A trio of ads for Lucozade via Ogilvy and Mather Johannesburg won the Grand Prix in the radio category at Cannes.
What it is:
The Lucozade campaign had three separate ads in total. Produced by Johannesburg's Produce Sound, each ad is a loud pep talk given by an unnamed announcer to someone who is in a situation that demands he or she perk up and get energetic. The situations included being at an Enrique Iglesias concert, a children's party, and a PowerPoint presentation/conference call at work. The ads featured a loud, strong voice, aided with background sounds that represented the situation, and a strong script.
Why it won:
Tony Hertz, jury president and the proprieter of Tony Hertz Radio and Brand Sound, said that "it was one of those campaigns that because you had to listen to it a lot, it didn't feel like a duty."
The radio category sometimes awards more "gimmicky" radio work – two years ago it gave the top prize to "Radio Repellent," which sent out a mosquito-repelling signal over the airwaves. But this time, jurors awarded a straightforward ad. "It has every element of craft," said Mr. Hertz. "It's beautifully written, excellently produced, and there is nothing to criticize about it."
Juror Vanessa Pearson, exec creative director at South Africa's "House of Brave," said that the jury felt "energized" every time they heard the ad. She also offered some context about radio in South Africa, saying that nine years ago the work in the industry was really bad. South Africa made a real effort to create more quality work, and in the country clients take risks on radio. It "speaks to a lot of people," she said of the medium.
On the jury for the first time, said Mr. Hertz, was someone who actually worked in radio and not in advertising: Tapas Sen, chief programming officer at Radio Mirchi in India.
Hot topic at press conference:
The difficulty of creativity in radio was a large part of the discussion, something that has been discussed in previous juries in this category as well. Mr. Hertz says that while research shows that people switch off less on radio than any medium when it comes to ads, the reality is that "more advertising and marketing communications are now visual, with new steps all becoming screen-based." Because of this, there are fewer people teaching good radio advertising skills, something he said is a problem.
Radio entries to Cannes were down 7% this year. Mr. Sen from Radio Mirchi said that advertising on radio has to be thought of in a different way, by treating it as branded content. On radio, the first responsibility is to the listener, not the client paying for the ad. "Advertising is radio is past commercial breaks," he said. In fact, he said that in India radio channels have been letting the editor of the programming decide on whether the radio ads are good enough to go on air, not the business-side manager. "We have to tailor the editorial space for listener needs," he said.