Annual: Top 10 Radio Ads

1. London Transport Museum, 'Harry Patch'

Poignant and uncluttered, this pithy monologue from one of the few remaining surviving soldiers of the First World War leaves a lasting impression.

Agency: M&C Saatchi

Agency producers: Martin Aspinall, Simon Blaxland

Writer: Paul Pickersgill

Production company: Jungle


MVO: I'm Harry Patch, the last surviving Tommy to have fought in the Great War, when 800 London buses took troops to the front, often driven by their original bus company drivers. I know, because I saw them.

VO: Discover more at the new London Transport Museum, Covent Garden.

2. Metropolitan Police, 'Wayne'

This radio spot potently communicates the anonymity that gun-toters are afforded when they hand in their weaponry. He's not a little old lady, he's a very naughty boy.

Agency: Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy

Agency producers: Russell Taylor, Alexis Meyers

Writer: Nick Bird

Art director: Lee Smith

Production company: MCBD


FVO: (Lovely sounding old lady in her seventies) I had a gun. But it was stressing me out having it. So I went and handed it in to my local police station. You can too until 17 February. I'm tellin' you it's a relief. Oh yeah, and when you do, it's all done totally anonymously. Cos' my name's Wayne and I'm a 19-year-old from South London.

VO: If you have a gun - real or imitation - hand it in anonymously at any London police station today. Metropolitan Police. Working together for a safer London.

3. Reed Personnel Service, 'tea'

This ad breathed new life into the old joke that graduates learn more about tea-making than anything else on the first rung of the career ladder.

Agency: Contagious Content

Creative: Mary Wear

Agency producer: Jane Joyce

Sound engineer: Tony Rapaccioli (Wave)


Boss: So what was your degree in again?

Graduate: Physics.

Boss: OK, I've got a project for you. I need you to note the osmosis effect on this paper-encased substance when it is immersed in 125 centilitres of boiling water.

Graduate: You mean you want me to make you a cup of tea?

Boss: Exactly.

VO: Your graduate job not quite what you'd hoped? Find your perfect graduate job on the UK's biggest jobsite. Visit reed.co.uk. Love Mondays.

Boss: Now dissolve 30 millilitres of disaccharide ...

Graduate: So you want two sugars.

Boss: I do.

4. House of Hearing, 'first sentence'

Making a radio ad for the hard of hearing is not exactly every creative's dream come true, but Fruitful gets the message across loud and clear with an inspired use of the medium.

Agency: Fruitful Advertising & Design

Creative: Giles Etherington

Agency producer: Lou Kiddier

Sound engineer: Al Lorraine (Canongate Studios)


SFX: Static interference (getting quieter as the commercial goes on)

VO: This commercial is for House of Hearing. If you heard what I just said, the chances are your hearing is perfectly OK. If you are only just beginning to hear what I am saying, then you could have slight hearing loss and you should get your hearing checked out. If this is the first sentence you've heard, we strongly recommend that you have your hearing tested.

VO: For a free consultation, call House of Hearing on 0131 220 1220. I'll repeat that just in case you didn't hear it. That's House of Hearing on 0131 220 1220.

5. Coca-Cola, 'fizz'

Mother proves the sound of a bottle of Coca-Cola being opened can be just as appetising as the sight of it. A radio ad with no words, just a mouth-watering use of sound effects.

Agency: Mother

Creatives: Laurence Thompson, Brian Cooper

Agency producer: Verity Bard

Sound engineer: Anthony Moore (Factory)

6. Women's Aid, 'appearance'

This powerful campaign by Grey London plays with common perceptions of what constitutes domestic violence.

Agency: Grey London

Creatives: Andrew Hampson, Helen Moriarty

Agency producer: Suki Drane

Sound engineer: Stuart Welch (Wave)


FVO1: If I told you I'm a victim of domestic violence, what do you imagine I look like? You probably think I've got a fat lip? A black eye? My face is so swollen it's barely recognisable?

Actually, I don't look like that at all. My husband's never laid a hand on me, but he still makes my life a living hell. If I arrive home five minutes late, he questions me for hours. If I so much as look at another man, he flies into a rage. He watches my every move, monitors my calls, checks my e-mails. He forced me to give up my job, my family and my friends. I live in constant fear of what he'll say or do next, but if I leave, he says he'll kill me.

VO: Domestic abuse doesn't have to be physical. Thousands of women up and down the country look fine, but that doesn't mean the abuse they suffer is any less horrific. Act now to help stop domestic violence. To donate £3, text the word ACT to 84424 or visit womensaid.org.uk for more information.

7. Toyota Yaris, 'spa'

A yarn that stays on just the right side of amusing (there's a fine line with radio ads). Simple and arresting enough to momentarily capture listeners' attention.

Agency: CHI & Partners

Agency producers: Chloe London, Lindsay Moyes

Writers: Wayne Robinson, Matt Collier

Sound engineers: Parv Thind, Jack Sedgwick (Wave)


SFX: Noise of mobile ringing, as heard down phone line.

MVO: Hello. If you're calling about the free luxury spa break, there isn't one. With the Reiki and all that, I don't even know what Reiki is, sounds like gardening to me. My girlfriend has placed a fake ad in the paper with my number on it as revenge. That's what this is. Because I got some mud the size of a 5p on her Toyota Yaris and now this is how she's paying me back. So don't leave a message, and please don't call again.

SFX: Beep.

FVO: Toyota Yaris. Treat it with respect.

FVO2: Find out more at toyota.co.uk/moreforless.

8. Home Office, 'anti-knife crime'

This effort to raise awareness about knife crime mercifully avoids patronising its target audience. Instead, someone directly affected relays her harrowing experience.

Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R

Creatives: Nick Flugge, Tim McNaughton, Freddy Mandy

Agency producer: Dan Neale

Sound engineer: Anthony Moore (Factory)


FVO: I've been best mates with Jay for ten years. We started going out this Christmas and we first slept together on New Year's Eve. I really thought that he was the one. On that night, we stopped at the shop on the way out. I went in cos' I wanted a drink and he waited outside. I never thought that moment would change everything. I heard his cry, his cry for help and I saw the three of them running off. I didn't know Jay was carrying a knife. Turns out it got turned on him when he pulled it out. After he was stabbed, I held him while the ambulance came. The knife had gone into his arm. I've never seen so much blood in all my life. As I held him, he looked into my eyes and I realised how much I loved him and I knew that he felt the same. He died at the hospital.

VO: If you carry a knife, you're more likely to get stabbed yourself. Stop knife crime, go to www.itdoesnthavetohappen.co.uk.

9. Ford Fiesta, 'blue one revised'

The banter between the comedians David Mitchell and Robert Webb should keep listeners entertained long enough to get the message.

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather

Creatives: Mike Watson, Jon Morgan

Agency producer: Sally Miller

Sound engineer: Dave Robinson (Angell Sound)


Webb: Oh, new car, very nice.

Mitchell: Yeah, just got it. It's packed full of goodies; rain-sensing wipers.

W: Oh yeah? My car goes under water.

M: Light-sensitive headlights.

W: I've got night vision in mine.

M: And guess what, you get free Bluetooth with voice control which lets you control the CD player and phone just by talking.

W: Mine's got a heated swimming pool and a mini gym in the glove compartment and it only cost a quid.

M: That's clearly not true, is it, Bob?

W: No, no, you're right. It's rubbish.

VO: The Ford Fiesta Ztec Blue, which really, really, really does have all these extras.

Now available with typical 4.9 per cent APR on two years Ford options. Ford, feel the difference. Offer ends 30 June 2008. Phone not included, finance subject to status. Guarantees may be required.

10. Audi, 'missing'

Saying more with less, in this case dropping key words from the script, can make for a highly engaging and effective form of radio advertising, as this Bartle Bogle Hegarty campaign proves.

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Agency producer: Alex Burrett

Writers: Dale Winton, Hamish Pinnell

Sound engineer: Will Cohen (Zoo)

Music composer: Jean Philippe Deslandes


MVO: A woman set off in her car for ( ). As she pulled out of the ( ) she waved at her ( ). She passed a large ( ) and turned on to a busy ( ) where there was a huge traffic ( ). Things cleared up with the help of a ( ) and she was on her way again.

It's easy to miss things on the road.

VO: The new Audi A4's innovative feature, Audi Side Assist, alerts you to vehicles in your blind spot, so you'll know what's going on around you.

The new Audi A4 sees things before you do. Audi. Vorsprung ( ) Technik.