I work on the fourteenth floor in a forty one story building. As a safety precaution, the stairwells are off limits (unless there’s a fire), so I spend a lot of time in elevators.
The elevators in my building talk. Their conversation skills are limited — “going up”, “going down”, “floor thirty one”.
There are even male and female voices. The male voices are deep and authoritative. They say “Going up” with enthusiasm, like they are announcing a great achievement. The female voices are all airline attendant professional, with one notable exception. One elevator has a breathy female voice that makes the words “lobby level” sound like an indecent proposal.
It was this last that made me think what a great opportunity building management is missing:
The elevators should have celebrity voices.
There are twenty six elevators that I know of, and probably several service elevators I don’t have access to. That leaves room for a really great cast of voices. The trick to casting is that the voices have to be instantly recognizable.
Some celebrities have voices so golden they are recognizable in two words. Seriously, how great would it be to get into an elevator and be greeted by Morgan Freeman or James Earl Jones. Those two voices are so amazing they could turn “Going up” into an Oscar winning performance.
Matthew McConaughey would work, too. I guarantee it would be the most popular elevator in the entire building. Every woman in the Tower would wait their turn to ride that elevator just to hear him say “Going down”.
Samuel L. Jackson would be perfect, too. He might need more than two words though. Not because you wouldn’t know him right away. He would need more than two words because no one sounds so… right… while cursing as does Samuel L. Jackson.
“Going up” wouldn’t sound right coming from him.
“Going the fuck up” would.
Or, imagine Anthony Hopkins’ voice in full Hannibal Lector mode coming from a speaker behind your head: “Quid pro quo, Clarice”.
It’s a little outside the current repertoire, but you wouldn’t need that second cup of coffee to wake up, right?
Yeah, celebrity voices on the elevator would be an awesome addition to my work day.
But, on second thought, maybe it’s a good thing we just have the plain old John and Jane voices. My boss would probably have to send security looking for me after riding in the Matthew elevator for eight hours.