THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Best Radio Ads

1. COI DTLR MOBILES - Two Things at Once

This is an original way to show the dangers of using a mobile while driving.

Two warnings are delivered at the same time. The resulting confusion highlights just how difficult and dangerous combining the activities can be. It also takes advantage of radio's unique qualities.

Agency: AMV

Creative: Nick Worthington, Paul Brazier

Producer: Debbie Dillon

Sound: Nick Angell (Angell Sound)


Vo (Both at same time):

You're four times more likely to have a road accident when on a mobile


It's hard to concentrate on two things at the same time.

Vo (Both at same time):

You're four times more likely to have a road accident when on a mobile


It's hard to concentrate on two things at the same time.

Vo: (Both at same time)

You're four times more likely to have a road accident when on a mobile


It's hard to concentrate on two things at the same time.

Vo (single voice):

You're four times more likely to have a road accident when on a mobile


Vo (Single voice) It's hard to concentrate on two things at the same


Vo : Think. Switch your mobile off when you drive

2. MARS TOPIC - Shut Up

This is one of the funniest of the 17 executions that comprise this highly unusual radio campaign from Mars. Developing the "Topic is a joy to eat, but a bitch to make" theme, this wonderfully cast, real time ad features a man who makes Topics growing impatient with a woman who loves the chocolate bar.

Agency: HHCL

Creative: Suzi Warren, Georg Thesmann

Producer: Ralph V Dyke (Eardrum)

Sound: Pete Diggins (Whitenoise)


Mvo: (Whispered) Topic. Joy to eat. Bitch to make.

Woman: Hiya.

Man: Alright.

Woman: What do you do?

Man: I'm in confectionery. (Clears throat)

Woman: Oh really.

Man: Yeah ... nuts ...

Woman: What's that chocolate and stuff ...

Man: Yeah, chocolate. Nuts.

Woman: Oh right ... what, sort of ...

Man: Yeah nut based con ... well Topics. I make Topic bars.

Woman: Topics?

Man: Yeah, yeah.

Woman: Oh the red packet ones.

Man: Yes.

Woman: Oh do you? No cos I love 'em. I mean d'you like (unclear)

Man: Yeah, everybody loves em (voice wavering)

Woman: D'you get ...

Man: Everybody loves the Topic bars.

Woman: It was like the song really, wasn't it?

Man: Oh, shut up.

3. ITV 1 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - Get To Your Room

Cruel humour is always the funniest and this ad, in which a father sends his impeccably behaved daughter to her room just so he can watch football in peace, appeals to those wonderfully selfish instincts that reside in all of us. Part of a consistently funny campaign from ITV1.

Agency: BBH

Creative: Alex Grieve, Adrian Rossi

Producer: Michelle Kendrick

Sound: James Saunders (Jungle)


Fvo: Daddy, daddy, today I did a painting of you and I got two stars and

Miss Lewis says I was the best in the class.

Mvo: You're a very naughty girl

Fvo : Why daddy?

Mvo : Don't argue with your father young lady, now go to your room

(faint sound of crying). It's no use crying about it ... go on ... go

on ... get out


The Observer could have hit Campaign's top ten for any number of radio ads this year, but this one is the slickest of the lot. In this ad for a feature on coffee production, a customer sprinkles his coffee order with details of the appalling conditions faced by the third-world farmers who produce the drink.

Agency: Mother

Creative: Jim Thornton, Vicky Ghose, Malin Wikerberg

Producer: Emma Starzacher (Scramble)

Sound: Alex Nicholls Lee


Mvo: Can I have a regular, decaf, skinny, mocha, latte, with vanilla

child labour and exploitation. Hold the sprinkles.

Fvo: Coming right up! Did you want ripping off with that?

Mvo: Oh ... go on then ... just a touch

Fvo: And we're giving away enforced poverty and exploitation with every

order! So you want that to stay or go?

Mvo: To go, with four destitute farmers, please

Vo: How do you like your latte? A look at the coffee industry in the

Observer Food Monthly, a 64 page magazine, free this Sunday with The


5. BARCLAYCARD - Antiques

The idea that men have nothing to talk about when the football season is in recess is not new to advertising. But it's the execution of this Barclaycard Premiership ad that sets it apart. The half-hearted conversation about an antiques show runs out of steam after five seconds, but the feeble attempts made to keep it going are hilarious.

Agency: BMP

Creative: Ben & Louisa

Producer: Caroline Prickett

Sound: Hassan Hassan (Zoo)


Sfx: Building site.

Steve: All right mate?


Gary: Did you watch the Antiques Road Show last night?

Steve: Yeah, what about those doyleys?

Gary: ... And those embroidered pillows.


Steve: Yeah that was really something.


Gary: And that crystal shoe collection.

Steve: Yeah. I was surprised at how much they were worth.


Gary: Yeh, but he valued them spot on.

Steve: Yeh: I'll give you that. Spot on.

Sfx: A long blast of a football whistle and roar of crowd

Mvo: At last, there's something exciting to talk about. The Barclaycard

Premiership kicks off on 17 August.

6. NESTLE KIT KAT - Oscar Romeo

This ad, which features a police officer laboriously spelling out complicated addresses, relies on clever humour rather than the wacky approach sadly common in radio commercials. It confirms the multimedia credentials of the long-standing "Have a Break, Have a Kit Kat" format.

Agency: JWT

Creative: Kieren Knight, Max Clemens

Producer: Liz Brown

Sound: Gary Walker (750mph)


Station officer: Come in sergeant confirm your position, over

Officer on radio: I'm currently approaching Wood Lane, over.

Station officer: Please repeat ... over.

Officer on radio: I am in whiskey oscar oscar delta lane ... over

Station officer: Roger please proceed to Mississippi Gardens ... over

Officer on radio: Oh, you mean to mike, india, sierra, sierra, india,

papa, papa, india Gardens ... over ...

Station officer: Yes! You should be opposite St Aloysius Presbyterian

Ministry by now ... over

Officer on radio: Ah! I've got you! Opposite sierra, alpha,india,

november, tango, alpha, lima, lima, oscar, yankie,

Vo: Have a break have a Kit Kat

7. MCVITIE'S JAFFA CAKES - We Will be Back

Aligning the Jaffa Cakes brand with the England team during last Summer's World Cup was an astute move by McVitie's, and one which made for an excellent radio campaign. The best thing about this ad is the Stephen Gerrard-esque voiceover which explains the ambition of every Jaffa Cake.

Agency: Publicis

Creative: Adam Kean, Alex Taylor

Producers: Simon Blaxland, Nicola Warman-Johnston

Sound: Dave McPhee (Space)


Background music: Nessun Dorma

Jaffa rep: (spoken, but in tune to Nessun Dorma)

And so,

We're out,

Of the world cup

Even though,

We went,


We beat Argenteeeeeena,

Lets not forget,

We took them to the cleeeeeeaners.

We will be back, England,

We'll be back.

Mvo: (in style of footballer being interviewed) McVitie's Jaffa Cakes.

Of course its every cakes dream to go to ...

Jaffa rep: (interupting) ... Euro 2000


An old format it may be, but it would seem churlish not to include at least one Hamlet ad. The brand is becoming to radio what The Economist is to posters. The desperation in the voice of the man trying his hardest to wriggle out of an engagement is the key to this well cast execution.

Agency: cdp-travissully

Creative: Neil Bishop, Mark Gilmore

Producer: Simon Sole

Sound: Rob Bradbury (Tape Gallery)


Sfx:Phone rings.

Victoria: Hello. Victoria Cheeseman-Jones.

Rob: Hi Vicki it's Rob.

Victoria: Oh, hi Robert.

Rob: Really sorry to do this but Sal and I just can't make your birthday

fondue next week. It's such a shame, we were so looking forward to

meeting all your banker friends. It's just that Sal's sister's over from

New Zealand on Thursday. Typical isn't it? Any day ... (bangs table) Any

day but Thursday!

Victoria: But it's on Wednesday.

Sfx: Match strike

Music: Air on a G-string.

Vo: Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet. The mild cigar.

9. COI DVLA ROAD TAX - Road Tax Hazzard

The success of this COI ad may well depend upon how familiar you are with the original Dukes of Hazard theme tune. But this execution is sufficiently melodic and novel to stay with you for days after you first hear it.

Agency: D'Arcy

Creative: David Chidlow & Matthew Wheeler

Producer: Tim Morgan

Sound: TBC


Mvo (sings):

Just the good ole boys

Never paid their road tax

Thought they'd get away

But they've been made to pay

Caught on film by the law.

Ignoring the signs

Kept drivin' along

One day the cameras they caught them

And its all gone Pete Tong.

Cruisin' away

Their life is carefree and fun

Caught with no tax on their car

Now the pains just begun.

Just the good ole boys

Should've bought tax while they could

Now its too late for excuses

And the crying's no good.

Vo (Roscoe P Coltrane): With these here new road cameras, there's no

exceptions, no excuses and no escape. Kud,y'ud, y'ud.

10. TOYOTA - Commentator

This execution features the witterings of a football commentator whose Toyota Traffic Avoidance System has got him to the ground hours before the game. The use of Alan Green is a masterstroke that will have resonated with regular radio listeners.

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Creative: Hugh Todd, Adam Scholes

Producers: Simon Blaxland, Nicola Warman-Johnston (Shell Like)

Sound: David Lazero, Ian Harges (Triangle)


Sfx:Outside ambience

Anchor man: And now over to Alan Green at White Hart Lane

Green: Thanks John ... well nothing happening here ... (bit bored) ...

no sign of the teams ... nor any fans in fact ... just me ... oh but

hold on (more excited) whats this ... a crisp packet has blown onto the

pitch ... Yes it's drifting slowly towards the half way line ... It's a

blue packet ... possibly cheese and onion ... hard to tell ... maybe the

monitor in the studio will show us the exact flavour ... Oh and look

(more excitement) now there's a pigeon having a peck at it.

(chuckles) ... he's really having a go at it (laughing a little

hysterically) ... well what drama ... So it's back to you in the studio.

Mvo: the Toyota Avensis with electronic traffic avoidance system. Be

careful. You might get there too early. Arrange a test drive now at your

local Toyota dealer. The car in front is a Toyota

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