The new trend for Hollywood actors these days seems to be car commercials. USA Today points out that Tim Allen and Robert Downey Jr. are doing voiceovers for Chevy and Nissan, respectively, joining guys like Jeff Bridges (Hyundai) and Patrick Stewart (BMW), both of whom padded their résumés and wallets with this easy, high-paying gig.
We could also add Michael C. Hall’s Dodge work to the list. Allen, who just voiced Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 3, is a Chevy nut in real life who owns a personally designed 1996 Chevrolet LT5 Impala SS, among other cars, and his unsophisticated everyman identity is unbreakable thanks to his time on Home Improvement, so he’s ideal for a brand like Chevy.
More interesting, though, is the fact, mentioned in the article but not really explored, that few actresses get voiceover work for car commercials. Standing beside a car in a bikini, sure, but talking about cars in any depth? It’s still a male province, to judge by current marketing. In an AdweekMedia/Harris poll earlier this year, 28 percent of viewers said a male voice was more likely to sell them a car, versus 7 percent preferring a female voice. Since that leaves a whopping 65 percent unaccounted for, maybe most people don’t care either way. In which case, would it kill automakers to bring in some famous female voices once in a while?