I love radio. Not only do I have a face for it, but it’s also my favourite medium. You’re not constrained by budgets, there are no production limitations - it’s just you and a script. And when you get it right and you craft it well, it makes for incredibly powerful work. Below are five recent ads that did just that, and all get a crisp High Five from me. *High Fives are limited to one per project. The High Fives offered by Eoin Conlon are purely metaphorical. Eoin Conlon is not liable for any injuries resulting from High Fives given metaphorically or otherwise. Terms & conditions apply...
Royal Australian Navy - 'The Audio Ad You Can See'
Agency: VMLY&R Australia x VMLY&R New Zealand
Production: Squeak E. Clean Studios
I’m a sucker for a good hook, and when I saw ‘The Audio Ad You Can See’, I was in. It's the world’s first recruitment message hidden in sound - designed to connect a tech audience to Navy intelligence roles and targets the narrow field of intelligence professionals suited to work in the Navy. Did I ‘see’ anything after listening to this ad? No. But that just means that I’m not suitable for Navy intelligence - and the Australian waters are probably better off for it.
Frauen Aufs Podium E.V - 'Pension Gap'
Production: DIE STAUB
It’s hard to write simple radio. 'Pension Gap' does it fantastically. The use of simultaneous voiceovers speaking about the same journey but delivering two very different messages is such a powerful mechanic. When you have a clever mechanic like this, you don’t need to overwrite a script, the facts alone are enough to make people stop and listen.
Deutsche Lufthansa - 'FlyNet: Bonnie Bam'
Agency: Kolle Rebbe
Production: Studio Funk
These types of ads are why I love radio. You can create a big production in the listener’s head with just a voiceover and a few sound effects - 'Bonnie Bam' does exactly that. There are a few more in the series, and they’re all great.
Burger King - 'Even More Confusing Times'
Agency: DAVID Madrid
Production: Pickle Music
The original ‘Confusing Times’ campaign was great, and the ‘Even More Confusing Times’ campaign is equally good - if not even more so. The writing in this campaign is beautifully crafted. A simple narrative with an excellently cast voiceover that pulls the listener in. Hopefully this campaign keeps running for many more confusing years.
Dublin Simon Community - 'St. Patrick’s Day'
Agency: BBDO Dublin
Production: Avondale Studios
Ok, this final one is by BBDO Dublin. But it’s nothing to do with me, and I really like it. A St. Patrick’s Day ad with no over-the-top traditional music or worn-out cliches - just a lonely voiceover delivering a heartbreakingly important message.