Promoted
Radiocentre

Aerial Awards radio ad winner: Virgin Trains 'Owls'

Celebrating radio advertising with Radiocentre

Aerial Awards radio ad winner: Virgin Trains 'Owls'

Winners: Ben Robinson (left) and Mike Whiteside (right), Anomaly
Judge: Rick Brim (below) executive creative director, Adam & Eve/DDB

I chose this ad because...

I used to work with someone who always delivered news with a smile. They irritated the shit out of me. It was fine for good news, but when it was bad, I would end up smiling… and thanking them?! But I was always a bit envious, because it worked: it diffused the situation. 

How you say something is as important as what you say. So Virgin Trains is my winner this month. I struggled to pinpoint a specific script, as a number of ads from the campaign were entered, but I will go with "Owls" because – as with the others -  the tone is memorable and I liked the writing, the voice, and the fact that the creative team tried to make each one feel specific (as opposed to writing the same thing five times and calling it a campaign). 

It feels like these ads could have been a touch more fun, but they are great and definitely the best of this month’s bunch.

How would you encourage creatives to ‘See radio differently’?

Give it proper thought. 
Don’t see it as a non-brief.

Mess around with the medium. 
Some of the best radio forms part of a broader piece of work and uses the medium in a smart and unexpected way.

Always order a salmon sashimi bento box in the session. 
I’m not sure they exist outside the radio world and they’re ace.

Winning ad: Virgin Trains 'Owls'

VO: Owls… they’re everywhere in Leeds, aren’t they? The gold one in the Civic Hall. Those little statues dotted around town. The coat of arms, the pub, you can’t move for owls. But why are they here? They must have something wise to tell us. "Yes," they whisper wisely in their rich, owly voices. "Book your train tickets two weeks before and you will save many pounds." Mmm, wise words, owls of Leeds. "Also, try eating mice." Maybe I will.

SFX: Sax!

VO: Virgin Trains. Thousands of tickets from Leeds to London available from £22 each way two weeks before travel. 

Credits

Client Virgin Trains
Copywriters Ben Robinson, Mike Whiteside  
Creative director Craig Ainsley 
Executive creative director Oli Beale  
Producer Mich Bradfield
Facility house 750mph
Sound engineers James Cobbold, Mike Bovill 
Voice Mike Wozniak

Could you do better? Enter your work at aerials.co.uk

Hear all the winning radio ads on the Aerials Hub

The Aerials are awarded monthly by Radiocentre to the creative team behind the best work entered at aerials.co.uk and chosen by an invited creative-director judge.

Aerials logos

Previous winners

Aerial Awards radio ad winner: FCA's 'Can't totally recall 90's'

Aerial Awards radio ad winner: FCA's 'Can't totally recall 90's'

Aerial Awards radio ad winner: Virgin Trains 'Owls'

Aerial Awards radio ad winner: Virgin Trains 'Owls'

Aerial Awards radio ad winner: TfL 'Bus performance'

Aerial Awards radio ad winner: TfL 'Bus performance'

Aerial Awards radio ad winner: BeGambleAware 'Nuisance'

Aerial Awards radio ad winner: BeGambleAware 'Nuisance'

Aerial Awards radio ad winner: McDonald's 'Beef fairytails'

Aerial Awards radio ad winner: McDonald's 'Beef fairytails'

December's Aerial Awards winner: GWR 'Waiting for Aunt Fanny'

December's Aerial Awards winner: GWR 'Waiting for Aunt Fanny'

November's Aerial Awards winner: 'Breakfast brew' for Yorkshire Tea

November's Aerial Awards winner: 'Breakfast brew' for Yorkshire Tea

September's Aerial Awards winner: 'Buns' for Byron

September's Aerial Awards winner: 'Buns' for Byron

August's Aerial Awards winner: 'Nice' for Tesco

August's Aerial Awards winner: 'Nice' for Tesco

July's Aerial Awards winner: Chiltern Railways "A big deal - slide"

July's Aerial Awards winner: Chiltern Railways "A big deal - slide"

June's Aerial Awards winner: NHS Blood & Transplant 'Potatoes'

June's Aerial Awards winner: NHS Blood & Transplant 'Potatoes'

May's Aerial Awards winner: KFC 'First date'

May's Aerial Awards winner: KFC 'First date'

April's Aerial Awards winner: Cancer Research UK 'The Breath'

April's Aerial Awards winner: Cancer Research UK 'The Breath'

March's Aerial Awards winner: National Counter Terrorism Policing HQ 'Multiple Bombings'

March's Aerial Awards winner: National Counter Terrorism Policing HQ 'Multiple Bombings'

February's Aerial Awards winner: Kit Kat 'Have a break from Valentine's'

February's Aerial Awards winner: Kit Kat 'Have a break from Valentine's'

January's Aerial Awards winner: KFC 'Money'

January's Aerial Awards winner: KFC 'Money'

December's Aerial Awards winner: McDonald's 'Greg and Sean'

December's Aerial Awards winner: McDonald's 'Greg and Sean'

November's Aerial Awards winner: IKEA 'Don't have a nightmare this Christmas'

November's Aerial Awards winner: IKEA 'Don't have a nightmare this Christmas'

October's Aerial Awards winner: EuroMillions 'Rooms'

October's Aerial Awards winner: EuroMillions 'Rooms'

September's Aerial Awards winner: Harvey Nichols 'Car'

September's Aerial Awards winner: Harvey Nichols 'Car'

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Jan 2015: Audi 'scarlett' by BBH

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Jan 2015: Audi 'scarlett' by BBH

Aerial awards radio ad winner Feb 2015: RB/Durex 'explore' by Havas Worldwide London

Aerial awards radio ad winner Feb 2015: RB/Durex 'explore' by Havas Worldwide London

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Mar 2015: Born Free 'cookery show' by WCRS

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Mar 2015: Born Free 'cookery show' by WCRS

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Apr 2015: Tena Men 'cat choir' by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Apr 2015: Tena Men 'cat choir' by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Aerial Awards radio ad winner May 2015:  Duracell 'perfectionist' by Grey London

Aerial Awards radio ad winner May 2015: Duracell 'perfectionist' by Grey London

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Jun 2015: Persil 'future jobs, perfumer' by DLKW Lowe

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Jun 2015: Persil 'future jobs, perfumer' by DLKW Lowe

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Jul 2015: McDonald's 'Beth's a hero' by Leo Burnett

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Jul 2015: McDonald's 'Beth's a hero' by Leo Burnett

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Aug 2015: The AA 'Fuel Assist' by Adam & Eve/DDB

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Aug 2015: The AA 'Fuel Assist' by Adam & Eve/DDB

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Sep 2015: Hiscox 'perseverance' by VCCP

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Sep 2015: Hiscox 'perseverance' by VCCP

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Oct 2015: Specsavers 'some things are better with contact lenses - bat'

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Oct 2015: Specsavers 'some things are better with contact lenses - bat'

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Nov 2015: Transport for London 'road safety distraction'

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Nov 2015: Transport for London 'road safety distraction'

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Dec 2015: Women's Aid 'silence' by WCRS

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Dec 2015: Women's Aid 'silence' by WCRS

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Jan 2016: West Mercia Safer Roads Partnership 'drink' by Orion Media

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Jan 2016: West Mercia Safer Roads Partnership 'drink' by Orion Media

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Feb 2016: Curry's PC World 'bootcamp' by AMV BBDO

Aerial Awards radio ad winner Feb 2016: Curry's PC World 'bootcamp' by AMV BBDO

Aerial Awards radio ad winner March 2016: E4's 'Aliens' by 4Creative

Aerial Awards radio ad winner March 2016: E4's 'Aliens' by 4Creative

April's Aerial Awards winner: Adam&Eve/DDB for Marmite

April's Aerial Awards winner: Adam&Eve/DDB for Marmite

May's Aerial Awards winner: Radio Clyde Creative for Henry's Honda

May's Aerial Awards winner: Radio Clyde Creative for Henry's Honda

June's Aerial Awards winner: McDonald's 'Driver'

June's Aerial Awards winner: McDonald's 'Driver'

July's Aerial Awards winner: Hive 'Superfast any time'

July's Aerial Awards winner: Hive 'Superfast any time'

August's Aerial Awards winner: Flash 'Colouring book'

August's Aerial Awards winner: Flash 'Colouring book'