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”: