The Best Radio Ad of the Year Isn’t a Total Surprise, but It Is a Delight

Motel 6 tops the Radio Mercury Awards again

Photo: Frontdoor Images/Getty Images
Headshot of Tim Nudd

Winners of the 2017 Radio Mercury Awards were announced Thursday night in New York, and Best of Show went to a familiar and celebrated long-running radio campaign—The Richards Group’s work for Motel 6 featuring the musings of Tom Bodett.

The Motel 6 campaign has been a fixture of the Radio Mercury Awards for decades, winning Best of Show at the inaugural contest back in 1992 and capturing the top prize many times since, as well.

For 2017, the spot “Millennials” was honored as radio ad of the year, and three Motel 6 spots together were awarded Best of Show as campaign of the year. Listen to that work below.

$50,000 Best of Show Winner

Title: 2017 Motel 6 Radio Campaign
Client: Motel 6
Agency: The Richards Group

Writers: Rachel Dawer, Steve Grimes
Producers: Katie Snyder, Sheri Cartwright
Creative Director: Chris Smith
Engineer: Glenn Ferguson
Production Company: Post-Op
Talent: Tom Bodett

$5,000 Agency/Production Spot Winner

Title: Millennials
Client: Motel 6
Agency: The Richards Group

Writer: Rachel Dawer
Producers: Sheri Cartwright, Katie Snyder
Creative Director: Chris Smith
Engineer: Glenn Ferguson
Production Company: Post-Op
Talent: Tom Bodett

“The Motel 6 radio campaign won Best of Show because it created a fresh, top-of-mind execution to convey Motel 6’s iconic brand. This campaign continues the Motel 6 narrative in a refreshing and relevant way,” said Mark Gross, founder and creative director of Highdive Advertising and chief judge for the 2017 Radio Mercury Awards.

“The best creative storytellers, with the ability to engage consumers and build brands, always shine bright at this event” added Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau, which hosts the awards, and chair of the Radio Creative Fund. “Motel 6’s campaign and all of this year’s winners epitomize the art of stellar radio creative.”

This year’s Marketer of the Year Award was presented to T-Mobile.

Listen to the work that won other individual awards below.


$1,500 Agency/Production Spot Winner

Title: Adios Amigo
Client: Heineken / Dos Equis
Agency: Havas New York

Writers: Eric Bertuccio, Andrew Niemira, Rick Ardito
Producers: Jill Meschino, Alex Zubak
Creative Directors: Toygar Bazarkaya, Paul Johnson , Keith Scott
Engineers: Tom Jucarone, Peter Holcomb
Production Company: Sound Lounge
Talent: Will Lyman
Creative Director – Jim Hord
Writer – Jim Lemaitre
Account – Chris Budden
Account – Wendy Hu
Account – Jenny Maughan


$1,500 Agency/Production Spot Winner

Title: Toyota Dealer – Two
Client: Chevrolet
Agency: Commonwealth//McCann

Writer: Scott Wolf
Producer: Mary Ellen Krawczyk
Creative Director: Gary Pascoe
Engineer: Steve Atwell
Production Company: Ron Rose
Talent: Potsch Boyd
Associate Creative Art Director: Vic Quattrin


$1,500 International Radio or Audio – Showcase Winner

Title: Gourmet Meals
Client: ProDiet
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Group HK

Writer: Richard Sorensen
Producer: Jessie Williams
Creative Directors: Reed Collins, Richard Sorensen, Jim Fong
Engineer: Ralph van Dijk
Production Company: Eardrum


$1,500 Big Idea: Audio Showcase Winner

Title: Stereotypical Trump
Client: Creatives Against Contradictions
Agency: Creatives Against Contradictions

Writer: Macie Soler-Sala
Creative Directors: Jon Ruby, Enrique Camacho, Joseph Palasek


$3,000 PSA Spot or Campaign Winner

Title: Unfairy Tales – Ali
Client: UNICEF
Agency: 180LA

Writer: Nick Olish
Producers: Natasha Wellesley, Jason Lau, Allegra Bartlett @ Therapy Studios
Creative Directors: William Gelner, Rafael Rizuto, Eduardo Marques
Engineers: Larry Winer @ Therapy Studios, Dillon Cahill @ Therapy Studios
Talent: Jim Blair


$5,000 Radio Station Produced Commercial Winner

Title: Elliptical
Client: Mattress Firm
Agency: Hubbard Broadcasting Inc

Writer: Jubal Flagg
Producer: Jubal Flagg
Creative Director: Jubal Flagg
Engineer: Jubal Flagg
Talent: Brooke & Jubal


$1,500 Radio Station Produced Commercial Winner

Title: John Quincy Adams
Client: Cyprus Air Fireplaces
Agency: iHeartMedia Creative Services Group

Writers: Jill Belloma, jason Phelps
Producer: jason Phelps
Creative Director: Jill Belloma
Talent: Jason Phelps


$1,500 Radio Station Produced Promotional Spot Showcase Winner

Title: Baconoke
Client: Townsquare Media Live Events – Baconfest
Agency: Townsquare Media of El Paso

Writers: Brad Dubow, Duke Keith
Producer: Duke Keith
Creative Director: Duke Keith
Talents: Duke Keith, Patricia Valencia, Scott Lewis


$3,000 Spanish Language Spot or Campaign Winner

Title: Expensive
Client: Covered California
Agency: Casanova//McCann

Writer: Fernando Poblete
Producer: Caitlyn Thompson
Creative Directors: Elias Weinstock, Fernando Poblete, Francisco Rojas
Engineers: Gonzalo Ugarteche, Christian Lazslo
Production Company: TruLove
Talent: Horacio Mancilla


$5,000 Radio Campaign Winner

Title: It’s Really Time to letgo
Client: letgo
Agency: CP+B

Writers: Jeff Siegel, Derrick Yousefi
Producers: Ian Kelly, Jennifer Malki
Creative Directors: Jeff Siegel, Alvaro Ramos
Production Company: CP+B Miami and Outpost Audio
Group Account Dir.: Claudia Machado Sr.
Account Dir.: Tammy Degrasse-Cabrera
Content Mgr: Cristina Flores


$1,500 Radio Campaign Winner

Title: Long Story Short – Campaign 1
Client: Quikrete
Agency: Fitzgerald+CO

Writers: Matt Shoemake (Coal), Ryan Waite (Independence), Shawn Perritt
Producers: Christine Sigety, Dustin Levine
Creative Directors: Noel Cottrell, Mitch Bennett, Wes Whitener
Engineer: Gopal Swamy
Production Company: Acoustech


$1,500 Student Produced Winner

Title: Tidy Cats Cat Litter
Client: The Creative Circus
Agency: The Creative Circus

Writer: Kamey Murphy
Producer: Kamey Murphy
Talents: Jenna Jones , Austin Sprague


$3,000 Integrated Campaign with Radio/Audio Winner

Title: GE Podcast Theater presents
Client: GE
Agency: BBDO New York

Chief Creative Officer: David Lubars (BBDO Worldwide)
Greg Hahn (BBDO New York)
Executive Creative Director: Michael Aimette
Senior Creative Director: Daniel Wright/ Levi Slavin
Creative Director: Tim Roan/ Daniel Burke/Josh Parschauer
Interactive Art Director: Martin Staaf
Senior Designer: Bhanu Arbuaratna
Executive Producer: George Sholley
Associate Director of Interactive Production: Joe Croson
Interactive Producer: Ian Graetzer
Account Team: Kathryn Brown/ Lindsey Cash/ Zandy Fretts/ Liz Jacobs
Creative Technologist: Filip Williander
Communications Planning Director: Yin Chung
Production Company
Production Company: Panoply
Executive Producer: John Dryden
Producer: Rachel Wolther
Casting: Janet Foster
Writer: Mac Rogers
Chief Content Officer: Andy Bowers
Sound Designer: Steve Bond
Media Agency: Giant Spoon
Co-Founder: Trevor Guthrie
Managing Director: Laura Correnti
Associate Director Strategy: Corbin Brown & Erin Hauswirth
Strategist: Michael Tonge

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.