NTRA radio campaign wins at Cannes


For the third time in five years, a thoroughbred raced home with a top lion at the prestigious International Advertising Festival in Cannes. “And They’re Off,” the radio campaign for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, was awarded the sole gold medal award by the judges at the 56th annual Cannes Lions. The campaign, via DeVito/Verdi NY, won the gold “Lion” in 2005 and 2006, and three silver “Lions” last year.

The ads (heard here see the tab Work to listen) provide humorous vignettes of ill-fated leisure activities that pale in comparison to spending the day at a local thoroughbred-racing track. The spots utilize an excitable announcer who relays the increasingly dismal details of an everyday outing or event with the same brio as he would a thrilling horse race.

Since its debut, the NTRA campaign has garnered more than 30 national and international advertising awards for its creativity and effectiveness. Twice it has won the grand prize ($100,000) at the Radio Mercury Awards for best radio ad, and it has won the top award at the Clio, One Show and ADDY creative competitions.

It was also announced that the campaign won a Bronze World Medal at the recently held New York Festivals advertising awards show.

The four ads that comprise the most recent award-winning campaign focus on purportedly relaxing or fun-filled events that quickly spiral downward. One spot chronicles the travails of a father buying his family a puppy, another has a man making the wrong choice on the nightclub dance floor, a third presents a disastrous Oktoberfest outing, and a fourth commercial has a father receiving an unexpected heart-to-heart talk from his son.

The 2009 NTRA campaign defeated hundreds of entries from around the world including major marketers and brands like Kraft, General Mills, Proctor & Gamble, Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, Toyota and McDonald’s.

RBR/TVBR observation: Good win for a radio spot … now wonder why RAB can’t figure radio can not win.

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