The Annual 2011: Top 10 radio ads

Finance, food and even the FT feature in this year's best radio ads list.


01 More Than.mp3


02 ING Direct.mp3


03 Honda.mp3


04 Autoglass.mp3


05 Barclays.mp3


06 Dolmio.mp3


07 Cravendale.mp3


08 Compare The Market.mp3


09 FT Weekend.mp3


10 Persil.mp3

The Annual 2011: Top 10 radio ads

1. More Th>n, 'courtesy car'

Use of such a distinctive voice means that More Th>n's radio ads are as memorable as its TV work.

Agency: SFW
Writers: Fred Rodwell, Andy Parsons
Agency producer: Larissa Miola
Facilities house: Grand Central
Sound engineer: Ben Peeves


We open with a beautiful, classical song - similar to Suds On The Roof from The Shawshank Redemption.
SFX: A car motor purrs along the open road.

More Th>n: When you wrestle a gorilla, you don't stop when you're tired; you stop when the gorilla's tired. (The car motor stops.) That's why, if you have a prang and your wheels just aren't turning, the good folks at More Th>n could send you a courtesy car within two hours. (The car motor starts again.) To find out more, visit I'm More Th>n Freeman, thank you for listening.

Legal supers: Excludes Northern Ireland. Offer may be withdrawn at any time. Terms and conditions apply. Comprehensive cover only using our recommended repairers. Excludes total loss.

2. ING Direct, 'crocodile'

This campaign set out to avoid the dull-but-worthy pitfalls of bank advertising by presenting aphoristic little vignettes in the style of children's fables - and it highlights ING's proposition that customers should never be kept waiting.

Agency: Beattie McGuinness Bungay
Writer: Simon Bere

Agency producer: Anna Murray

Facilities house: Wave Studios

Sound engineer: Jack Sedgwick


Narrator: A hungry bird said to a crocodile: "Those bits of meat stuck between your teeth - I could do with them."

"No worries," the crocodile said. "Dive in. I've had a good nosh. Why shouldn't you?"

Next day, the grateful bird brought all his friends to the river and, from that moment on, the birds were never hungry and the crocodiles never had to fork out for a hygienist. And the moral is: goodwill spread around gets around.

VO: This story was brought to you by the lion and ING Direct, 92 per cent of whose mortgage customers would recommend them to a friend.

ING Direct. A decent way to do banking.

Ninety-two per cent based on ING Direct customer satisfaction survey, April 2011. UK residents, 18+. £50,000-£1,000,000. Subject to status.

3. Honda, 'research and development'

Garrison Keiller hones his Midwest folksiness in the cause of those lamentably unsung heroes in the Honda research and development team.

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy

Writer: Hollie Newton

Agency producer: Emma Wright

Facilities house: Wave

Sound engineer: Aaron Reynolds


Garrison Keillor as the voice of Honda: Sometimes you get more done without a boss. Not that leadership isn't valuable. It's just that, when you don't have anyone looking over your shoulder, you often come up with better stuff. At Honda, we run our research and development team as a separate company, giving them room to mess around, doodle, try, fail, try again - and eventually come up with something that surprises them as much as it surprises us. Do you believe in the power of dreams?

4. Autoglass, 'chipped windscreen'

This ad was particularly praised by the Radio Advertising Bureau RadioGauge scheme for the way in which it demonstrated the enduring power of using consistent audio cues either in standalone radio work or in campaigns across radio and TV. It also continued the Autoglass strategy of using the voices of real technicians to build an approachable and reliable brand image.

Agency: Radioville

Writer: Ben Fairman

Agency producer: Liz Carter

Facilities house: Marmalade Studio

Sound engineer: Dave Poole


Jingle: Autoglass repair. Autoglass replace.

VO: Ian, 33, technician for Autoglass.

Ian: When a customer at Autoglass got a chip on her windscreen, it cracked while she was driving to the shops. She phoned our UK-based call centre and I went out and replaced her screen. Which she was happy with. But her insurance excess took the smile off her face. £80! Thing is, she could have called Autoglass when she first got the chip and saved that money with a repair instead. Booking an appointment couldn't be easier. You can now even do it online from your mobile phone and we'll be out to wherever's convenient for you. The job's quick too - 30 minutes and you'll be on your way again. So you can get on with your day. Plus, if you're fully comp, a repair is usually free for you and won't affect your no claims. Quick, free, convenient. Easy.

VO: Call Autoglass directly on 0800 234 234. Or book online at

Jingle: Autoglass re ...

Ian: One more thing. Most insurance companies recommend Autoglass, so no need to call them. Call us direct.

Jingle: Autoglass repair. Autoglass replace.

5. Barclays, 'sound da big ting'

This has been praised not just for its writing but, more broadly, for its awareness that students really do resent the way they're regularly patronised in advertising campaigns from banks.

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writers: Matt Powell-Perry, Mat Joiner

Agency producer: Sam Brock

Facilities house: The Mill@BBH

Sound engineer: Ian Lambden


Newsreader voiceover: Sound da big ting. Barclays Student Account has been voted number one by students in the Moneyfacts Awards. And because students helped to make the account, and did a fabberdazzer job B-T-W, the peeps at Barclays asked them to help write this radio commercial too. Skillimanjaro. The account is bad-boy ballistic, so, totes, check it out on Barclays' website. The Barclays Student Current Account. Awesome sauce. Ciaoabunga dude roosters.

6. Dolmio, 'lasagne'

Dolmio wins its place here for the way that it has successfully migrated what were essentially televisual branding ideas (principally its charming puppet caricatures) on to the radio medium.

Agency: Proximity London

Writers: Markham Smith, Richard Dennison

Agency producer: Laura Burridge

Facilities house: Grand Central Studios

Sound engineer: Gary Turnbull


Italian mama: To getta de family rounda da table, you could try a ...

SFX: Fire bell.

Italian mama: Or a ...

SFX: Hand bell.

Italian mama: Or ...

SFX: Klaxon.

Italian mama: But I prefer the aroma of a delicious Dolmio. Get together with a delicious homemade Dolmio lasagne. When's your Dolmio day?

7. Cravendale, 'opposable thumbs'

Having ditched its cast of wackily animated plastic figurines, Cravendale's TV work now features an even wackier cast of mutating moggies - and this spot demonstrates that it's possible to evolve a primarily visual idea into a credible radio soundscape.

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy

Writers: Sam Heath, Chris Groom, Hollie Walker, Freddie Powell

Agency producer: Kate Ashton

Facilities house: Wave

Sound engineer: Jack Sedgwick


VO: Why do cats stare when you're pouring milk? Scary the way they watch. It's like they know it's only a matter of time.

(Tense, staccato, thriller-style music begins quietly in the background and starts to build slowly and steadily towards a crescendo.)

VO: Time! The only thing between them and opposable thumbs. Imagine that! Cats with thumbs.

SFX: A sly cat's meow.

VO: And what if they got together? Gangs of cats with thumbs. An organised army with one thing on their mind. Pure, filtered Cravendale. Well, jog on, kitties. It's ours. Cravendale. The milk matters.

8., 'meerkat toy'

No review of the year in any medium would be complete without a mention of the ubiquitous meerkat. This radio work helps to illustrate how relentlessly consistent Aleksandr's characterisation is across all media environments.

Agency: VCCP

Writers: Javier Romartinez, Matt Lyodd

Agency producer: Carly Parris

Facilities house: Wave Sound Studio

Sound engineer: Stuart Welch


SFX: Phone ringing.

Mr Fisher: Hello.

Aleksandr: Hello! (then slightly more hesitantly) Mrs Karen Fisher?

Mr Fisher: No. This is Karen's husband.

Aleksandr: Congratulations, er, Mr Husband of Karen. Ha! Because your wife recently insured saloon car through, cuddly meerkat toy is on its way to your Mrs Spouse.

Mr Fisher: Er ...

Aleksandr: Goodbye, Mr Karen.

Aleksandr (in voiceover mode): To get exclusive meerkat toy, buy car, van, home or pet insurance through Simples!

9. FT Weekend, 'smart but casual'

This won RAB plaudits for its creative use of music. Here, in contrast, a familiar piece of piano music, Mozart's Turkish March, begins with its usual uptight military vigour ... but then begins to acquire swing as it mutates into a jazzier style.

Agency: DDB UK

Writers: Nikki Lindman, Toby Brewer

Agency producer: Rachel Amess

Facilities house: Clearcut

Sound engineer: James Clark


Music: Mozart's Rondo Alla Turca at a brisk tempo; modulating into a jazz idiom.

VO: With all the intelligence of the original, just a bit more relaxed. FT Weekend. Smart but casual.

10. Persil, 'Small & Mighty'

We're including this (not quite entirely as an afterthought) even though the campaign ran into controversy following a complaint by a rival advertiser - but many in the industry reckoned this was creatively the best ad to run on the radio medium during 2011.

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writers: Robin Warman, Harry Orton

Agency producer: Sam Brock

Facilities house: Jungle

Sound engineer: Gez Lloyd


VO: Persil asked kids what they think are the toughest stains.

Kid one: Oh ... that's a hard one.

Kid two: Yeah, isn't it? It's hard.

Kid three: Blackcurrant. It's black and purple so you can see it more.

Kid four: Mud!

Kid five: Mud!

Kid six: Brown sauce.

Kid seven: And all sorts of, like, runny food.

Kid eight: You need to wash it really, really hard.

Kid nine: Felt tip pen.

Kid ten: That's the hardest one.

Kid eleven: Chocolate ice-cream!

All: (Laughter.)

VO: New Persil Small & Mighty is now better than ever with unbeatable results on tough kids' stains.

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