5 Award Winning Radio Ad Campaigns

This week our Strategic Marketing class is evaluating award-winning radio ads. When I started my research, I didn’t have a theme in mind for the ads I would choose to evaluate. I simply picked out the ads that resonated with me as a consumer. From the five I chose, you’ll find the common thread is that this consumer prefers: funny, absurd, shocking, and/or slightly off-color advertising tactics. Here are my top 5 picks and a brief evaluation of each:

“Are you in good hands?”

Objective: Show the absurdity of the incidents, accidents, and delinquency of others to persuade you to buy a better insurance product when the inevitable “Mayhem” strikes.

Target Market: Anyone who has ever been driving along and been distracted by something while driving (great house, an elk). Or anyone who has been affected by a distracted driver (someone using their dating ap while driving).

Action: Accidents happen; distracted drivers happen. You need Allstate insurance to make sure you are not left with a huge bill if something happens to you.

Value Proposition: Allstate has your back when mayhem strikes on the road. You can rest easy knowing you have Allstate rather than some “cut-rate” other insurance.


“Why Tecate beats other brewers.”

Objective: Use humor and the tease of almost hearing a dozen curse words on the radio to sell their beer. They claim brewmasters all over the world are angry that Tecate is already brewing bold flavor that can’t be outdone. 2014 was a big year for micro-brewery growth and the larger beer producers like Tecate had to stay relevant.

Target Market: Beer lovers who may have been considering buying other brands.

Action: Let us shock you with our “almost crude” language. Don’t spend your money on craft beer. Tecate has had great flavor for many years and brewers all over the world know it!

Value Proposition: Go ahead and buy the inexpensive beer with the “dangerously” bold flavor. No other brewery can match the flavor, and the brewmasters are threatened by the perfection that is Tecate.


“Reasons why you need a dumpster.”

  • Link to radio ad: https://aef.com/ad-campaigns/estate/
  • Firm: Creative Services Group/iHeartMedia
    Company: Cooper Disposal
  • Title: Estate
    Air Date: 2016
  • Awards: Radio Mercury Award 2016

Objective: Inform potential customers that Cooper has a solution to your garbage problem. Cooper will come to you!

Target Market: Anyone who has inherited a mess. Particularly targeting the sandwich generation who has little time for an involved clean-up.

Action: Rent the dumpster. Cooper will drop it off and pick it up from your site. All you have to do is fill it up and reap the rewards of your inheritance.

Value Proposition: The ad uses humor and a song that gives a sense of urgency to shed light on a real problem that many families face each year. The issue of simplifying the process of sorting the good stuff from the “broken treadmill and shamrock sofa” can be a major headache when inheriting an estate.


“So anyway….”

Objective: Translate the idea that Quickrete dries really fast into a metaphor where the narrator tells a very abbreviated story with only two to four plot points for a topic that should be vastly more complex.

Target Market: Consumers with a use for Quickrete in their home or business projects.

Action: Buy this brand because it is really easy and fast.

Value Proposition: This brand is the fastest setting concrete. It will save you time.


“Here Kitty, Kitty”

Objective: Demonstrate the absurd things and services you might be able to afford should you become rich. Illustrate that you would be a much better steward of your money, should you win the lottery.

Target Market: Anyone in the listening audiences who has ever said, “if I won the lottery, I would….”.

Action: Play the New York lottery because you would obviously make better decisions with your winnings. Buy a ticket.

Value Proposition: What do you have to lose by buying a lotto ticket? If you win, you can’t be any more eccentric than the guy who pays a grown man to impersonate his dead cat.


Blog feature image: Box-Sisters-Radio-Teddy-Bear, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Author: blueridgemtntwinmama

Blue Ridge Mtn native. Trying to live my best life and achieve "good person" status. Wife to a freelance/self-publishing author, A.D. White, and mama to my cute, funny, and mischievous b/g twin babies. I also have a day job as an HR, OD, Engagement, and Leadership professional in the hospital & health care industry. I have an associate's degree in Art, a bachelor's degree in Ethics and Social Institutions, and a masters' degree in Entrepreneurship. I write about my gorgeous life in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western NC, raising twins, strengths-based leadership, and I even write about business and the entrepreneurial spirit sometimes. Dang, I love a good side hustle!

8 thoughts on “5 Award Winning Radio Ad Campaigns”

  1. Hi Nancy!
    Fun ad choices and I love the sisters sitting around the radio. I grew up listening to Garrison Keillor because we didn’t have TV for most of my childhood. Radio ads have a more classic feel and I don’t find them as annoying as TV ads. Persuasion is trickier without visual context. The ad creators have to find a way to resonate with just words and sounds, so getting an emotional response such as laughter, shock, or empathy is really important. For some reason the kitty one surprised me. I remember listening to it while searching for my own ads in this assignment. I turned it off quickly, the meowing was annoying. But, after listening all the way through, I felt it was very effective in its angle trying to get people to buy lottery tickets.


  2. Great work. Reviewing your analysis of these adds brought me back to times I heard some of them and how I connected with them. I love that radio ads really captivate the audience as they have to be more descriptive to allow the listener to create the visual narrative. It is interested to think of how advertisers tune into our other senses to leave a lasting impression.

    Ellie McIntosh


  3. Nancy,

    I like your choice of ads. The humorous/quirky ads are some of my favorites too. The “Are You in Good Hands” spot was definitely relatable. I live near the Cataloochee Valley, and we’ve seen elk in our neighborhood. Tourists are always parked on the side of the main road, and sometimes even stop right in the middle of the street to take a photo! When an advertiser creates an ad that causes you to reflect on whether something can really happen to you, I think it’s super effective. I also like the introduction you wrote for the radio ad analysis project. Great job! Jill

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Nancy,

    The AllState marketing campaign was something that many companies can look at in order to gain insight on how a larger level advertising practice would target their audience and get the whole nation to remember their slogan. AllState’s ability to deliver their advertisements and draw in new consumers from either non-insured individuals or segments of the market that were looking to change their insurance. A lot of insurance companies adopted this style of slogan building that has the top 3-5 main bundle insurance companies stand out from each other and appear to be advertising differently because they are saying different slogans and using different situations.

    The way that you delivered your information was right to the point and was skillfully done. I enjoyed the way you were able to pull in some big advertisements that many of your audience would know and some advertisements that some of your audience wouldn’t know. Great work.


  5. Hi Nancy,
    It looks like you had some fun ads this week. I ended up with many that seemed to use humor in them. I wonder if ad companies just know that is the best way to reach people. I think the way you set up the explanations of the ads was great and easy to follow. So far I am enjoying this assignment and think we will all benefit from the task.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nancy,

    Kitty is so ridiculous! The concept works for sure as I fell into the “I would spend my lotto money so much better than that” trap. Long Story Short is a very effective way to get their point across – in fact, after hearing it I would consider it if a need ever arose. Estate had me laughing so hard because it is so true! Brewmasters Panic is memorable because of, as you mentioned, it’s “almost crude” language throughout the entire ad. All of the different accents also keep me engaged. Allstate’s ads are effective because mayhem is reality and it does happen. Your value-proposition analysis is on point. I would not want cut-rate insurance if/when mayhem strikes!

    Nice picks!


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah! I had really wanted to do Allstate or Nationwide but was not able to find one to use. I did not really care for this Allstate campaign but you did a great job analyzing the ad. Radio ads are so interesting because there are so many clever and well-thought out ads, for instance the Quickrete ad that you chose. I looked at that one as well and I thought it was a very clever way to demonstrate the features of the product. Great work.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nancy,

    Great job on your analyses on your choices of radio ads. Bad radio ads are hard to interpret sometimes because there aren’t any visuals. Your analyses were concise and easy to understand, I appreciate this as a reader! My favorite part of your analysis were the the value propositions, I felt you executed each one effectively.

    Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

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