2020 Radio Mercury Award Winners Offer Creative Time Capsule

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Tuesday, Oct 13

The winners of the 2020 Radio Mercury Awards have been announced, and the top creatives present a “time capsule” of the moment. The winners for Best Creative Radio Spot were Motel 6, Kansas Medical Clinic and Covered California.

According to the Radio Mercury Awards’ mission statement, the aim of the 2020 awards was to “offer a capsule of the creative activity taking place now – the best ideas turned into radio and audio – authentic, honest, humorous and inspiring.”

The winning spots exemplified that mission. Motel 6’s “6 Feet Apart” spot reassured listeners of the motel chain’s Covid-19 safety measures. Kansas Medical Clinic’s “Disco Colonoscopy” spot spread the message that “Disco may be out, baby, but healthy is in, and it’s groovy.” It offered a fun approach to the serious topic of health that has recently been on people’s minds. And “Covered California’s “Muleta” spot utilized Spanish messaging to reach the Hispanic population in an authentic way.

Overall, the tone of the winning ads was highly empathetic, reflective of the shift in radio’s tone from pre-pandemic schtick to a trusting voice offering a source of comfort for the nation. 

“Radio is of the moment. I don’t think there is a better platform to create a time capsule of this moment from March to August of the work that’s being created now,” said Robin Fitzgerald, Chief Creative Officer of agency BBDO Atlanta and Chief Judge of the 2020 awards.

Among other strengths, the winning ads displayed distinctiveness, production value and voiceover talent, and effective use of the interplay between emotion and logic, three of SMI’s Top Ten Keys to Creating Great Radio Ads. Although SMI has never entered the Radio Mercury Awards due to our company’s client confidentiality policy, we applaud the winners for their ability to harness the unique powers of radio to craft compelling creative that speaks to the spirit of the times.

For more about what makes a great radio ad, check out SMI’s Top Ten Keys to Creating Great Radio Ads.

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