Sometimes, when listening to Portland radio, you will notice many of the commercials are formulaic and rife with cliches. Lots of talk about fast-and-friendly service; knowledgeable sales professionals; and the overwhelming desire not to be undersold. As you will hear, commercials for your Maine small business can escape this auditory ho-humness with a heaping dose of creativity.
Here are 5 of the best radio commercials of 2015 from England as determined by the judges of the Aerial Awards. The Aerial Awards are a monthly celebration of the Best of British Radio Advertising and the people who make it happen. Take a listen for yourself to find some creative inspiration to promote your Maine business on Portland radio.
Specsavers is an international company providing a trusted eye care service, affordable glasses and contact lenses to a number of countries in Europe and across the globe, In this award winning ad for disposable contact lenses, we learn the downside of being "blind as a bat."
Judge's Comment: Jeremy Carr, creative partner, TBWA\London, says "This spot stands out for several reasons. It’s very simple. It stars a talking bat. It makes me smile. I like the way the writers have constructed this ad, like a Mitchell and Webb sketch. They have created something inherently amusing – a Brummie bat moaning about life upside down. It gets funnier when his glasses keep falling off and he can’t read his bedtime book. With its pared-back sound and great bat casting (we don’t often hear Birmingham accents on radio), I can imagine this grabbing attention in the clutter of an ad break."
Ad Credits:Richard James and Naomi Bishop creatives, Specsavers Creative
2, Hiscox Insurance
Hiscox is a leading specialist insurer, headquartered in Bermuda, with roots dating back to 1901. In this award winning ad, the company turns to Gilbert & Sullivan to promote a line of small business insurance,
Judge's Comments: Al Young, executive creative director, St Luke’s says, "Starting your own business and parodying the Major-General’s Song – neither are for the faint-hearted. The graft here has paid off. What’s doubly admirable is the work invested in proper pre-production. Time has been taken to find the right comic voice, to choose the calm foil provided by the second female voiceover. There have been discussions around singing ability – even about exactly how out of tune the piano should be. And you can tell. To all the ladies, gentlemen and major-generals involved, I salute you."
Ad Credit: Katie Welch senior creative, VCCP
3. Automobile Association
The Automobile Association (The AA) is a British motoring association founded in 1905 is a company which provides car insurance, driving lessons, breakdown cover, loans, motoring advice and other services. This commercial for the company's fuel assistance program kicks some f***king a**.
Judge's Comments: Jason Gormley, Executive Creative Director at 18 Feet & Rising says, "You can feel the level of care that has gone into it – from the unhurried pace (sounds more like 60 seconds than 30) to smart sound design that separates each scene without overpowering it.The "official" voiceover dances between reassuring and patronising – however, the makers obviously have a respect for their audience and take pride in their craft. Still, I can’t help wishing for a bit less craft and a bit more grit. Advertising seems suffocatingly nice right now and radio is our "secret" weapon – a place to experiment and make mistakes. It’s the most punk-rock medium we have."
Ad Credits: Steph Ellis and Rory Hall copywriters, Adam & Eve/DDB
TENA is the worldwide leader in incontinence products. This radio commercial aims at "men of a certain age" and their need for control.
Judge's Comment: Caroline Pay, Deputy Executive Creative Director of BBH says, "Of this month’s radio ads ‘Cat Choir’ for TENA Men is by far the best … and made me chuckle the most. The whole TENA Men campaign is great, of course, and the film really floated my boat. But what I particularly love about the radio is that while the idea is simple and the execution is gold, above all else I just know that the team behind the ad had a lot of fun making it – you can hear it in the work. And that’s the aim, surely: to make the best radio work out there and have fun along the way, right?”
Ad credits: Prabs Wignarajah & Jez Tribe, AMV BBDO
5. Born Free Foundation
The Born Free Foundation, is a dynamic international wildlife charity devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare. The organization was founded by actors Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film, Born Free. This radio commercial disguises its plea to eliminate the illegal trade of African bush meat into a genial sounding recipe tip.
Judge's Comments: Jim Thornton, Creative Director at VCCP: “I’d say it’s nigh on impossible to ignore a chef interrupting the traffic, news, Middle-Of-The-Road classics and genial banter that is the midweek afternoon show on, say, Palm 105.5FM, by butchering and cooking a live pregnant gorilla. As an ad against the horrific trade in bush meat threatening the world’s remaining gorillas, this idea pretty much nails it. Personally I’d have made much more of the SFX both in variety and hideousness to contrast better with the relaxed style of the chef. But that’s just me being picky. Apart from that, it’s a simple idea well told. Congratulations everyone."
Ad Credit: Katy Hopkins & Steve Hawthorne, WCRS
Here more award winning commercials from Maine and around the world:
- 5 Radio Ads From Away That Every Maine Small Business Has To Hear
- 5 Stunning Radio Commercials Any Maine Business Can Borrow
- Gotta Hear: 5 Effective Radio Commercials From Around The World
- Maine Made: Award Winning Radio Commercials 2014
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