Media release: An ad described by its writers as “3D radio”, has won the overall and single categories for round five of the 2008 Siren Awards. Written for Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, the ad called “New Trick” was written to raise money for kenneling of dogs and cats and to help find homes for homeless animals.

The writers, Josh Bryer and Hamish Stewart from agency M&C Saatchi/ Mark. in Sydney, claim the ad contains an ultrasonic frequency (at 20,000Hz) mixed under the voiceover, which is a sound that humans can’t hear but dogs can. They claim that when dogs hear the ad, they react by barking or whining.

The writers said: “Our client told us of a surge in demand for dog adoption in rural areas and asked how we could affordably and effectively reach potential dog adopters in the countryside. While doing so, we wanted to strike a powerful emotional chord with the audience.”

They describe their ad as “3D radio. Radio that goes beyond the usual dimensions of advertising to affect the environment in which it’s heard. When people saw or heard their dogs reacting to the ad, the illusion of empathy was created: it seemed their dogs were telling them to help ours.”

Judge and previous round winner, Frances Webb from Leo Burnett in Melbourne said the ad was an innovative way to use the medium. “Imagine your surprise if your dog started whining along to a radio spot.”

There were three highly commended entries in the single category. They were “Tight Dress” for HBA Health Insurance, written by Richard Williams and Ant Phillips from Clemenger BBDO Melbourne; “Corey’s Party Hotline” for Melbourne Airport, written by Scot van den Driesen and Mal Chambers from agency, Smart in Melbourne and “Valentine’s Day” for the Advertiser Newspaper, written by Greg Aldous and James Rickard from agency, KWP! Adelaide.

Winner of the campaign category was a series of three ads for Ford using Australian cricketers, called “Getting Burnt, Wuss and The Runs”. The campaign was written by John Skaro and Roger Nance from agency, JWT Melbourne.

John Skaro said about the campaign: “The idea for the radio campaign was actually born out of spending a couple of days with the Test cricketers, when we were shooting the Ford Backyard Cricket television commercials. We basically got to know them a bit and learned about the kind of things they take the piss about. Things like each other's hair styles, age etc... And since the campaign idea was based around friendly rivalry, we thought the idea of "serious" news reports about their latest personality "clashes" could result in some funny ads. Hopefully, it did.”

Winner of the craft category was Matt Dickson from DMG Radio Australia who was sound engineer, creative director and producer of the ad called “Cloverfield” for Paramount Pictures.

Judge and previous winner, Paul McCosk from studio, Risk Sound said the ad was a simple idea that was well designed and has maximum impact on the listener: “I chose this as the best craft for its timing of the radio announcer cutting back in as she screams in desperation and horror.”

Highly commended in the craft category was an ad called “Do Something Cool” for the Brisbane City Council. The ad was produced by sound engineer, Ross Batten from production studio, Cutting Edge in Brisbane with creative director, Rem Bruijn from agency, Make.

The national Siren Awards are run by Commercial Radio Australia and are designed to recognise the best radio advertising in the country. The awards promote the importance of creativity as a way to make radio advertising more effective. Entries for round 1 for 2009 are now open and close on May 30.

This year’s Gold Siren Winner, equivalent to the best radio ad in Australia, will be announced in Melbourne on May 9, following a record number of entries in this year’s Siren Awards. The winner will be announced at a gala breakfast featuring the hosts of Nova’s top-rating, drivetime show, “The Wrong Way Home” - Akmal Saleh, Cal Wilson and Ed Kavalee.

The 2008 winner, chosen by a panel of industry experts, will be automatically entered into the Cannes Radio Lions – to be held in June and its writer will also win two tickets to attend the festival.

The gala breakfast will be followed by the Sirens Masterclass, a one-day, creative seminar that provides keynote speakers and interactive sessions. Keynote speakers at this year’s event are distinguished Australian screen writers, Jan Sardi and Craig Pearce. Sardi received an Academy Award nomination in 1997 for his screenplay for “Shine” and is known more recently for his work on the screenplay for the US film, “The Notebook.”

Cannes Radio Lions judge for this year and creator of the award-winning Australian radio brand campaign, Ralph van Dijk of Eardrum Australia, will also talk at the Masterclass and run several interactive sessions on how to write world-class radio ads. More speakers will be announced soon.

Both the Sirens breakfast and Masterclass will be held at The Point Albert Park in Melbourne. Commercial Radio Australia is running the event in association with the Melbourne Advertising and Design Club (MADC) and the Australian Writers Guild (AWG). The breakfast will run from 7.30am to 9.30am and the Masterclass will follow the breakfast and includes lunch. Tickets are on sale now at $395 for the breakfast and Masterclass combined and $65 for breakfast only. An early bird discounted rate of $350 is available for those members of Commercial Radio Australia, MADC and AWG who book and pay before Friday, April 11.

For more information visit the dedicated website