Rob Levy, President of InterMedia Entertainment a company that tabulates the trustworthiness of celebrities in their DR Star Index, says Freeman’s choice of film roles early on formed his image as the trusted, wise adviser, “His role is Shawshank Redemption crystalized my perception of him a truly sympathetic, loyal and trustworthy character. It may seem like common sense, but our data has shown that perception can indeed be reality in the eyes of consumers.”
Indeed Freeman’s played it up most recently to brilliant comedic effect as a voice of a blind, wise wizard named Vitruvius, in The Lego Movie. “I am embody gravitas, now the real me, does not embody gravitas,” said Freeman in an interview with BBC Radio 4, “What they’re not recognizing is how far my tongue is stuck up my cheek.”
Audiences don’t seem to mind that he’s essentially been voicing similar wise characters over and over, because that voice demands attention. Do you want to be listened to in that next pitch meeting? It seems you can learn a thing or two from Morgan Freeman. According to studies, a deep voice is not only attracts women but also signals he’s the leader of the pack among men and should be listened to. Freeman’s expressive, varying intonation also, “boosts credibility and enhances the impression of intelligence,” according to research.
Advertisers know the value of these sub-conscious signals which give them an edge in attaining attention and respect for their product by association. That voice has paid dividends. A-listers can reap $200,000 to $400,000 up front with additional residuals for as little as a couple hours of work in between film set breaks. But Freeman is on another level, and reportedly garnered between one and two million dollars to be the voice of VISA.
Fortunately for advertisers, Freeman isn’t the only game in town as celebrity voice-overs have risen in popularity in recent years with other baritone voices lending themselves to ads including George Clooney for Budweiser, Jon Hamm for Mercedes-Benz and American Airlines and Jeff Bridges for Hyundai.
“I can only be so long without work before I start getting antsy,” admits Freeman. If you’re going by credits, he’s not antsy often. In between films, he’s lent his voice across film and television, look to the right for our list as some might surprise you.
By Diane Panosian | SOURCE