Do Celebrities Lending Voice Talent Really Help Brands?

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I’ve been noticing recently the number of commercials that use celebrity voice-overs.  Obviously this is not a new practice, but to me, it seems like it’s happening more and more.  Last week (and probably to the annoyance of my boyfriend) I played “name that voice.”  Every time a commercial came on, I noted the celebrity voice, and of course, made him guess who it was.  Here’s the list I came up with:
Jeff Daniels – iPhone
Lisa Kudrow – Yoplait
John Krasinski – Blackberry
Julie Bowen – Olive Garden
Mark Paul Gosselar – Turbo Tax
Julia Roberts – Nationwide Insurance
Ed Helms – Hotels.com
Jason Sudekis – Applebees
Robert Downey Jr – Nissan
Erin Eckhart – Ford
James Spader – Acura
Paul Giamatti – Liberty Mutual
It made me wonder why the celebrities do it and if it really benefits the company.  For the celebrities, it’s got to be easy money.  It’s only a little bit of time in a recording studio.  As for the products, are people really buying them because they’re being sold by a celebrity?
Personally, I’m not going to rush over to Olive Garden because the lady from Modern Family says it’s great.  My ears do, however, perk up when I realize it’s a voice I know.  And in the end, that does get me to pay attention to the commercial.
Next time you’re sitting in front of the TV see how many voices you can catch.  The big names will surprise you!

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