7
   

Why is it when Americans need a voice of authority...

 
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 07:29 pm
for their television commercials they gravitate towards the dulcet tones of Britain or Australia?? Every infomercial (by that I mean those godawful one hour long demonstrations) for a chopper, blender, rotating oven-broiler or vacuum cleaner is emceed by some over caffeinated bloke who chops, blends and rotates his (it's ALWAYS a male) way through the rapid fire script.

I don't know if we are being influenced by the Simon Cowell effect or, for the baby boomers, the echoes of Alistar Cooke.

Anyway, sleepless nights bring me to this question and one other: if we use Brits and Aussies to sell us stuff (It is the exotic nature of the...?) who sells the hard sell to Brits and Aussies??

If I go to London tomorrow (Don't get excited, IZ, I'm not on the way.) will I hear the sounds of some Midwesterner spinning on about the best way to make three kilos of potato salad in thirty seconds or maybe some sonorous Southern boy droning through the list of the reasons why you should send three easy payments ....... .

Joe(But Wait! If you ORDER now we'll DOUBLE the DEAL!!!!)Nation

 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 07:58 pm
@Joe Nation,
Quote:
If I go to London tomorrow (Don't get excited, IZ, I'm not on the way.) will I hear the sounds of some Midwesterner spinning on about the best way to make three kilos of potato salad in thirty seconds or maybe some sonorous Southern boy droning through the list of the reasons why you should send three easy payments ....... .


No, but you will hear more hard to identify and mostly unaccented Americans speaking.
I'm not the best person to answer this question, because I rarely watch tv - but when I do (Glee and Thirty Rock- that's literally it) I am always struck by the ads which are narrated by male Americans- not midwesterners- not southerners, they sound more like someone from California or Seattle. And then there's that American woman from Desperate Housewives who does a make-up commercial - I don't know her name - she's the pretty, dark-haired one but younger than the dark-haired one who used tp play Penny Parker on McGyver.

As a matter of fact whatever happened to THAT guy - he was handsome and had a great voice. Maybe he's doing commercials these days.

dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 09:29 pm
@Joe Nation,
Odd...ours usually have egregiously US spruikers and cooing supposed customers.
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 04:50 am
@aidan,
aidan wrote:
... And then there's that American woman from Desperate Housewives who does a make-up commercial - I don't know her name - she's the pretty, dark-haired one but younger than the dark-haired one who used tp play Penny Parker on McGyver....


Eva Longoria Parker
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 04:52 am
@Joe Nation,
Quote:
for their television commercials they gravitate towards the dulcet tones of Britain or Australia??


Dulcet tones?

Australia, Joe? Surprised

You just made me smile.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 06:03 am
@msolga,
My tones can be very dulcet indeed, Msolga...as can, I am sure, yours!
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 06:16 am
even the brits make note of their own accent, on The Scott Mills Show BBC Radio 1, he has the PR4L read listeners e-mail

Kathy Clugston the PR4L (Posh Radio4 Lady) is a newsreader and continuity announcer on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service

Clugston is also the Female Irish voice on Tom Tom Sat nav's.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 06:33 am
It could be worse . . . it could be Ron Popeil, or worse yet, Vince from Shamwow . . . when the latter comes on the air, i don't change the channel, i turn it off . . .
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 06:37 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:

Odd...ours usually have egregiously US spruikers and cooing supposed customers.


Same here in Germany - and to add our misery, they get translated by voices which ... really should switch on the alarm to move on to ... CNN, MSB, ESP, Russia Today ...
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 12:57 pm
You should come to Massachusetts. Our local low-budget hard-sell folks all have Boston accents (which don't sound like the Kennedys--no one else here sounds like them). One of the stranger ones used to be the guy who did the "Light and Leisure, the purple building" spots. They sold ceiling fans, among other things, and he always did the spots with a ceiling fan running behind and above him. Due to the stop-motion effect of TV camera scanning, it looked like the vanes of the fan were cutting through his forehead every time they came around. He did them that way for years--must have been intentional, but I can't imagine decapitation could have been a big selling point.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  3  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 01:03 pm
@Joe Nation,
When I saw the title I thought you were going to say something about Morgan Freeman (I'd just read something about how he uses his "voice of God" in ads) and I thought that was kind of interesting -- Morgan Freeman, James Earl Jones, Dennis Haysbert, all African-American voices of authority in television commercials.
Irishk
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 01:26 pm
I DVR just about anything I want to watch on TV just to avoid commercials. I think I'd be less likely to avoid one if the announcer had a British accent, though. It's my favorite. Love the way they say 'strawberries'.

'Strewburries'....so cool lol.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 06:42 pm
Americans do love an accent, i suspect it's not much different elsewhere, either, if it's handled well. I once heard Ricardo Montalban interviewed, and he said that when he was doing the ads for Chrysler, he just ad libed the "real Corinthian leather" nonsense. Later, when he was advertising the Chrysler Cordoba, he of course pronounced Cordoba as a Spanish speaker would, and when coupled with "real Corinthian leather" (there's no such thing) it had a cachet which the ad agency encouraged.

There is this Australian joke who does the "Dollars 4 Gold" ads who irritates me almost as much as Vince for Shamwow. Almost . . . i'll change the channel, but i won't necessarily just turn off the tee vee.
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Mar, 2010 06:54 am
I was thinking about Richardo last night, but not in the way you are thinking. I was remembering the Billy Crystal take-off on his (or maybe it was Fernando Lamas?) accent. "Yuuo louk maarvelous!"

For Americans, if it's not the deep six-ball basso profundo voice, it's just got to have that 'Bond, James Bond' clip to it. The only American I can think of off-hand who managed to sound like a unique son of this soil, and still have that supreme sense of authority, was Orson Welles and even he had a few of the elements of early radio bouncing around in the back of his epiglottis.

There was a story about Orson Welles and a MasterCard ad he was reading for---seems the opening line was "There's a river in California..." Mr. Welles declined to use the contraction claiming that he might as well just slur the rest of the thirty seconds of copy.

Joe(There is no doubt he got his way.)Nation
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Mar, 2010 07:02 am
@sozobe,
When I saw the title I thought you were going to say something about Morgan Freeman (I'd just read something about how he uses his "voice of God" in ads) and I thought that was kind of interesting -- Morgan Freeman, James Earl Jones, Dennis Haysbert, all African-American voices of authority in television commercials.

Too true.

And, as a benefit, they speak our language.
Off shore speakers cannot use their own lingo to sell us anything, we only understand about half of what they say.
==
djj....
Would love to actually hear some of this.

Quote:
even the brits make note of their own accent, on The Scott Mills Show BBC Radio 1, he has the PR4L read listeners e-mail

Kathy Clugston the PR4L (Posh Radio4 Lady) is a newsreader and continuity announcer on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service

Clugston is also the Female Irish voice on Tom Tom Sat nav's.


Joe(Got links??)Nation

djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Mar, 2010 07:12 am
@Joe Nation,




a bunch of audio clips here
http://www.unofficialmills.co.uk/communities/local_links.php?catid=2
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Mar, 2010 07:37 am
Hysterical.

And much better than having monkey boy read those himself "Did Becky take a dump...?"

Crass in the original, almost literary when read properly.

And I love the little Irish curls in her accent.

Joe(Not sure that I want to know anymore about naked bingo on Barry Island though.)Nation
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Mar, 2010 07:40 am
@Joe Nation,
the barry island guy was great

i could never figure out id it was just a staff writer being funny or an outside source being funny

the texts from barry island stopped in the late summer

it's a an entertaining podcast all in all, about 40 minutes, they play a fun little game everyday called oh, what's occurring

the download link at the top of the page will take you to a larger menu of show bits (innuendo bingo is quite enjoyable at times)
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Mar, 2010 03:06 pm
@djjd62,
I think this is the funniest thing I've ever heard and it kind of fits this subject - I'm also gonna put it in covers that are better than the originals:
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Mar, 2010 03:42 pm
Would Jememy Irons' accent be considered Received Pronunciation/Oxford English?
0 Replies
 
 

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