Adman Armitage

Last year I expressed my opinions about voiceovers — at the time they didn’t thrill me, but I had no problem with them. There’s a new one today. alerts us to a new Sky Sports ad with THIRTEEN SECONDS of Armitage at the end:

1. How much does he earn, one wonders, for THIRTEEN SECONDS? Given that this service costs 40 quid per month, on top of one’s regular subscription?

2. How long does it take to do the thirteen seconds? An hour? Two hours?

3. I felt like this voice was definitely down in the range we heard during the Hobbit press conference back in February. He’s clearly trying to move the range of his voice lower.

4. Yeah, about the not listening compulsively that I wrote about last Spring: Is it crazy that there’s now a subfolder on my harddrive for downloads of ads Mr. Armitage voices over? And that I LISTEN TO THEM from time to time?

5. At the end when he says “better,” which sounds to my American ears like “bet-TA,” I squirm in my chair. Also when he hits that very low pitch on “Sky” at 0:57. He’s clearly moving out of the range where his voice can be so fully resonant as it is at slightly higher pitches, but he still manages to give that tone an impressive center.

6. I wonder what sports Mr. Armitage actually watches. I remember a reference to watching rugby. Do you think he’s watching Wimbledon?

~ by Servetus on July 2, 2011.

40 Responses to “Adman Armitage”

  1. Yeah, the voice is lo-WAH!


  2. Look what I found –

    Richard Armitage voiceover + Wimbledon = his narration for the “125 Years of Wimbledon” program which just aired on BBC 2


    • That’s very comprehensive…that might be the whole program that runs nearly an hour. Thanks for the link.


  3. Cool. I got an illegal download of this after it aired, but this should be helpful to the less criminal elements among us. My advice: don’t feature this anywhere, or it may “disappear”.


  4. I know years ago a very popular British impressionist turned down €15,000 an hour to do voice overs. So I would venture to guess RA might make around €5,000 an hour. But deduct management fees, etc, and he might take home half of that. Just speculation.


    • it’s an interesting calculation, and explains why he might think it worthwhile. That would make a few mortgage payments, I’d guess 🙂


  5. Someone was surmising he had a head cold over on facebook, and I said what you are saying, he’s got his voice in a lower range now and channeling his inner Thorin 😉 And I love that “bettah.” *thud*

    I would be quite happy to take home that 2500 pounds for an hour’s work, how about y’all?

    Oh, and Servetus–I have pretty much all his voiceover stuff downloaded, too. I listened to the Smirnoff “Sublime Summer” one not too long ago. Something about the way he says “vodka” and “suuu-blime . . .” How sad is that? 😀


    • … and so much better than Yaakov whatever his name was 🙂


    • Thanks so much for the Wimbledon link! Watched it all and found it very interesting . It would be amazing to be a spectator there! I thought the narrator sounded great if I may say 🙂 I don’t honestly care what he is advertising, or reading, his voice is just so incredible and must be one of THE most recognizable voices around. I particularly liked the deepness of it there and the “bettah” at the end just made me tingle 😉


    • @darlingdarling Oops! Posted my comment in the wrong place .

      @angieklong If I was a vodka drinker I would certainly buy Smirnoff. You were sweet enough to send me a link to that advert and I’m surprised I haven’t bought a few bottles of it already!! I would imagine him saying “sublime” as I drank it!! 😉


      • You are welcome! I enjoyed it too. I never thought I would hear Armitage say “Compton” (I’m from southern CA).


      • I think if you were a vodka drinker he wouldn’t convince you to drink Smirnoff (it’s a low-end brand, the kind of thing people buy in large quantities for college parties), but he might convince you to try it if you’d never tried it before.


  6. I would have thought that the Sky adverts he has been doing for various things are in some way related to his Strike Back contract…don’t ya think?


  7. Kap,

    I have wondered that before–after all, it seems it was after his involvement with SB that we really heard his voice on a lot of Sky adverts. Now, if only we could import his voice over here to the US for lots of our commercials–I would watch or at least listen to ads MUCH more keenly. 😉


    • A reason to stay subscribed to Cinemaxx?


      • For me, it would be. RA is the only reason I will be subscribing in the first place. Ah, the women he could seduce stateside with his amazing voice . . . Cinemax could see their subscriptions go through the ROOF.


  8. Frankly, I would prefer him to do other things in his break than ads and if it has to be voice work (I’m in the minority who is not a fan of his voice work) I would prefer something more challenging than ads or narration like audiobooks or a radio play. However it is easily earned money and I’m okay with him lending his voice to well made ads for decent products. I do have a problem with celebs actually appearing in ads and getting lots of money just for being in it. I bet, Lewis Hamilton got much more money for appearing as Lewis Hamilton in the Santander ad than Richard Armitage got for doing the voive-over.


    • If he can afford it, I’d prefer him to just take a break, but it seems like that’s not ever really on his list 🙂

      That said, I thought his voice was great here.


      • The man always seems to take working holidays. I agree, I would like him to just rest a bit for a change. Well, at least this type of work isn’t as strenuous as some other things he could be doing.


  9. At one point in his life, my OH was in commercial production,both audio and video. I remember him saying that voicework was incredibly profitable because usually the performer got paid a base fee for the work and a separate payment every single time the ad aired. Many performers live a very nice lifestyle doing nothing but voicework.

    The downside is that everything in production takes FOREVER to complete. The detail put into this stuff is unbelievable! So I’m sure what to us seems like an easy 13 seconds could have been an entire day’s work

    In any case, as the average consumer I just listen and appreciate. His voice is made for advertising! I’m glad to see that someone at some time was smart enough to realize that, it seems like he’s got a nice sideline going on.


    • I think they call it royalty…everytime there’s an air play for the ad RA is involved in. I knew a little girl who did an ad for “Smarties” chocolate lollies (like M&M) when she was 7 and a few years ago when she was 17, she still gets the royalty when used in TV commercial. Not sure tho if all contracts are the same.


      • residuals, isn’t it? Or is that just for tv?


        • I know it’s residuals for TV–royalties for music performances–not sure about commercial voiceover work.

          My cousin the songwriter gets royalty checks from time to time for his work. Always says it’s nice for something he wrote years ago. 😉


  10. Re actors and advertising . . . many noted actors here lend their voices to advertisements over the years . . . there is no shame seen in it. However, some of the “big” American stars who actually appear in commercials don’t do it here, they go to Japan or some other country to appear in their ads.

    They are paid millions in some cases to do them; always seemed slightly hypocritical to me.” I won’t lower myself to do *cringe* advertising in my home country, but pay me enough and I will sell toilet bowl cleaner in a foreign country” 😉

    And yes, it really isn’t just a few seconds or minutes of work to produce one commerical. I have actually been in a couple of commercials for area cable stations–one thirty-second, one sixty-second spot for the car dealership my husband formerly worked for (OK, yes, I have indirectly sold used (and new!) cars LOL) and my part alone took several hours to shoot.

    Since they were done outdoors, factors like extraneous noise from traffic, wind whistling through the boom mic, adjusting sound levels, the angle of the sun, all this and more had to be taken into account. Even though I never muffed my lines (proud to say so) there were still many takes in order to get the best one.

    And that was just my part. There was still the editing by the people who shot the commercial to create the finished product.

    So, yeah, there is a lot more involved than a few minutes or seconds of one’s time.

    Would you like to know what I was paid? I worked cheap–gift cards to area restaurants (at least it wasn’t McDonald’s. 😉 )


  11. I love the way he says “Sports” , almost not pronouncing the ‘r’.

    I don’t really have the adds/voicework he’s done (I wouldn’t be able to name them, except audiobooks) but I do appreciate at least hearing them once when they appear and melt afterwards ;).

    “He’s clearly trying to move the range of his voice lower.” …and kill me in the process but what a way to go!

    OML *grin*


  12. Great voice as allways – but you are right – it is deeper. Okay – I admit it too: I also have a subfolder with RA´s voice overs;-)


  13. I wonder if he is not yet feeling secure about his success in the Hobbit and wants to keep his voice career ticking over? I’m thinking about the part of his last message in which he says he hasn’t signed anything Hobbity for fear of bad luck, and his casting is the one which has caused the most controversy. Is he worried he will be replaced? I’m sure it won’t happen – this part is one he can really shine in, in my opinion, and filming is quite a way on by now.

    I think Servetus’s research in the library shows that Armitagemania is on the brink of going worldwide.

    For the perfect pieces of RA voice work, search on YouTube for him reading Song by Ted Hughes and Yours by Leo Marks. Make sure there is a soft surface nearby to swoon onto. I don’t want anyone to get hurt.


    • Watch out for Damaris’ “Elegy of a Spy”. The link is on C19. It is an hommage to the true Lucas North, using Leo Marks Code Poem and Vaughn Williams’ Variation on a Theme of Thomas Tallis. But, yes, a soft surface is necessary, and privacy, otherwise SOs might ask you why you are in tears.


    • I think that’s superstitious behavior (an issue a lot of people have whose living depends on performance), but I’d still think he’d want to keep his voiceover career going. Awhile back, when that interview had been published about how he was jealous of people who were holding the lights, I thought maybe he was trying to collect a lot of cash while he could to make himself financially secure so he could explore riskier creative venues. Now, since the casting in The Hobbit, I’m not so certain.


  14. […] reading about Richard Armitage as an adman on servetus’ blog, I wondered if Armitage would ever cameo as “the video guy.” He does have an extensive dance […]


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