Thursday, October 23, 2014

Double Dipping Days Over for Voice Acting Celebrities?

I recently came across this Mental Floss article that identifies a few voice acting examples of prominent celebrities. While I pointed out an obvious celebrity voice-over fail, I’ll be the first to acknowledge the intelligence of brands that utilize a recognizable voice in their ads. We’re seeing, err...hearing, more and more advertisements that showcase celebrities staking their claim in the realm of voice acting - double dipping, if you will. As the Mental Floss posts points out, celebs like Jon Hamm, Matt Damon and Lisa Kudrow are doing a nice job of supplementing their film acting incomes.

Ah, then there’s Mr. Freeman. His is one of the most trusted and easily recognizable voices in the entertainment world. Morgan Freeman’s on-screen success most likely commands a sizable fee for his voice work - and it should. But what if your ad budget can’t afford the spoken talents of Morgan Freeman? Perhaps you should take a page from the Blue Plate Mayonnaise playbook:

Do you hear that?? It has a slightly higher octave and is a little accelerated but that voice is close enough to conjure visions of Morgan Freeman. I’m not 100% convinced the voice of this “alternative” Morgan Freeman belongs to Josh Robert Thompson in this particular ad but there’s plenty of internet evidence to make the case.

Thompson, providing the voice of the robot in the above clip, is an accomplished voice actor and I encourage you to visit his website to learn more about him. Could talented people like Thompson end the run of celebrities double dipping from the visual and vocal pools? Possibly, but there’s always the element of authenticity to consider. If you want to feature a popular celebrity's voice in your ad, you know there's some credibility that comes with using the real deal. But use a voice that's similar to the celebrity's voice and that credibility could range depending on the obviousness of the impression.

I imagine that movie stars and TV actors will continue to lend their voices to advertisements. But I foresee the demand for the talents of people like young Jake Foushee will only grow!

{Top Photo: Courtesy}


  1. I wonder if this guy recorded the voice announcements for the BHM airport... it SOUNDS like Morgan Freeman, but you can definitely tell it's not the real deal. Hmmmm. Another great Freeman impressionist: Frank Caliendo.

  2. I"m not sure if that guy provides the voice for the announcements at the airport or not. I unsuccessfully tried to find an article or post that touches on that but I could only find countless Foursquare comments that asked the same question!