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A 60-second spot for Signet Bank that features a fast-talking man explaining his busy day was judged Advertising Age's Best radio commercial of 1993.

Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., created the commercial, "Wake Up Male," (and a companion spot featuring a fast-talking female) for Signet, with about 240 branches in Maryland, Virginia and D.C.

The man, portrayed by Andrew Anthony, crammed 182 words into 45 seconds of the humorous spot, taking the listener from his wake-up call through the busy day and back to dreamland.

That left just 15 seconds for the announcer to explain that since "you do a lot in a day," Signet's telephone banking center was open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Ad Age Best Award judges liked the way the rapid-fire delivery kept the listeners attention and delivered a smile, while the closing message was on target, playing off the humorous scenario with a sensible solution to finding time to do your banking.

Senior VP-Management Supervisor Drew Maenza led the Martin team on the project, which included Copywriter Joe Alexander and Producer Julie Basham-Smith. Production house was In Your Ear Productions, Richmond. Ron Denny is VP-central marketing for Signet Bank, headquartered in Richmond.

Three other spots were selected in the radio category by the Best judges:

St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press: "Car" (Clarity Coverdale Rueff; Voiceworks; :60). Replay of a phone conversation between a person responding to a want ad and the eager seller.

The spot was one of a series under a "The More You Tell the More You Sell" theme to raise awareness of a new rate plan that offers twice as much want-ad space for the same price.

United Airlines: "Calm" ( Leo Burnett USA, Chicago; :60). Most of the minute is used to air Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," a tune becoming as closely associated with United as the term "Friendly Skies." At the end, voice-over identifies United as "bringing you this brief moment of calm ... the same feeling we strive to give you on United flights..."

Washington State Lottery: "Meat" (McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Seattle; :30) Message touts the one-in-eight odds of winning something in its daily Keeno game, comparing it with other similar odds, such as "a one in eight chance of being served meat you cannot recognize."

"Wake Up Male"

"Wake up, hit the snooze, attempt to kiss wife. Get out of bed, step on the dog, brush teeth, gargle, kiss wife again. Shower, dry hair, put on boxers, shirt, pants, socks, shoes, tie, jacket. Pour a cup of coffee, trip over toy truck, spill coffee, change tie. Kiss wife, baby, wave at neighbor Ernie. Start car, drive to work. Notice woman staring at me at stoplight. Turn on defrost. Park. Walk to work. Sit at desk, work, work, work. Meet with boss. Promise to kill boss. Eat lunch, work, work, work. Meet with boss again. Boss gives you bonus, promotion. Put plans to kill boss on hold. Drive home, run over toy truck. Park. Kiss wife, baby, step on dog. Eat dinner, play with baby, feed baby, burp baby, change baby, put baby to bed. Talk to wife; celebrate promotion, bonus. Pick up remote, turn on TV, read paper, fall asleep on sofa, wake up to national anthem. Get up, step on dog, take off pants, shirt, socks. Brush teeth, gargle, climb in bed, kiss wife, sleep. Dream of stepping on dog."

Announcer: "You have a lot to do in a day, so we make it easy for you to talk to a Signet banker. Call our telephone banking center any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's as easy as 1-800-2-SIGNET. All Signet banks are equal opportunity lenders. Members FDIC."

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