Mercurys give The Richards Group top honors for Motel 6 Spot


At the 2009 Radio Mercury Awards held 6/17 in NYC, The Richards Group Dallas won the $100,000 Grand Prize for its Motel 6 spot entitled “DVD.” The ad is part of the brand’s long-running radio campaign. JWT took home the first-ever Integrated Campaign Award for its work on JetBlue, with a $10,000 cash prize. Winners in this year’s General Category included: Young & Rubicam New York for Office Depot; BBDO New York for AT&T; DDB Chicago for Anheuser-Busch; and Grupo Gallegos in the Spanish-Language Category for its Comcast spot titled “Epic.” Finally, McDonald’s locked in the first-ever Marketer of the Year Award for its longstanding commitment to radio.

Said Chief Judge Rick Boyko, Executive Director of Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter, “I asked the final round judges to use their interpretation of great advertising creative, regardless of the medium in which it’s delivered, to evaluate the entries. It was important to show radio the respect it deserves and critique the ads in the same manner we would for the most prestigious awards in all media. The judges feel Radio still has the potential to be a game-changer for a campaign, and it starts with setting standards for excellence.”

All Radio Mercury Awards entries go through two rounds of judging; first, 4-6 judges from agency, radio stations, and production companies score each spot, followed by a second, final round where 14 judges from the nation’s top advertising agencies review the finalists and vote based on a numerical scale. Entries were evaluated on creativity and execution; spots that met and exceeded the judges’ criteria were selected. As a result, awards were not presented in four categories and cash prizes will be double in 2010. The categories were Student-Produced, PSA, Radio Station-Produced and Political. The Student prize will double to $5,000, and will include a toolbox of suggestions and tips for younger creatives to help them produce great radio. The charitable donation prize for the PSA award will also double to $5,000; and finally, the winners of the Radio station category will double as well, to $10,000. In addition, the Radio Mercury Awards will introduce a “people’s choice” award where industry members can vote online for their favorite creative.

Further, in an effort to move the medium forward, the Radio Advertising Bureau also announced a new collaboration with the Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter – one of the country’s leading graduate schools for advertising and marketing. The RAB will sponsor VCU’s first-ever workshop for Radio stations. The workshop aims to bridge the gap between advertisers and Radio stations and foster an understanding of how to work together more efficiently.

“We are placing a significant focus on working with the creative leaders who move the advertising industry to fuel conversation and implement initiatives that will make radio advertising more creative, more interesting and more effective,” said Jeff Haley, President and CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau. “The best part is that the creative leaders we’re engaging with are responding well. They feel the medium provides great opportunities and they want the Radio industry to challenge advertisers to do their best.”

Final round judges included:
  —  Jose Molla, creative director, La Comunidad
  —  Bill Bruce, co-chief creative officer, BBDO, New York
  —  David Fowler, worldwide creative director, Ogilvy & Mather
  —  Lance Jensen, creative director, Modernista!
  —  Ronny Northrop, creative director, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
  —  Mark Gross, group creative director, DDB, Chicago
  —  Mike Hughes, president-creative director, the Martin Agency
  —  Joyce King Thomas, chief creative officer, McCann Erickson
  —  Mark Nardi, creative director, Hill Holliday
  —  Bob Scarpelli, chief creative officer, DDB Worldwide
  —  Mike Shine, creative director, Butler, Shine & Stern Partners

  —  Bill Wright, creative director, Crispin Porter & Bogusky

The night included cameos from popular New York Radio talent including: Craig Carton (WFAN-AM), Luis Jiminez (The Luis Jiminez Show), Lisa Paige (92.3 NOW FM) Bob Slade (KISS-FM), Dan Taylor (WCBS-FM), Heather Waters (102.7 FM), on hand to help present awards.

To listen to all of the winning spots, see