This ad racket ain't that hard. That was the vibe last Wednesday night at the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston, where a group of agency creatives judged 54 often hilarious commercials made for radio station 92.5 The River by its listeners. "The entries ranged from a creepy single [guy] in a living room mumbling in a serial-killer voice to agency- level spots," says Paul Buckley, marketing and promotions director at The River in Haverhill, Mass.
The critics included Arnold cd Tim Brunelle and senior copywriter Susan Corbo, Gearon Hoffman senior art director Rachel Houk Seeger and Modernista! copywriter Chris Beresford Hill. Among the better ads were "Jump Into the River," in which a man is chased by people with boom-box heads; "Oh, How That Dead Man Danced," a zombie-flick-inspired effort; "Radio Monsters," in which cutout Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera heads personify evil corporate radio; and "Radio Through the Decades," featuring cheesy one-note DJs.
"Just because you have a video camera and movie software doesn't mean you know how to make a commercial," notes Brunelle, who liked "Jump" because of its independent feel and subtle message.
The top 10 spots will be posted on Boston.com for a vote. The creator of the winning spot gets $3,000 and a shot at advertising greatness: The ad will break on local cable April 15 for a three-month run.