Sunday, December 31, 2006

Spot light #28: Home Office (UK)

A good idea that could have been much better. I like the idea of 'advertising' your valuables. Don't like the way it ends.

Spot light #27: Cambodia Social Advertising

More proof that radio works. And how. more proof that brand builders don't. And how? By ignoring radio.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Spot light #26: National AIDS Trust

Great sound work. A simple, simple product demonstration that works really, really well on radio. Enough said.

Spot light #25: Kaan Awards

Why do Indian advertisers care so little for radio? I've been scouring the net for anything, something worthwhile to showcase from Indian radio adverts only to come up with not much more than this little nugget of a name that Radio Mirchi has for an award show that honours excellence in radio advertising. Pity they haven't thought it important enough to put up a little website to showcase the work.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Spot light #24: Anheuser-Busch

Damn, it must be hard being a judge for a great advertising competition like the One show. Listen to this awesome spot that's just one of the many great radio adverts on the site. You be the judge. It's a great job. Guess somebody's got to do it.

Spot light #23: National thoroughbred Racing

Great script. Good voiceover. Not so good sign-off. Good enough for a one-show? Hmm. I'm not so sure. I'm not sure it's such an original idea. The writing though is outstanding.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Spot light #22: Prostate Cancer Charity

An interesting way to deal with a prickly problem. Especially, the sign off. Off you go.


What to do when you've got a radio brief? Well, apart from coming here for inspiration, you might also want to go here.

Spot light #21: Covenant house

Listen carefully. If you ask me, I think this one's better than the spot that took top honours. You're right, nobody asked me.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Spot light #20: Miller Lite

Funny? Very. Writing? Good. Very. Voiceover? Earnest, appropriate. Very. Entertaining? Very. My favourite line in the spot: I will not stop to smell the roses. Unless the roses are beers and grow on stalks of salted pretzel sticks.

Spot light #19: The Chrysler Voyager

Didn't someone copy this radio commercial in India? A very original idea that sounds very familiar.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Spot light #18: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Lovely, lovely voiceover acting. Lovely. With voiceovers like this, who needs visuals? Lovely. Dude, I think you already said, 3 times. Did I? Ah well, must be the voices inside my head. Hear, hear!

Spot light #17: 92.5 Jack FM

A very unique way to showcase a frequency using the same things that everyone else uses. Check out Jack's Superband. But before you do, try and guess what the spot might be like from the name of the spot: Jack's Superband. Now, now, no cheating. Give up?

Spot light #16: Brainco ad school

They could have done so much more with this product. This spot just goes to prove that the people who give you great radio can also give you very bad radio. Whoever wrote this one comes across, to me, as a bit too smart for his own good (and I'm sure it's a guy, you can just tell by the way it's written). Listen to it one and tell me what you think? I think it's trying just a bit too hard to be funny.

Spot light #15: Bikes USA

It takes a client with balls to approve a spot like this. It takes a client with a sense of humour to approve a spot like this. It takes a client unlike most other clients to approve a spot like this. Which makes me wonder, is this client for real? Nice writing. Spare execution. Often, that's all it takes to do a good radio spot. And that's probably why most copywriters don't like doing it. I mean, where's the hype?

Spot light #14: V-day

The thing I found most interesting about this spot is that it tells you to shop naked for the product it's peddling. I think a bigger idea was lost somewhere in the pursuit of an easier idea. Think about it.

Spot light #13: Listerine mouths on

A pretty ordinary script, I think, taken to the next level by good voiceover technique and not much more. Smile-inducing and like a breath of fresh air. Is it easy doing radio for mouthwash?

Radio saydio #6

Some people think radio is the most difficult medium to write for. Sometimes, I think it's the easiest. If you prefer doing most of your work alone, you'll love radio.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Spot light #12: Kaiser chin

This spot for Kaiser is in Chinese and targetted to a Brazilian audience. It's the second or third part of a larger campaign named Vem, Kaiser, Vem (Come, Kaiser, Come). The Chinese version became Lai Kaiser Lai. Brazilians didn't understand anything, but found it very funny and could relate it to a previous spot with the same music and Portuguese lyrics. Check it out at Just goes to prove how music matters more than words on radio.

Spot light #11: Beerly legal

What would you do for beer? This spot is made from beer.

Spot light #10: Library smart

What fun it would be to work on a product like this. And what's the product? Check out the library.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Why radio is so boring #2

Seth Stevenson adds: The Clio award presenter offered an excellent alternative theory: Radio ads are really difficult to excel at. "Making a radio ad," he said, "is like trying to hide on a squash court. There are no visuals you can fall back on, and you're at your most exposed as a writer." The big radio winner last night? Bud Light's "Real Men of Genius" campaign (which has been running since 1999 and also has a television component). This salute to everyday heroes (such as "Mr. Jean Shorts Wearer," "Mr. 80 SPF Sunblock Wearer," and "Mr. Backyard Bug Zapper Inventor") was termed a "radio juggernaut" by the presenter, who also wondered if it might be "the most successful radio campaign in history."

Why radio is so boring

Seth Stevenson from Slate: Midway through the ceremony, the excitement ground to a halt as the radio awards were announced. No one here seems to care a lick about radio ads. Throughout the festival, the short-listed ads were available at an iPod station in the convention center, yet I saw only one other person (besides me) bother to listen to them. My theory: Radio spots afford ad executives no excuse to travel to exotic locales, spend lots of money, and cast attractive young models (since it doesn't matter what radio actors look like), so the task holds little interest.

Which is exactly why you should focus on radio if you're a copywriter hungering for an award. (Yep, the big fish in a small pond theory.)

Spot light #9: Snow ridge

Good voiceover. Cool attitude. Nice music too. A great recipe for a good radio spot. And yes, peanuts to produce. Big on returns. That's why we need more radio. It makes good business sense and makes your brand look cooler than it is. If done right. Check it out.

Spot light #8: When Google fucked up

How did the marketing department at Google approve this? I guess that's why it got through. Only a marketing department could ever approve something like this. Cringe.

Spot light #7: eBay motors

Not just a better way to sell your car but also one of the nicer ways to do a radio spot for a classified service by using the way words sound beautifully. Lvly.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Spot light #6: IE 7

When was the last time you heard a radio spot for a web browser? If you ask me, never. Does it make sense to have a radio spot for a web browser? I seriously doubt it. Anyway, check out the spot. And then, think about how you might tackle a brief for a radio spot for a web browser. Not cool.

Spot light #5: Smoke now. Pay later.

The problem with a lot of smokers is they can't see how it will change their lives as they go forward. All they can see is how they think it changes the way people percieve them while they're smoking. This spot addresses that problem. Well.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Radio saydio #5

Radio is conversation in different forms and using different sounds. Words are sounds. Talking is sound. Sound is conversation. Here's an interesting article from the Economist on the rules of conversation. Understand them and then break them.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Radio saydio #4

It's bad enough that you're asking them to buy something and if you can't tolerate the sound of it for more than a few times, what makes you think people will?

Spot light #4: Dippity poo

Nice music. Interesting voiceovers. Irritating spot. How many times should you repeat your brand name in a radio spot? How many times would you be able to listen to this spot?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Spot light #3: Homo nobia

When you're asked to do a radio spot against homo phobia, is this what you'd do? It's interesting, but I think it can be bettered. Still, it's interesting. Especially, the voiceover. Just goes to prove what good casting can do for a TV commercial. Let's fight homo phobia. Listen. And then write a radio spot. It won't take much to air it.

That's the beauty of radio. It doesn't take much to put your message out there. Unfortunately, it does take some thinking.

Spot light #2: Cancer sell

Proof that it takes next to nothing to promote your brand. Because sometimes all you need is a great voiceover. Start.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Radio saydio #3

A most effective way to write good radio spots is with your eyes closed. And an open mind.

Spot light #1: Everyday life

The brief: "Our target market is people around the age of 35-40, who work full-time jobs, ...are stressed out all the time, and... are the kind of people that brag about not taking vacation days,... These people must be saved. Not in the Pat Robertson Evangelist sense, but in the vacation sense. If The Bahamas can tug on their heart strings for even a brief minute while driving down a construction-filled highway, maybe they'll realize, 'Wow. I totally need to escape from my life for a little while.'" The spot created by Babble on. And Fallon.

For more cool spots, check out the Babble blog on the link list. Or wait for me to find them.

Babble talks

A recording studio that works with advertising writers to come up with award-winning radio commercials. Check out some samples of their work. Good stuff.

Radio saydio #2

If you have to do a 30-second spot, think 25 seconds. (Okay, make that 27 seconds.) In short, most radio spots try to say too much. Please remember, it's only a part of the communication mix. Use it to get people to ask for more.

These spots stink

Can you top these spots and sink even lower? Writers and clients, please welcome the sow's ear for 2005.

Radio saydio #1

Most radio commercials are obsessed with telephone numbers. Here's a tip: I have too many numbers to remember. Give me a reason to remember you. When I need your number, I'll find it.

Soap studs

When detegents made their debut, soap was the loser. Not Duz. Here's what Duz did in its fight against Tide during the soap wars of the 50s: Here and there. Classics.

Note: What is interesting about the Duz-Detergent feud was Procter & Gamble, the company that makes Tide, also made Duz.

Friday, December 15, 2006

A quick one

Adrant on the world's shortest radio spot: While some might call this pointless, others might call it a welcome relief from the onslaught of bloated, overly-long, mindless commercials we hear most every day. BBDO Oslo has gone out and won itself notice from Guinness World Records for creating the world's shortest radio spot. The client? Wait for it...Guinness World Records. Self-serving? Maybe. A brilliant step forward in radio advertising? Hardly. A stunt to get press? Exactly.