Bloody hell! Wot’s with all those English accents in American TV commercials?

March 31, 2015

“I make gibberish sound important.”

To all of my friends from the United Kingdom, I beg your pardon in advance for this post. But blimey! I am so tired of British voices driving American commercials for American-made products. I know brands do it to sound classy and global. But didn’t that line of thinking disintegrate along with Hugh Grant’s acting career? This isn’t a race thing. Or a patriotic thing. I’m just over the accent. Enough is enough. It’s no longer, as the Brit’s like to say, brilliant.

What took me over the edge is a new campaign for Seagate technology. I hear the radio spots every evening during my commute home from work. My eyes twitch every time the dude (Can Brit’s even be dudes?) says “dater” instead of data. The word is annoying already without adding a pretentious spin to it.

Then I saw the TV commercials, one of which is included above. Of course the guy’s handsome and debonair. Why else would they hire him? Oh, that’s right: the voice. Alas, his performance is mediocre. In fairness to his Lordship, he was given those scripts. Listen to him ramble on about data being a part of everything and Seagate harnessing its power, or some such. I’m not really sure. It’s more of that tech mumbo-jumbo. Maybe the writer figured a debonair English voice would make it sound fresh. Once upon a time it might have. Nowadays, the accent is all too common. Aren’t the days of swooning over English voices long over? Remember when Madonna inexplicably took on a British accent? I barely do either.

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“Bloody walkers!”

On the other hand, Hollywood adores putting Brits in just about everything. For example, at least three of the characters in my favorite show, The Walking Dead are British, including the lead role. The show is based in the southern United States, which has its own distinct accent! I think it’s funny that the producers cast various Brits for these roles, and then had them alter their voices to sound American. But they do alter their voices. And, frankly, they look and sound great.

Plenty of Americans worship the Monarchy. Always have. From Lady Diane and her children to the latest Princess and hers, we can’t get enough of these entitled beings. Me? I turn the page or channel whenever I see a silly hat.

Look, I know this post is bollocks. I don’t really care. Frankly, I like the BBC. Danny Boyle. Ricky Gervais. Lemmy Kilmister. Geniuses all! But I just like taking the piss. And “dater?” Well, that’s just wrong.

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11 Responses to “Bloody hell! Wot’s with all those English accents in American TV commercials?”

    • Leslie Rose said

      I am also very pissed off about this. What it means to me is that whoever is casting these Brits think that they sound classier than us. Hello?? This is the U.S. We don’t want Brits speaking in our commercials. We have enough American actors to do this. I won’t buy any products that have a Brit hawking it.

  1. Zeljka said

    Agreed, though George from the Sharpie marker ad began my quest for a place to rant about it, I think much less of Ricky Gervais now that I have to hear him complain about American cell phone carriers a dozen times a week.
    Like he cares, just shut up already. I do not want to hear Brits all over the place, it was funny at first but now it just bugs me.

  2. I hate the damn commercials with British accents!! Are we going to have to whip their butts again to prove the damn point! Speak Southern Redneck Greek for Heaven,s sake!!!!
    I wish my wife had not sold my Rebel Flag on Ebay!!

  3. Patti said

    The Viking Cruiseline commercial is the one that has pushed me over the edge….or underwater…..gaaaag!

  4. catherineh said

    Not all of us USAmericans like Brit voices on our USAmerican commercials! I quit watching late nite shows when the ones I previously liked were taken over by Brits! I’m sick of commercials with Brits on them, English, Australians, New Zealanders, Irish…it’s too much!

    I liked Diana, am fascinated with the British monarchy and like the elegant sounding accents but I don’t want Brit sounding commercials and Brits for late nite talk shows!

  5. Margaret said

    I hate these accents,they don’t pronounce half the letters. If they want me to buy the product then they had better start using North Americans. I boycott all the products flogged by foreign accents.

  6. Laura Kuhl said

    Yes!! Why use actors with accents!?!? Cottonelle?? Do they REALLY think it makes the product appear upscale and “worldly”? Ridiculous.

  7. Kat Kirby said

    Jolly good article! I wondered if I was the only one feeling annoyed at all
    these foreign accent commercials! I like the English accent but to whom
    are thes ads being directed! They certainly don’t impress me, in fact they
    seem pretty ridiculous considering they are used here in America

  8. Marv Watkins said

    It is totally absurd to use British or specifically English accents for advertising voice overs for TV commercials and radio spots, especially if they are for products that are not British like Japanese autos. The geniuses in the ad instrustry have fooled their clients as well as themselves into thinking that this is what cosumers want and no doubt believe they too will be fooiled into thinking that the purchase of the good or service will make them as posh or sophisticated and these things supposedly are. And the agencies no doubt have reams of market research to supposedly back this nonsense up. Hopefully consumers are not that naive or stupid. Most commercials have been stupid and unwitty for 60 years.

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