Source: onthisday.com

Aaron Paul was a huge fan of living on the edge as Jesse Pinkman in “Breaking Bad.” Few people know, though, that he also did celebrity voice-overs for Mazda’s “Driving Matters” ad campaigns in 2016.

A Mazda is a high-end vehicle that is designed for car enthusiasts. According to their marketing team, their “target loves a vehicle that is fun to drive.” With his history as a fast-driving dealer in “Breaking Bad,” and with a starring role in Need for Speed, Aaron Paul was a no-brainer for the voice-overs.

12. Ron Howard – Gold Peak Tea

Ron Howard voiceover
Source: wikipedia.com

In 2014, Ron Howard did voice-overs for Gold Peak Tea commercials. The ads were only 30 seconds but popularized the slogan, “The taste that brings you home.”

Gold Peak Tea is manufactured by the Coca-Cola Company. The goal with their 2014 ad was to highlight “the home brewed taste” that makes this iced tea so delicious. Ron Howard might not seem like an obvious choice, but he’s served as a wholesome narrator before on shows like “Arrested Development.” He has also directed family-friendly films like How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

13. Leslie Mann – LG Appliances

Leslie Mann voiceover
Source: sandiegouniontribune.com

Leslie Mann is a talented actress who did voice-overs for LG Appliances in 2014. It was a series of ads known as, “Mom Confessions.” In these spots, Mann served as the voice of a mother who has funny thoughts about being an adult and parent.

“Mom Confessions” was created by ad agency Hill Holliday, and each of the four commercials had a humorous angle. According to David VanderWaal, head of marketing at LG, “We were looking for a way to cut beyond the product and connect in a way no other brand was doing in our space.” With her quirky sense of humor, Leslie Mann was the perfect choice for the celebrity voice-overs.

14. John C. Reilly – TurboTax

John C. Reilly voiceover
Source: disney.fandom.com

Nothing quite says W2’s and 1040A’s quite like John C. Reilly! The Oscar nominated actor did voice-overs for TurboTax in 2013. This was for an ad known as “The Year of the You.”

The funny actor might seem like a weird choice for tax software, but don’t forget, Reilly wears many hats. He sang his heart out in the musical Chicago, voiced the titular charter in the popular animated film Wreck It Ralph, and has openly supported a number of charities like the American Foundation for Equal Rights. He’s a goofy, everyday guy with a heart of gold, which is exactly what TurboTax was going for in their commercials.

Final Thoughts

No matter what, it’s important that your company always has something to say! Take some time to really think about what voice makes sense for your message, whether it’s in your ad copy, in your commercials, or what gets printed on your promotional items like coffee mugs or t-shirts.

There should always be a great voice behind every brand!

References

Galliher, E. (2009, June 29). In Pictures: The 10 Best Travel Campaigns. Retrieved from, https://www.forbes.com/2009/06/29/las-vegas-australia-paul-hogan-leadership-cmo-network-marketing_slide.html#3b68605e5b60

Pilon, N. (2015, March 24). Tourism Industry, Pure Michigan Campaign Helping to Drive State’s Economy. Retrieved from, https://www.michigan.org/pressreleases/tourism-industry-pure-michigan-campaign-helping-to-drive-states-economy

Crow, S. (2018, June 2). 30 Commercials You Didn’t Realize Were Voiced By Celebrities. Retrieved from, https://bestlifeonline.com/celebrity-commercial-voice-over/

Dike, D. (2010, May 11). Hollywood’s A-List Advertising Invasion. Retrieved from, https://www.forbes.com/2010/05/11/jon-hamm-morgan-freeman-kiefer-sutherland-business-entertainment-voiceovers.html#29b81c71175b

Schultz, E. (2012, July 19). See the Spot: Julia Roberts Partners with Nationwide Insurance. Retrieved from, https://adage.com/article/news/julia-roberts-partners-nationwide-insurance/236175

Mercedes-Benz of Arrowhead. (2017, January 6). How Long Has Jon Hamm Voiced Mercedes-Benz Commercials? Retrieved from, https://www.arrowheadmb.com/blog/long-jon-hamm-voice-mercedes-benz-commercials/

Eisenstein, P. (2014, April 16). Jon Hamm Debuts New Mercedes at New York Auto Show. Retrieved from, https://www.cnbc.com/2014/04/16/jon-hamm-debuts-new-mercedes-at-new-york-auto-show.html

Kopp, C. (2006, April 4). Whose Voice is That? Retrieved from, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/whose-voice-is-that/

Hein, K. (2003, June 16). Pizza Hut Draws a Queen for Family Push. Retrieved from, https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/pizza-hut-draws-queen-family-push-65002/

Matheson, W. (2013, July 2). Bill Hader’s New Role: Mr. Peanut. Retrieved from, https://www.usatoday.com/story/popcandy/2013/07/02/bill-hader-mr-peanut-planters/2483269/

Snack and Bakery. (2013, July 5). Planters’ Mr. Peanut Scores a New Voice. Retrieved from, https://www.snackandbakery.com/articles/86576-planters-mr-peanut-scores-a-new-voice

iSpot.TV. Southwest Airlines TV Commercial, ‘Transfarency’ Song by Icona Pop. Retrieved from, https://www.ispot.tv/ad/AY8J/southwest-airlines-transfarency-song-by-icona-pop

Kirkpatrick, D. (2017, September 25). Southwest Airlines Shares 175 Customer Stories in ‘Transfarency’ Push. Retrieved from, https://www.marketingdive.com/news/southwest-airlines-shares-175-customer-stories-in-transfarency-push/505703/

Curley, R. (2017, April 6). Southwest Carried the Most Passengers in the US in 2016. Retrieved from, https://www.businesstraveller.com/business-travel/2017/04/06/southwest-carried-passengers-us-2016/

Team, T. (2019, September 27). Dunkin’ Donuts US to Push Revenue Growth for Dunkin’ Brands. Retrieved from, https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2019/09/27/dunkin-donuts-us-to-push-revenue-growth-for-dunkin-brands/#47975445ace1

Mazda of Lodi. (2015, November 4). What Actor’s Voice is in the Mazda Driving Matters Commercials? Retrieved from, https://www.mazdaoflodi.com/blog/who-does-the-voice-over-in-the-mazda-commercials/

Holmes, J. (2017, April 14). “Mazda’s Not for Everybody.” Here’s Why That’s a Good Thing. Retrieved from, https://www.motor1.com/news/142531/mazda-marketing-interview/

Ad Who Is. (2014, June 29). Gold Peak Tea Commercials “Taste That Brings You Home” –  2014. Retrieved from, https://adwhois.com/gold-peaks-tea-commercials/

Lambesis. Gold Peak Tea. Retrieved from, https://lambesisagencywork.com/work/gold-peak-tea-coffee/

Ad Forum. LG Home Appliances – “So Clean”. Retrieved from, https://www.adforum.com/talent/81816083-leslie-mann/work/34498327

Riley, M. (2014, May 29). Leslie Mann Narrates LG’s  ‘Mom Confessions’ TV Spots – And They’re Kind of Hilarious. Retrieved from, https://www.bustle.com/articles/26255-leslie-mann-narrates-lgs-mom-confessions-tv-spots-and-theyre-kind-of-hilarious

iSpot.TV. Intuit TurboTax TV Commercial, ‘The Year of the You.’ Retrieved from, https://www.ispot.tv/ad/7fpP/intuit-turbotax-the-year-of-the-youBeer, J. (2014, January 3). TurboTax Says 2013 Was the Year of the You. Retrieved from, https://www.fastcompany.com/3024343/turbotax-says-2013-was-the-year-of-the-you

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