Two Voices

Anne Winn and Garrett Brown are two of the most recognizable voices on radio.

Anne Winn and Garrett Brown
are two of the most recognizable voices on radio

Molson Commercials Flirt With Your Fantasies

USA TODAY, June 9, 1986
by Kevin Anderson

The throaty female laugh that has launched thousands of male fantasies is coming back on TV.

But don’t expect to get long-awaited look at the faces of Anne Winn and Garrett Brown, whose witty flirtations in five years of radio spots for Molson Golden Ale and American Express have made then cult figures in many cities. The two Molson TV commercials show only backs and hands.

"Talk to 10 people, and you get 10 different ideas of what they look like," says Steven Avenzino, account supervisor at Molson’s USA ad firm, DFS-Dorland. "We just want to keep the fantasy going."

The commercials are now in their fourth week of testing in New England and upstate New York and are set to air nationally this fall.

In the brief Molson TV campaign of 1983, all you glimpsed were parts - a hand, an eye, a mouth, none belonging to Brown or Winn, who merely dubbed the voices. The spots were a bit too yuppie to suit Molson, but the visual technique was imitated widely, notably in Pepsi commercials.

This time , the spots are "more adult than yuppie," Brown says. One is set in a Tex-Mez restaurant, the other after a pickup basketball game. but both retain the byplay of a man and a woman on equal terms that sets their often ad-libbed radio scripts apart.

The look of these spots also is likely to be imitated. Both are shot as though through Brown’s eyes, using the Steady-Cam he invented (and for which he won an Academy Award). The camera, used in Raiders of the Lost Ark, lets its operator take vibration-free footage while moving about.

"It’s a walk in my skull," Brown says, "which is my excuse for not appearing on camera. The actress posing as Anne always conveniently has her head turned."

A third TV commercial is in the works, and Brown and Winn are at work on their 26th Molson radio spot - which may be set in Chernobyl. Says Brown: "It’s getting harder to fond new places to seduce each other and still get the beer in."

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