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Here's Proof You Can Get Away With Pretty Much Anything in a Radio Ad


It's no great epiphany that radio can be a more forgiving format than video. But you may not have considered the full range of horrific opportunities that liberation from a camera can afford you.

You can wear white pants after Labor Day. You can pretend to hit your grandmother over the head with a frying pan. Or you can make a kale and hamster smoothie. It's all kosher, because if you're not actually showing the violence, then it's not actually real.

That's the gist of the amusing call for entries for the 2017 Radio Mercury Awards.

Created by Highdive Advertising and its co-founder Mark Gross—whose credits include work on Bud Light's classic "Real Men of Genius" radio campaign—the call for entries proves its point surprisingly well. The implicit gore is generally hilarious, if perhaps in a groan-inducing way. In the end, everyone knows Grandma and the hamster are OK and the whole thing was just an audio gag.

"On radio, anything is possible," declares the tagline.

"I truly believe creatives have more freedom in radio than anywhere else," says Gross. The campaign may provide some clues as to what sort of submissions the competition is seeking—Gross is Radio Mercury's chief judge this year. The promo from a couple years back offered some key advice on what not to enter—most of which should have hopefully been obvious, but probably wasn't. And 2015 chief judge Jim Elliott also had some useful pointers on what makes a good radio ad, generally.

If the 2016 radio winners at that other advertising awards show, Cannes, are any indication, goofy takes on manliness are still a good bet, too.

Client: Radio Mercury Awards
Project: "On Radio Anything is Possible"
Agency: Highdive
Writers: Mark Gross, Chad Broude, Bart Culberson
Production: Cutters Studios
Director: Brian Broeckelman (Dictionary Films)
Editor: Tom Brassil (Cutters)
Editor Assistant: Jacob Swartz (Cutters)
Producer: Heather Richardson (Cutters)
Sound Design and Mix: Another Country
Sound Designers and Mixers: John Binder, Peter Erazmus
Music: Asche & Spencer
Actors: Christopher Jones, Betty Owens
Hamster: Herbie the Hamster*
Animal Casting/Wrangling: All Animals Rentals
*No hamsters were harmed in the making of this video. The kale, however, did not fare as well.
Go to radiomercuryawards.com for 2017 Call for Entry.

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