Lexus Voiceover Actor Switch Permanent?


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In the latest US RX commercials, longtime Lexus voiceover actor James Sloyan was noticeably absent, replaced instead with James Remar, most recently from Sex & The City and Dexter. And now, Ad Age is reporting that the change may be permanent after talking with a Lexus spokeswoman:

A Lexus spokeswoman said the marketer wanted a voiceover that “could appeal to a broad audience that can encapsulate our brand as it moves forward.” Lexus “did a lot of research” and found that Remar’s pipes filled the bill, she said. Several auto pundits are aghast, criticizing the automaker and its shop, Team One, for discarding the strong brand equity Sloyan brought to its ads.

It’s hard not to feel that Sloyan is embedded right in the DNA of Lexus commercials, having been the voice of the brand since its 1989 inception, but at the same time, I think the case could be made for the change. Lexus has a very high median buyer age, and having a voiceover actor pushing 70 years old simply reinforces the “old luxury” message.

[Source: Advertising Age]

Update: Well, there’s no going back for Sloyan now, as he’s now appeared in a Mitsubishi commercial that far from complimentary of his time as Lexus USA’s “voice”:

Comments


Comments


  1. The first commercials with Mr. Remar for the new RX have been really good, there’s also an LS one on Lexus.com.  Maybe on occasion they can bring back Mr. Sloyan for special announcements.
    ——-

  2. Poor Mr. Sloyan. I really liked him as the Lexus voiceover. It was like an old friend talking to you, his voice was so calm and soothing. I hope he makes future appearances in Lexus ads.

  3. Yeah. Good ol’ Sloyan is probably the only soul that Lexus has, and now, his part has been removed because of Lexus’ business nature.

    Anyways, I understand this move although I too agree that Sloyan’s voice would be appropriate in many other Lexus ads to come.

  4. Pretty sure this can be confirmed now.

    When I was at work today, I heard a commercial going over the radio. I recognized the voice immediately: James Sloyan.

    His voice was being used in a commercial advertising against Mercedes, BMW…and Lexus. The company he’s defected to? Can you even guess?

    Mitsubishi.

    If I remember correctly, the ad tried to make the claim Mitsubishi has better overall safety it its compact models compared to Lexus, BMW or Mercedes. And also that the Lancer is a “better value” than the Lexus IS.

    It sounded really weird with him being used against the company he used to work for, but then again, maybe that was the point.

    Lexus commercials won’t be the same without him.

  5. Ugh. I honestly thought Audi was going to scoop him up first.

  6. I prefer James Remar. His voice is fantastic. The older British accent doesn’t reach folks in their 20’s and 30’s. Sloyan made Lexus into a older person’s car. No offense to the more mature customers out there.