Tag: ads/Archives

Radio Mercury Awards

The Radio Mercury Awards 2010 announced their finalists. As always these winners have produced lotsa winners — here’s just a few from several of the categories…

General: “Significant Others” Agency: Anson-Stoner / Client: Apex Pest Control (0:30 mp3):

PSA: “My Daughter Kara ” Agency: Clear Channel Creative Services Group / Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America/The Ad Council Client: (1:00 mp3):

Campaign: “Cold Songs” Agency: Draftfc / Client: Coors Light (1:30):

All the finalists and their audio ads are at: Radio Mercury Awards.

Radio in Net Age

Radio Electronics magazine coverI read these things so you don’t have to: a 30-page essay, “IP Radio – A vision of radio in the Internet age” (Jan09 pdf), by Pierre Bellanger, CEO of Skyrock, the French radio & popular social net. Within are history and prognostications on all things digi-radio-future, but few new perspectives (“Radio, like the written press, the music industry and television, is changing”, etc.).

Did find a few entertaining morsels, like this (pg11) on the singularity and un-CG-ability of the human voice:

Just as a penguin can recognise another among thousands, since time immemorial we have been able to discern a wealth of incredible nuances and emotions in the human voice. We owe our survival to our brain’s ability to decipher the details of the voice, further heightening the effect of visual absence.

Pixar’s digital masterpieces such as Toy Story or Ratatouille reproduce the most complex visual experiences like wet fur or the shine of bodywork with a computer, while the characters express their emotions as well as human actors. Despite these wonders, for the voices the studio uses actors, such as Tom Hanks or Paul Newman. A voice is more complex than an image.

And this historical radio data (pg19) — unsourced, so can’t vouch for validity:

Radio experienced an auspicious period in the United States between 1980 and 2000. In 1995 radio represented a little over 10% of media advertising investments, or $12 billion. Prosperous radio stations generated results equivalent to 30% of their turnover. In 1995 regulations on ownership of several radio stations in the same market were relaxed. This 20 allowed the Clear Channel group to carry out a number of acquisitions; today, it owns about 900 stations with combined revenue of $3.5 billion in 2005.

The Clear Channel policy targeted profitability by standardising and homogenising programmes. Audiences considered risky and insolvent, such as adolescents, were abandoned. Further, morning shows, already attacked by influential puritanical groups and repeated fines from the authorities, were sanitised.

As a result, radio stations were reduced to simply playing lists of tried and tested hits aimed at an audience aged from 25 to 49 and hosted by DJ-robots. These flows were burdened with a maximum of advertising slots. Like a plane whose engine is shut off to save fuel and keeps flying for a few moments, the system seemed to work.

Then it began to show the first signs of weakness at the very moment when the younger generation was seizing the musical offer exploding on the Internet: the number of 18 to 24 year olds listening to the radio has dropped by 20% over the last ten years and 85% of adolescents now find their new music on the Internet.

In 2007 radio’s turnover was $20 billion and still represented about 10% of the media advertising market but it is a decreasing trend. For now, the years of generous cash flow are over.

However, despite everything, according to the Institut Arbitron radio audiences continue to grow (93% of the population listens to 18.5 hours a week on average!) but the length of listening time is dropping.

Finally, this possibility for targeted per-user radio ads based on IP address and other online info (pg24):

The half a million listeners who listen instantly to Difool’s morning show on Skyrock correspond to various characteristics. The same station can attract very different people which is how a large station becomes successful. The addressing process of IP radio means that people listening to the same programme can hear different adverts which correspond to their needs. Such multiple, simultaneous targeting is good news for advertisers which can concentrate their investments on suitable targets, for radio stations which can better serve their clients and are therefore more attractive, and for listeners who will hear adverts which are more relevant to what they are interested in.

IP radio combines radio’s power as a mass media with the advertising precision of the Internet.

How can an IP address be qualified, as it is occasionally random on some machines? Identification of the machine can be reinforced via a small file left on the hard disk (cookies) or through a code entered by the user at the start of the session (login) which identifies the individual. Moreover, the generalised spread of mobile terminals and their use for telecommunications will increase relevance between user and machine. This is currently the case with mobile telephones which are even more individual than PCs.

Even creepier targeted-ads could combine radio w/ the user’s web access data (pg26): “Someone listening to the radio just after looking at an automobile website could hear an ad
hoc advert via the radio.”

Don’t think it’s possible? Think again: “Even without cookies, a browser leaves a trail of crumbsArs Techica | Panopticlick EFF research project.

via Technology360.


Welcome to Soundville, a Sony audio performance project:

In March 2009 a small town in Iceland was filled with speakers. The Seydisfjordur village was turned into an extraordinary sound-system for a week. Sounds by Richard Fearless ( Death in Vegas ) Mum, Bob Dylan, Toumani Diabate, Roberto Goyeneche, Murcof, Federico Cabral, Guillemots, etc.

This film by Juan Cabral of London’s Fallon agency documents the town-turned-into-tunes:

“Sony Soundville”

More Soundville at: Sony | uTube.

via SoundRich and Creativity.


Ad agency Wieden+Kennedy has, what I consider, a rarity: a well-implemented Flash site. Their front-page timeline works very well, and tho it could have been done in AJAX, is probably better in Flash.

via Ben- Comma Q.

Tony Schwartz

Tony Schwartz died Sunday (NY Times obit | Wikipedia | Tony’s site). In 1945 Tony Schwartz began documenting life in sound. He recorded New York City cab drivers, French folk songs, kids’ street games — tens of thousands of field recordings made all over the world. His work, now collected at the Library of Congress, is an aural history the way we sound.

In 1999 the Kitchen Sisters did this exquisite sound-portrait, “Tony Schwartz: 30,000 Recordings Later” (20:38 mp3):

The above is from the KS’s CD Best of NPR’s Lost and Found Sound Vol. 1.

Tony also worked in the ad industry, and co-created this classic 1964 LBJ (vs Goldwater) “Daisy ad”:

Gay PSAs

Oh, the many faces of the Public Service Announcement. There’s this 2004 Radio Mercury Awards winner for Stonewall – Columbus; “Method: The Gay Son” (1:00 mp3):

Contrast that with this recent ad (found on Music For Maniacs) opposing a 2008 Colorado Senate Bill prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (SB 200, now law); “Focus on the Family ad” (0:38 mp3):

Heart Ira

I Herat Ira written on women's undiesThis American Life on the radio, on TV, on tour: you never know where Ira’s face might pop up.

FreeRice Vocab Game/Charity

Site logoPlay the FreeRice vocabulary game and for each word you get right, they donate rice “through the United Nations to help end world hunger.” The words get progresively harder as you proceed: “WARNING: This game may make you smarter.” Ad revenues fund the food donations. The virally marketed charity started with 830 grains of rice donated the day it launched, Oct 7 2007. Nov 1 total was 59,167,790 grains. Yesterday 140,585,040.

Elf Yourself

Just when you think the web is a crass commerical lowest common devolutionary ticket to viral idiocracy… you stop and realize, it’s actually much worse than that. But, hey, Jesus’ b-day approacheth, so go Elf Yourself.

(My wife and sis-in-law elfed.)

Toyota video game for the X-Box 360

 From the WaPo:

“Behold the Toyota Yaris. It’s moderately priced, gets good mileage, and has a gun turret capable of destroying toasters and bike-riding sumo wrestlers as it cruises down a track.

Not every Yaris shopper gets the turret option; that’s a feature reserved for Xbox 360 owners who download a free promotional video game Toyota is releasing today to build awareness of the Yaris among 20-somethings.

We wouldn’t do a Toyota Sienna game, for example,” [a spokesperson] said of a minivan model. “That wouldn’t be appropriate for this audience.”

 Hey, man! I drive an AWD Sienna. With its robo-doors and super expensive run-flat tires it is the perfect stealth combat vehicle…think the GMC motorhome in Stripes.