Voice Overs Of The World: The British Are Coming!
Okay, well, the British aren’t really coming; after all, advertisements have been using accents in their voice overs for decades. But I couldn’t really think of a better title for an installment of Voice Overs of the World that focuses on a few advertisements with great VO’s featuring accents.
(And for the record, I’m not even going to attempt to distinguish exactly what types of accents all of these are. I’m just going to call them all “vaguely British,” which encompasses England, Ireland, Australia, Scotland and New Zealand. That way, all my bases are covered.) So without further ado…
This first commercial is near and dear to my heart. Why? Because I finally get a chance to write about Taco Bell. Yes, it’s true; I am a Taco Bell junkie, so the chance to write about their voice overs is pretty exciting for me. (What can I say? It’s the simple things in life…)
I really like the voice behind the “Shrimp Blogger” in this piece, although I’ll say that I’m not even a little bit convinced that the voice is also the same guy that’s on camera. If I had to bet, I’d say that the voice actor doing the VO is not the guy on camera. What do you think?
Regardless, I love the way he says, “I’m a shrimp blogger,” so matter-of-factly, as if it’s the most normal thing in the world. My favorite delivery, though, has to be when he says, “The legendary hercules shrimp? Blogged it!” It’s a spot-on delivery that really sells the concept of the piece.
Technically, the next two spots don’t really feature accents per se since they both come from abroad, but for our purposes here they’ll work just fine. In the first ad for Magners Cider, I really enjoy the quality of the voice over. It’s actually the whole sound of the commercial that works, but the VO is an integral part of that. The way it’s blended together with the slight banjo-picked music and the nature sounds in the background gives the whole commercial a serene, peaceful feel.
And the voice over itself is perfectly subtle, with a nice down-home feel. With an ad that is clearly somewhat satirical, it would be easy to go with an over-the-top voiceover, but this one is simple, pleasant, and really keeps the piece light and humorous.
Finally, we have a commercial featuring none other than animation superstars Wallace & Gromit. Yes, this piece from Aardman Animation is actually a commercial for a British power company that is trying to promote an energy conservation plan, so the studio lent out its two biggest stars. And yes, that is Peter Sallis providing the voice of Wallace as he has since the early days of the claymation duo.
Wallace & Gromit always features terrific voice overs, but I thought this was a great new commercial that I could easily spotlight here in Voice Overs of the World. In addition to Sallis, you also hear “Penny from NPower,” who ends up with an equal amount of the VO in the spot as she describes the company’s service. Both Sallis and his co-star turn in excellent performances, and while this isn’t the most groundbreaking ad ever, how could I pass up spotlighting such a great use of voice over in a commercial spot?
Personally, I think Gromit’s voice acting skills are underrated, though. It’s not easy to do as much with silence as he does.
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