Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The British Are Coming!! (Again)

What's the fascination in TV advertising with those who sport a British or Australian accent?

This isn't an anti-UK post, bloke, but I must protest.

Seems there must have been some market research done, that says us Yankees are more inclined to yank out our credit card or rush to the nearest big box store if we hear said items being hawked by those who hail from across the pond or Down Under.

How else to explain the influx of voices I am hearing lately on the telly?

Before, the tack du jour was to yell. That's all. Just simply shout EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO SAY IN HOPES THAT VOLUME WOULD TRUMP COMMON SENSE.

The late Billy Mays yelled at us, as he sold us on those great TV offers. He was hardly the first TV pitchman to literally "give a shout out."

Now it's not so much shouting as it is the apparent allure of the British or Australian accent.

You may not be aware of what I'm talking about, but give the TV commercials these days a listen.

There's the GEICO gecko, for example. The dude selling us the Magic Bullet food chopper. And many others.

We've always been battling those British Invasions. They haven't really stopped for all that long since the music version of the 1960s.

Did you see who's replaced the venerable Larry King on CNN, following Larry's retirement?

It's none other than Piers Morgan, another British import.

I think we as Americans are still fascinated and charmed by the British dialect and demeanor.

Two words: Cary and Grant.

Was there anyone on the silver screen more suave and charming and debonair than the famed actor Grant?

But back to the advertising on TV.


Piers Morgan: The latest British invader, and Larry King's successor


I can see the impact someone like Cary Grant would have on our psyche, but I confess to not being moved by a British accent when I'm being sold goods.

I remember when the comedic actor John Cleese (Monty Python) did radio and TV voice-overs for Callard and Bowser, a British candy company. They were fun to listen to, but because it was John Cleese and John Cleese is freaking hilarious.

It wasn't because Cleese is British.

Again, I'm not angry or crying foul here. It's just something I've noticed.

The advertising execs apparently have been told by someone that they have a better chance of selling goods and services if the person doing the voice-over spells labor "labour."

Then again, it's better than all that yelling.

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