I’ve been watching a lot of the Australian Open tennis tournament in the evenings (it’s background, it’s live, it’s occasionally very entertaining) and it finally clicked tonight what’s been bothering me about one of the ads.
There’s an ad that runs about every twenty minutes for the Melbourne tourism agency, talking about “This Is Melbourne.” It has a male narrator, Australian accent, calm, low voice and every time it comes on the hair on the back of my neck stands up.
Tonight I finally realized that the narrator of the ad sounds exactly like the Australian dude on the Calm app that does the guided meditations. Before COVID sent us all to work from home, we would have a weekly 10-minute meditation session (strictly voluntary, but popular) in which we would listen to one of these meditation sessions. There are lots of variations with different narrators, male and female, all different accents, but everyone seemed to like the ones with this Australian dude the best.
I don’t know if it’s the same guy – I’m assuming that the one on the Calm app is actually some sort of “meditation person.” (I’m sure there’s a word for that, but I’m an clueless old dude who’s way too tired at the moment. Not priest. Guru? A quick Google search doesn’t give any help, but lots of articles and videos on leading your own guided meditation group, so it may well be that my assumption about training and qualifications are unjustified.) I would also think that the person doing the ads is a professional voice actor.
Maybe they’re the same person. Maybe not.
Maybe all male Aussies with that stereotypical tone and timbre (I think that just recently I referred to it as being “like some early 70’s FM college station graveyard shift DJ”) sound alike.
Maybe I’m just an American, and, well…
Maybe I should just turn the sound down during commercials and get on with my life.