‘Dinner Date’ Is Grand at Radio Awards

NEW YORK DeVito/Verdi won the $100,000 Grand Prize at the 2003 Radio Mercury Awards today for its National Thoroughbred Racing Association spot describing a date in the style of a sports announcer.

The New York agency was honored along with nine other general prize winners, each of which received $5,000, at a ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.

This is the second time this season that “Dinner Date” has earned a top prize at an awards show. Earlier this month, along with two other spots in the same campaign, the ad picked up a broadcast best of show Addy award, a rare feat for a radio campaign. Writers on the campaign include Brad Emmett, Erik Fahrenkhopf, Lee Seidenberg and Anthony DeCarolis. Sal DeVito served as creative director.

Winners in the general category included “Monkey Juice” by Arnold, Boston, for Volkswagen of America; “Trashing the Room,” BBDO, New York, for Mars Candy’s Snickers; “What Would You Do?/PM #2,” Clarity Coverdale Fury, Minneapolis, for Minnesota Department of Health; “A Beautiful Mind,” Cliff Freeman and Partners, New York, for Hollywood Video; “Very Rich,” Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami, for Ikea; “Mr. Fancy Coffee Shop Pourer,” DDB, Chicago, for Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser; “Valet,” Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, for Saturn’s L-series; “Business Talk,” The Richards Group, Dallas, for Motel 6; and “Thank You,” Secret Weapon Marketing, Santa Monica, Calif., for Jack in the Box.

DDB in Chicago won a second award in the public service announcement category for “Skim Latte” for The Ad Council/Afterschool Alliance. The Vidal Partnership in New York took home the Spanish-language award for “Argentinean for Heineken.”

Previous Grand Prize winners include Cliff Freeman for Hollywood Video’s “60-Second Theater” and DDB, which won two years in a row for its “Great American Heroes” campaign for Budweiser.

Dick Orkin, co-founder of the Famous Radio Ranch in Hollywood, Calif., was honored with the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Radio Mercury Awards are overseen by the Radio Creative Fund and honor creative excellence in radio advertising.