Some of the best radio ads you’ll ever hear
In 2008, I made a decision that I would use my influence and connections within the industry to better connect and promote the creative and production people.
My hope was that I could help to showcase the amazing people and work we do in radio (particularly production) and ensure the growth and training process was available for the future.
In simple terms, I wanted to help people share their work and ideas as this is still one of the most beneficial ways we all learn and are inspired to excel.
Audio and creative people are often not great at self promotion. They are great at selling other people. Be it a small, medium or large business. Or even a radio network!
Over the years I have intentionally highlighted some very clever audio and creative people, but there has always been a slant on the content and programming side.
Commercial Production is an area of the radio station that is directly related to the revenue source. In my opinion it is not recognised enough, nor allocated the funds necessary to promote growth in what is an ever increasing battle for clients in the marketplace.
Today, I’m very pleased to showcase some fantastic commercial production creative people. Sound designers and writers who day in – day out work hard to find a marketing angle for a very broad assortment of clientele. I have done the best I could to contact key people to supply work, however I feel this could be an ongoing showcase so will encourage anyone who wishes to send their work to me for addition in future articles: Daryl.email@example.com
Thank you to everyone who sent through their creative audio work. Outstanding… and appreciated!
'Black Widow Trackers' written by Jo Campbell and produced by Gregg Sinclair from ARN, Sydney.
This Black Widow spot won a Siren Award (‘Craft’ category).
‘Salvation Army’ written and recorded by Brett Perry and Simon Hills-Johnes
“I love this ad we built for The Salvation Army. Not only because of the way the sound design pulls you in from the get-go, but also because the client was brave enough to let us cast an actor from New Zealand. It seems simple enough, but there’s still a huge disproportion between the voices you hear around town, and those you hear in an ad break. Hopefully that will change. In the meantime however, while an international accent won’t stand out on the train or at the pub, it really helped us cut through the ad break.”
Southern Cross Austereo
‘Bungeewest’ written by Matt Dickson and produced by Drew Barrett.
“This was the first (and one of only two so far) campaign from the radio industry to win a round of the Siren Awards. I kept the proposition (and the wording) pretty short and simple to let the idea do the talking.
The ad was centred around the (really obvious) idea that bungee jumping is pretty fuckin’ exciting. The audio really speaks for itself.
The ad ended up also winning a bronze world medal at the 2007 New York Festivals, and was voted 7th overall in B&T Magazine's 'Best Ads Of The Year 2007'
We got an amazing response to the ad and it ran for almost a year on air without changing. The ad was written by myself, and produced by Drew Barrett.”
‘Allpest’ written by Matt Dickson, Alida Henson, Garry Dean, Ingrid Paxton and produced by Carl Step
“This was the second only campaign from the radio industry to win a round of the Siren Awards. It’s also the most awarded campaign from within the radio industry in at least the last 10 years.
It ended up winning a round of the Siren Awards, the 2011 ACRA for Best Station Produced Commercial, the $5000 Bronze Siren client award, and a Bronze World Medal at the New York Festivals. It was also recognized by Mumbrella, ranking 3rd in Mumbrella’s Significant 7 radio ads of 2011.
But most importantly, it really worked. Our client Allpest had to put 3 new staff on to handle the leads from the campaign. Those staff are still with the company today, which is fantastic.
The campaign was written by my whole team at the time – Alida Henson, Garry Dean, Ingrid Paxton and (myself) Matt Dickson. Producer was Carl Step who is just a powerhouse in the studio and a huge asset for us here in Perth.”
‘Bloo.com.au’ written and produced by Matt Dickson (additional production Chris Davis)
“While this campaign didn’t win many awards, it became a Perth favourite, with people ringing the radio station to ask for the lyrics. It worked really well for the client too, grabbing them 12,000 unique visits to the website in just the first 20 days of the campaign.
It was an ACRA finalist in ’09 and was featured by Campaign Brief magazine.
I came up with the idea of beatmixing the VO in the ad to make it different to anything else. The ad was written and produced by myself. Chris Davis (who now works in New Zealand, but still for SCA) helped with the production and sourced and spliced the beat.”
‘Austral Bricks’ written by Geoff Bickerton and produced by Thom Phillips.
“It is quite simple with nothing flashy going on production wise, but it was very effective on air.
We had to give the impression the man’s voice was ageing and decreasing in quality as the bricks would over time.
I think we executed it very well by directing the voice over delivery to begin with, and then using eq’s and effects to accentuate the ageing process.”
‘Sealink’ written by Wade Howland and produced by Thom Phillips.
“I’ve given the impression the female VO is at a Christmas party, and as she opens her present (a trip to kangaroo island- stored in a box) something different from the island arises eg seals, sea breeze, kids playing etc.”
‘Coober Pedy’ written by Tom Bourne and produced by Thom Phillips.
“I layered in several landscape sfx subtly, with drums to build suspense, pads, a droning didgeridoo and a flurry before the sell. This one was written by Tom Bourne.
‘Be Active’ is an SA Government Health Initiative. Their focus is to get people to think about different ways to live a more active life. Our brief was to engage with every day people in everyday situations.
One of our challenges was not to preach to people… but enlighten them.
Our key targets were; office workers, teenage gamers and time poor mums and dads.
We came up with a series of commercials following the cast of a fictitious amateur Musical Theatre Company. The songs were written, performed and produced in house. Special attention was given to production values… it had to sound like a real amateur theatre troop.
Be Active the Musical won awards locally and received recognition nationally.
Written and directed by Darren Russell and John Curran Produced by Eddie Bye for Nova 919 Adelaide. The client was very happy with the result.
‘Into Blinds’ written by Paul Varrasso
I’ve chosen the Into Blinds ads to present as they are by far the most successful ones I’ve written.
Initially the Into Blinds client wanted a jingle and had to get across all his selling points. But rather than be conventional about a jingle I presented him with something a little off beat and quirky. And although a little nervous, he agreed and the rest is history.
3 years later, this new client to radio went from being new to radio with a limited investment to opening a new showroom and employing 20 staff, all off the back of the success of the radio commercials. They are now looking to expand even further.
To me this is the true success of a campaign.
Why has it worked? Well they are quirky and a bit funny – and compared to their competitors who are very straight and competitive they deliver their selling points differently.
Southern Cross Austereo
‘Roadwise’ written by Josh Langley and produced by Jerimiah Busniak.
Won the 2011 ACRA
‘Sacoa’ written by Josh Langley and produced by Brodie Green.
Thanks again to everyone who sent through their creative audio work.
If you have a clever commercial that promotes the use of a great script or creative sound design, plus, demonstrates the power of radio advertising. Please send through an mp3 with short explanation of the spot/campaign and of course the credits of people involved.