Thursday, June 14, 2007

Voiceovers - Is It Better If They're Famous?

Sorry, still got voiceovers on the brain.

But this time I'm thinking not about what to say, but who says it.

Is it better to get a famous person? After all, I like the Tesco ads a bit more because I recognise the voices of people I like on them - Terry Wogan, Ronnie Corbett, Cilla Black.

Or is it only important to get a great performance? Louis Mellis and Garrison Keillor were unknown (in the UK) before they lent their voices to Guinness and Honda, arguably the two best VOs of recent years.

The only thing I'm sure of is there's no point using somebody famous if their voice isn't recognisable.

Here's an example of what I mean. It's the most recent Nike running ad.

Could you tell the VO is by Edward Norton? I doubt it. Great read. But... much money spent, and no star-power added.


Anonymous said...

ed norton not very distinctive. now alec baldwin, there's a money voice. and he'll do it too.

Unknown said...

i agree not that distinctive, but it's kind of cool to discover that the voice is someone famous (who presumably is interesting to the target audience).

I wonder if there's much chat going on about it in Nike fan blogs

Anonymous said...

I'm not big on celebrity spotting but I instantly knew that was Ed Norton because of the voiceover he does throughout Fight Club.

It is one of my favourite movie voiceovers. The other one that stick in the mind is the intro sequence to Raising Arizona by Nicolas Cage.

Anonymous said...

I knew it was him, but then, I have too much free time and love watching out for that stuff. I think as long as the voice is recognizable but understated, it doesn't detract from the spot.

But if it's an actor I really don’t like, opportunity lost for me. Anon mentioned Baldwin, and he seems like he's been in a lot lately. He does have the ability to dial it down or play it over the top (like the Blockbuster spots).

Another thing to consider: Celebrity VO has less of an endorsement feel to it than when the actual actor is in the spot.

Then there’s the hybrid: actor in spot but with his VO being the only dialog. (Like the Ford spots with Tiki Barber and Andy Garcia.)

My work here is done.

Anonymous said...

Forget Ed Norton. They should have used Joe Pasquale

Anonymous said...

Ed Norton, as we all know, is a massive idiot.