celebrity voices in commercials?

Why do I always recognize the voices promoting products in TV commercials?
I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought… “that’s DEFINITELY so-and-so”, but if these companies are paying celebrities to do their commercials, why not actually SHOW them??

Also, who’s this guy that talks in like EVERY SINGLE movie trailer I see (deep, recognizable voice) and why does he get all the jobs?!

Any information?

I think some famous people do voice-overs in commercials because it’s somewhat “classier” than appearing in the commercials themselves. Don’t ask me why.

I know, sometimes it doesn’t sound like it’s ALWAYS that same guy, but I don’t think I’ve EVER heard a female voice talking over a movie trailer.

I remember reading about one guy who does ost of the VO’s for big movie house trailers. There’s a good send up of the clichéd narration here, in an ad for Comedian:


The guy’s name is, apparently, Jack, although I think his voice has only come into fashion in the past decade or so.

Good question for Cecil (hint, hint). Who IS this guy? The head of SAG, or its arch enemy?

His name is Hal Douglas.


Speaking of this, wasn’t Kelsey Grammar the original voice of the “Geico Gekko”? And I could swear that Mike Judge did voiceovers on Burger King commercials a few years ago. It sounded like an adult Butthead talking about flame-broiling.

Hard to tell who you’re talking about, but I’ll guess it’s Don LaFontaine. I’m pretty sure he set the standard that others now imitate.

Why him? The pipes, man, the pipes! Plus, he’s probably got a fancy recording studio in his basement with digital compressors and stuff that make him sound even better.

In a world where people ask questions and other people answer them, one man dares to add the following comment:

Although LaFontaine is well known, it is Douglas who appears in the trailer of Comedian.

Holy moley! I’m not the only one to have noticed this after all! In the very first “Gecko” commercial the voice was exactly like Kelsey Grammer’s, so I naturally just assumed that’s who it was. In the later commercials, though, the gecko has a weird Australian twang. It sounds like a totally different guy! Then they even went back and redubbed the first commercial with the same Aussie accent. I once did a search to find out what the story was, but to no avail; evidently a bloke named Dave Kelly is credited with doing the gecko voice. I wonder if they actually did hire Kelsey Grammer to do the first one, then when the commercial hit big, he wanted too much money to continue the voice. Or perhaps the first voice was considered an uncredited impersonation of Grammer, and changed for legal reasons. I’d like to know what was going on there.

Don’t get the idea that I spend all my time tracking down info on company mascots, though; I happened to notice these commercials because I work at a zoo, and I’m here to tell you that before these ads, not one person in a hundred could recognize a gecko. Now whenever we bring the leopard geckos out, every single person jokes about car insurance.


Yup, when in doubt… IMDB.com is the answer

Kapweeng! Thanks, MyFootsZZZ. Now I know! And knowing is half the battle.

So, I guess they just couldn’t afford the guy.

Many celebrities want the money but don’t want to be associated with the endorsement. Sorry, I dont’ have a cite, but this is the same reason so many celebrities do commercials in Japan but not the US.

I recall a series of commercials for John Hancock investment services with Sigourney Weaver’s voice. I was doing some work with the ad agency that produced them at the time. Great ads.

Sorry, also meant to ad:
The voiceover contracts (in my experience) are usually timebound. Once the contract is up there is an option to renew, but usually for more money if the ad is successful. Most ads have a limit to their usefulness before they look dated or stop being as effective. At that point, they’re either dropped, the contract is renewed, or the voiceover is redone with cheaper talent.