Source Commercial Radio Australia press release

An ad encouraging people to change their mindset about people with disabilities, using the voice of Penny, who has cerebral palsy, has won the overall and single categories for round four of the 2008 Siren Awards.

The ad, called “Do I sound different to you?”, was written for SCOPE, Victoria, a not-for-profit organisation providing disability services throughout Victoria to thousands of children and adults with physical and multiple disabilities.

The writer was Frances Webb from Leo Burnett in Melbourne who said the ad is unique because it is real and touching and makes people cry. “What also makes this charity spot different is it doesn’t point fingers at the public and make listeners feel guilty, but encourages us to change our mindset.”

Ms Webb said her inspiration for the radio ad was working with people with disabilities. “I had previously recorded radio spots featuring talent with cerebral palsy and it was an eye-opening experience. One particular talent, Joel, who is severely disabled, is funny, passionate about AFL and incredibly cheeky. He really isn’t just a guy stuck in a wheel chair. So how can we educate the public to see beyond his disability? By making people like Joel sound just like us, and radio was the perfect choice for the impact of the ad.”

Judge and previous round winner, Julian Schreiber from Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne said about the winning ad: “A clear stand out for me – ‘Do I Sound Different to You?’ for SCOPE, Victoria. It’s not just an idea, but an idea that cleverly utilises the radio medium”.

There were three highly commended entries in the single category. They were “Hearing Test” for IKEA, written by Dav Tabeshfar from agency, 303 Group; “No Pauses (Man)” for Connex, written by Brendan Greaney from Leo Burnett in Melbourne and “Eviction!” for the St Vincent de Paul Society, written by Gary Dawson and Rocky Ranallo from agency, Clemenger BBDO in Sydney.

Winner of the campaign category was “ice. It’s a dirty drug”.  Produced for the Victorian Government’ s Department of Human Services, the campaign features several ads highlighting the dangers of ice including depression, aggression and paranoia. The campaign was written by Daniel Pollock, Laura Hunter and David Ponce de Leon from agency, Lifelounge in Melbourne.

Highly commended in the campaign category was an ad called “Magnificent Balls, Disclaimer, Promo” for Fosters VB, written by Jim Ingram and Ben Couzens from agency, gPY&R in Melbourne.

Winner of the craft category was “Galaxy Wars Part 2” for Holden Astra, produced by Paul McCosh at studio, Risk Sound with creative director, Gordon Haynes from agency, McCann Erickson in Melbourne.

Judge and previous winner, Ross Batten from studio, Cutting Edge said about the winning craft ad: “Congrats to the winner, what can I say other than nice! The spot is a joy to listen to; nice sound, nice voices, nice timing.”

Highly commended in the craft category was an ad called “Paddy’s Ale House” for Paddy’s Ale House in Perth. The ad was produced by sound engineer, Jerimiah Busniak from Macquarie Regional Radioworks (HOT FM/Radiowest) with creative director, Simon Healy.

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 5 are now open and close on February 26.

Winners of the 2008 Siren Awards will be announced in Melbourne early in May and the awards ceremony will coincide with a Masterclass, including some great information and speakers talking about making world-class radio ads.

From next month the Sirens website will also feature a directory of studios, listing reputable production studios, which will provide a great resource for radio creatives looking to produce a radio ad.

For more information visit the dedicated website