Aussie radio advertising – good at gags but lacking in innovation, says Cannes juror

After what Cannes juror Jason Williams described as an “average year” for Australia in the Radio Lions, the Leo Burnett Melbourne ECD has called on the industry to think harder about creative ways to use the medium.

While Aussie agencies are “good at gags”, they are falling short in how they use the radio medium creatively, he told Mumbrella.

“Radio is one of the oldest media – and as such is seen as old fashioned in Australia,” he said. “The one area that is particularly lacking is innovation and the creative use of the medium. We need to rethink radio beyond 30-second jokes.”

The Radio Lions grand prix went to Brazil, with an idea that used a sonic frequency – inaudible to humans – to repel mosquitos.

“Radio networks in Australia are gagging for ad agencies to be more innovative with the medium. We need to be looking at radio differently. Other markets like Brazil have cottoned on – we need to do the same.”

A rare Australian exception was last year’s Strepsils campaign by radio specialist Eardrum, which saw actors call in to talk radio shows, have a coughing fit, and say they needed a Strepsil to remedy their sore throats.

From 90 entries, Australia converted just three into awards in Cannes today.


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