Creative That Roars, Built For Radio


By Adam R Jacobson

MIAMI – “We do a lot of radio,” boasts Isaac Mizrahi, the co-president and COO at Alma, an Advertising Age A-List Agency in five of the last six years.

The agency also happens to excel at its creative work for the radio industry.

At the 2016 Cannes Lions, the advertising industry’s Oscars held each year in France, Alma took home eight honors for its work.

Seven of the honors came in the radio category. 

Two Silver Lions came for its “Play-Doh” spots created for Walmart’s Hispanic market campaign.

Meanwhile, a Silver Lion and a Bronze Lion was awarded to Alma for radio spots created for Clorox.

Five Bronze Lions came for a spot tied to its Tobacco Free Florida smoke cessation campaign. This radio creative was for the “total market,” and done in English for AM and FM stations across the Sunshine State.

The award wins demonstrate how Alma has expanded beyond its heritage as a Hispanic-focused agency, and has demonstrated capabilities of serving total audiences – this time, on radio.

Thanks to Alma’s close-knit relationship to DDB Miami, Alma does a combination of Latino-targeted work and general-market efforts. With the Tobacco Free Florida spots, Hispanic and general-market efforts were done “in a very integrated fashion.”

For Tobacco Free Florida, the choice of radio came through a determination process that is employed with every client, but may result in different outcomes based on client need and the creative concept.

“In every situation we look at the strategic communication plan, the production and execution of the creative, and the media mix,” Mizrahi says. “We are a media-agnostic agency, and if the concept is very strong it is going to be a part of the media mix. As a strategic and creative agency, media mix is secondary.”

Yet, radio is in the forefront of what Mizrahi and his team suggest to clients. Being media-agnostic actually helps break down any prejudices toward the medium from those who may believe a visual outlet may prove more effective.

“In a world where messaging has become hyper-fragmented, where consumers are skeptical about marketing and are inundated by heavy messaging clutter, creativity matters,” Mizrahi notes.

The award-winning creative for Tobacco Free Florida, “Auctioneer,” is a powerful tobacco-cessation :30 that can be heard here.

Another award-winning spot, “Tobacco Downs,” is a :60 that uses the theme of a horse-race announcer to spell out the ways a smoker will transition from being in the in-crowd to developing health issues. “When it comes to smoking, nobody wins,” the tagline states.

The creative brief was based on the belief that “what you do now affects you now” … especially when to comes to tobacco.

Meanwhile, Alma’s award-winning radio creative for Clorox features a 1:30 narrative discussing, in detail, a “big bang” in the bathroom that can be resolved with the household disinfecting product. The second spot featured, “Gravity,” took a Bronze Lion.

These spots could have easily been developed for TV. But, through a collaborative effort between the agency and the client, radio proved best.

Said Alvar Sunol, Co-President and Chief Creative Officer at Alma, “Award-winning ideas can only be achieved when you have a team that believes in and fights for those ideas, and especially when on the other side, there’s a client who trusts the agency and believes that good creativity can make a difference for the brand and consequently for business.”