What do water, car rentals and car insurance all have in common?
Wait. Hold that thought.
What do Zach Braff (Garden State, Scrubs), Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers, Night at the Museum, Midnight in Paris) and John Krasinski (The Office) all have in common? Well, all three are funny, charming and downright quirky.
Actually, they are all powerfully quirky – goofy enough for an easy chuckle yet intelligent enough to be respected by both men and women of all ages (kind of like most indie films). Their unmistakable voices, which lack any sort of “know it all” quality while remaining completely articulate, now help sell for PUR, Hertz and Esurance. And just like the actors to which they belong, these voices do their job without the appearance of trying too hard.
“I’m water. I shouldn’t be trapped in a bottle. I’ve got things to do. Trees to grow. Thirsts to quench.” As our true-blue pal water, Braff fails to correctly pronounce all the contaminants filtered out by a PUR system; but it’s not because he’s dumb, it’s because he only cares about the common good (translation: consumer good) that’s so pure (translation: PUR) he doesn’t need to adopt traditional, tough-guy threats.
Similarly, Owen Wilson is the type of guy who comes across as a hugger, not a handshaker. In one of his Hertz commercials, Wilson informs us about the company’s used car buying process: “Three days to try. Zero pressure to buy.” I’m not sure if it’s the way his famous twice-broken nose makes his voice sound or the way it looks when I picture it in my head, but the Hertz ad works because ultimately, when I think of a “zero pressure” ANYTHING, it certainly looks – and sounds – a lot like Owen Wilson.
Then we have good ‘ol Jim Halpert from The Office – reliable guy next door who has the best ideas in the room but won’t rub them in your face. Oh wait that’s also John Krasinki’s shtick in the role of John Krasinski. When this actor/artsy Brown grad/perpetual “nice guy” asks, “What makes you trust a company? Wait — scratch that — what makes you trust a car insurance company?” we’re too busy thinking “um, when you talk to us, John” to actually answer the question properly.
Good guess if you’re thinking these companies will reach lots of 20 and 30-somethings. For the Sigg-toting, well-traveled, I-do-everything-online-even-buy-car-insurance young professional, PUR, Hertz and Esurance are workin’ the quirky in all the right ways.