Design experts weigh in on stimulus recovery logos

Brand expert Andy Bateman wonders if even that modest expense was necessary.

"Do we really need to brand everything?" says Bateman, CEO of Interbrand New York, whose clients include AT&T and BMW. "It sounds like heresy, but more and more of our business is helping clients have less brand, not more brand."

ASK THE AD TEAM

Q: Who is the female voice of the J.C. Penney ads? She does both radio and TV, I think.

— Scott Walker, Lynchburg, Va.

A:She is Julia Murney, 40, and if you are a Broadway fan, you may know her as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, from the hit show Wicked. She played the part in the national touring company for six months and for more than a year on the Great White Way. Although she was born in Pennsylvania, she was raised in New York City and has a long career of radio ads and TV commercial voice-overs to supplement her work on Broadway and TV, which includes appearances on Law & Order and Sex and the City. In addition to J.C. Penney, she is currently the voice for NuvaRing ads. Past ad work includes Estée Lauder and Chiquita bananas.

"It's fun to do," she told the Ad Team. "People are very nice, very laid-back, and I can wear jeans and a baseball cap, and no one cares. You can just show up."

You can catch her discussing her voice-over work at YouTube, where she says that her career highlight was landing a job to promote the skin network The Spice Channel.

Have a question about TV, print or online advertising? Go to media.usatoday.com and click on "Ask the Ad Team."

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