Mark Stevich of Boston's WEZE-AM used to listen to the Radio-Mercury Awards' compact disc, a compilation of the best radio commercials in the country, and dream of having one of his ads appear on the CD. For Stevich, a creative writer at the tiny Christian radio station, this was the equivalent of a musician's fantasy of performing at Carnegie Hall.
This year, not only did Stevich's spot for Gardner Mattress Makers of Salem, Mass., appear on the CD, it also earned him $5,000 and a silver prize at the Mercury Awards.
At the Silver Microphone Awards, Stevich's spots won in three of the 25 categories, while his work for Whittemore's Bookstore in Newton, Mass., won best of show--the first time in 13 years that a radio spot has won the honor.
"The [bookstore] owner actually didn't like it that much because it sings about all the things that Whittemore's doesn't have," Stevich admitted, "like cable cars and Mallomars."