Who's That Voice? Big Stars Voice Big Ads
By Scott Harris Posted Mar 6th 2010 03:30PM
As one of the top advertising executives in the country, 'Mad Men's' Don Draper is often faced with the challenge of finding just the right pitchmen to push his product to the general populace. Now he's come up with the perfect celebrity to represent Mecredes-Benz: himself.
Yes, in the latest instance of life-imitating-art-imitating-life, The New York Times is reporting that Jon Hamm has signed on as voice of the German automotive giant in a series of upcoming commercials. But 'Mad Men's' stylish '60s fashion won't be coming with him. That's because Hamm, despite being one of the most recognizable faces on television today, won't actually be appearing on camera. Instead, his dulcet tones will be the only trace of the Golden Globe winning actor.
This isn't a new thing, though; over the past decade, more and more celebrities have chosen to step off screen and let their talking do their talking for them. In honor of Don Draper's defection to the recording booth, then, we thought we'd take a look back at some of the best -- and worst -- celebrity voiceover work in commercials.
Lauren Bacall is a true legend of stage and screen, having appeared in some of the greatest movies of all time (such as 'The Big Sleep'), and is synonymous with an entire era of smoldering sirens. Also synonymous with Bacall? Cat food. Fancy Feast has never been fancier.
Jeff Bridges is about to win an Oscar for his moving performance in 'Crazy Heart,' but we think his most heart wrenching work to date is from this Duracell commercial where he details the terror of a child abduction in order to help sell batteries. We don't really believe he needs them though; after all, if he needed a child locator device, he could probably throw one together IN A CAVE! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!
David Duchovny has had plenty of experience over the years practicing lines such as "Rub my belly. Seriously. Rub it." We're talking, of course, about his work on 'Californication,' which came in very handy for this dog food commercial. But don't worry about the oversell, Dave; you had us with "omega fatty acids."
Billy Crudup is probably best known for his work as the Golden God himself, Russell Hammond, in the 2000 film classic 'Almost Famous.' So why is the one-time lead guitarist now playing second fiddle to Peyton Manning? Because getting paid massive amounts of money for voiceover work is... priceless.
Most people probably wouldn't want their name to be too closely associated with toilet paper. Then again, most people aren't 'Scrubs' star Zach Braff, who took the plunge with this rendition of an anthropomorphic dog. So the next time you reach for the two-ply, make sure you think of ol' Zack.
John Krasinski provides the voice in this quick clip from Blackberry. We're wondering if the filming gave Krasinksi any flashbacks; after all, the screen suddenly going black is eerily reminiscent of his 'Office' character's sad experiences trying to master Call of Duty. Keep your head down, John. Keep your head down.
Lauren Graham spent seven seasons on 'Gilmore Girls' doling out motherly advice in a sisterly way. So what better person to help the ladies of America choose a healthier breakfast routine and slip into those skinny jeans? Now if only Kellogg would come out with that long-awaited boot-cut cereal...
"I'm sorry." "You should be." That's how this razor ad starts, and considering the fact that 80's bad boy Christian Slater provides the voiceover, you may find yourself thinking that the commercial is an apology for his career decisions. But this isn't a mea culpa for 'My Own Worst Enemy'; it's just the latest sexy spot to feature Slater's inimitable tones. Don't worry, Christian: you've got nothing to be sorry for.
Finally, we end our review with the legendary Morgan Freeman. While not all voice actors quite live up to the standards of their reputation (as this list amply illustrates), Freeman is an exception; his moving, soulful narrations for Visa during the past two Olympic games have helped turned the campaign into a semi-perennial favorite.
- Jennifer Aniston
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