Significant seven: best radio ads

Over the next few days, we are publishing highlights from this year’s Mumbrella Annual.

1. Strepsils, Cold callers
Actors call up a radio talk show. As they’re chatting to the hosts, they start coughing and wheezing. Mid-sentence, they splutter that they need a Strepsil. The campaign even managed to get John Laws to mention the brand – though it’s not like Laws has steered away from brand namedropping in the past. This rightly won a bronze Radio Lion at Cannes for its artful subversion of the medium.
Agency: Eardrum
Writer: Ralph van Dijk


2. Scope, What do I look like?
The writers who won a Grand Prix at Cannes for the film ‘See the person’ for Scope produced the goods for radio months later. Cerebral palsy sufferer Jye challenges the listener to imagine what its like to have be disabled and be ignored all day.
Script: Male voice over (with cerebral paulsy): “What do I look like? I look like the tips of your shoes, like the back of the bus seat, your blank phone screen, like the ticking hand of your watch, the crack in the door at the end of the train, like that newspaper you’re pretending to read. When people look at me, this is what they see.”
Female voice over: “Scope ‘See Me’ September. See the person, not the disability. Donate at”
Agency: Leo Burnett Melbourne
Writers: Andrew Woodhead, Eamonn Dixon


3. Allpest, We don’t negotiate with cockroaches
At first listen, the character in this ad seems to be the housemate from hell. But he turns out to be a cockroach eating out of the bin.
In a late night confrontation in a kitchen we hear the cockroach trying to bargain his way into staying in the house. The script portrays two sides of the scenario, which the actors have adlibbed.
An extract from the script reads:
Man: You give me the creeps. I want you to move out.
Cockroach: You were going to throw the food out anyway. At least I’m putting it to good use.
Man: You can’t do that. I want you to move out.
Cockroach: Maybe I was having a feed and you get upset about it?
Man: Time to go.
Cockroach: Where am I going to go?
Man: I don’t care. I don’t want you in the house.
Cockroach: I’ll cut you a deal. How about I don’t eat out of the bins, I just eat off your plate.
Voiceover: At Allpest, we don’t negotiate with cockroaches. Go to
Agency: Southern Cross Austereo
Writers: Alida Henson, Garry Dean, Matt Dickson, Ingrid Paxton


4. Ikea, Don’t teach your kids new words
The idea: a kitchen installation service that won’t enrage parents and teach children foul language.
Teacher: Okay… Bradley, tell the class about your holidays.
Bradley: Yeah, it was really good. My dad built us a new f(BLEEP)ing kitchen. It’s got wooden f(BLEEP) ing bench tops. And some stupid f(BLEEP)ing soft closing drawers. There’s a dishwasher, that was a real c(BLEEP), and even a f(BLEEP) ing breakfast bar. Voice over: Get a kitchen installed without teaching your kids new words. Visit We can plan, deliver and install the whole f(BLEEP)ing thing for you.
Agency: The Monkeys
Writers: Tim Green, Tim Cairns


5. Trading Post, Fastest sale
Punchy and well edited. This ad shows how an exchange between the seller and buyer takes place at breakneck speed, from posting the ad to the purchase of the car. Sound engineer Simon Kane paints a full image with the dialogue and sound effects to bring the fastest sale imaginable to life.
Agency: The Monkeys
Writers: Jasun Vare


6. WA Office of Road Safety, Enjoy the Ride
The Western Australian government wanted drivers to slow down. To make this point, a sped up, highpitch chatter races across the airwaves – an idea that worked well alongside the TV commercial that features in our list of the best screen ads of the year.
The voice over begins: “When we live in fast-forward, we miss the details that make life so much richer” the ad appeals to us to “slow down and enjoy the ride.”
Agency: 303Lowe
Writers: Dav Tabeshfar, Rich Berney, Liam Riddler, Emma Clowes


7. Mother, Man-parts
Grand strings play under an inspiring speech for those needing more than a coffee to get them up in the morning. Excited and urgent, the voice over explains just how effective it is at waking you up: “Like a shower so cold your manparts retreat all the way back up inside you!” Brrrrrr.
Agency: Smart
Writers: Dan Gregory, Kieran Flanagan



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