I've wrestled with this topic over the years. I'm not a "celebrity", just a professional Actra voice talent. Is it fair when a client, or an ad agency goes for the cache of a "celebrity voice" verses hiring a journeyman man or woman who have all the texture and multi layered nuances of a well known actor.
So why hire a Hollywood actor to be your SOV (silent off camera) when you have a myriad of pro's available to you?
There are a couple of reasons.
#1 You like the sexy factor of having a well known actor attached to your brand. Even if the general public isn't aware, the client, and all the client's friends know that Jeff Bridges is the voice behind Hyundai.
#2 An actor brings a certain reality to his or her read that may be difficult to find. An actor who has lived a full life brings that reality to the read.
But does it work every time? Not in my opinion.
Take David Duchovny for example. Don't get me wrong. I adore Californication. But you can't tell me there wasn't a better "non celebrity" read available for Pedigree Dog food.
Ones that do work? And work exceptionally well?
As mentioned above, who doesn't recognize the warmth of Morgan Freeman. Even if the lay person says, I don't remember who that is, but that voice sounds familiar.
And Jeff Bridges is attached to not one but 2 products. Duracell and Hyundai.
A little known fact; actors are not allowed to have their voiceovers appear in commercials right next to the Academy Awards segment they appear in. Jeff Bridges found this out first hand.
Coming up next week - a reveal of two of Hollywood's leading actors who lend their voices to brands, and some workin' class men and women who are full time voice actors who bring it time and again behind the microphone.
Have a great weekend.
With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.