Banquet puts those radio ads in the best possible spot-light

VICTOR STREDICKE April 20, 1989 – Radio stations want you to listen to their music . . . and also their commercials. After all, those commercials pay the bills.
There are good commercials and bad commercials. And there are the 10 best, as revealed last night at ceremonies sponsored by the Puget Sound Radio Broadcasters Association. This is the fourth year Seattle-area radio stations have presented “The Soundies,” a banquet event seeking to add prestige to the commercials you most likely have already heard. Categories for awards were as diverse as the reasons for radio commercials in the first place:

The first category – and therefore, presumably, the most important – is Radio Station Self-Promotion: an announcement to promote the station. And the winner is . . . KMPS Radio, for an audio skit about a MasterCard with the KMPS name on it, titled “Dinner With the Petersons.” Best example of a commercial that enhanced the corporate image was “Point of View,” featuring conversations about the Nordstrom philosophy, commissioned by Elgin Syferd and produced by Norman Durkee Productions.
“Ringing,” a commercial primarily to encourage immediate in-store traffic for Cellular One, was produced at MacDonald Recording. A public-service announcement for the Northwest Burn Foundation, produced by Studio Recording, was judged best in that category. A series of commercials that “reinforce a common theme” won for Alaska Airlines. They were produced by Bert, Barz & Kirby, using the voices of national talents Jack Burns, Jack Riley, Jim Kirby, Jesse White, Shelley Berman and Tom Poston.
The best commercial presented primarily with music was “Hoop It Up,” for the Seattle SuperSonics. It used the voices of the local a capella group The Main Attraction, with production by KJR. The best commercial relying primarily on the talent of the announcer was a radio spot for The Seattle Times, in which TV personality Mike Neun tells us it’s “perfect.” It was produced by Steve Lawson Productions. The talent of the copywriter was honored in the Alaska Airlines commercial “Mexico-Henderson,” produced by Bert, Barz and Kirby and featuring the work of copywriter Jim Copacino.
In the humor category, Griffiths, Gibson and Ramsay produced “Clunk” for Puget Power. In a special category, “Best Spot That Never Made it On the Air,” five finalists were presented – examples of commercials gone kinky. Those at the Sheraton Hotel banquet loved them all, even though the client “just said no!” Selected as best – one that you obviously never heard – was Chelsea Audio’s commercial using music by the Beatles, produced at MacDonald Recording.

Prairie hits the road

The next Garrison Keillor special, staged in February at Carnegie Hall in New York City, will air at 9 p.m. April 30 on KUOW, 94.9 mHz., and the Disney Channel. The three-hour broadcast will include commercials for Powdermilk Biscuits and a new Lake Wobegon monologue. Keillor’s third goodbye, “A Prairie Home Companion: The Third Annual Farewell Tour,” will be broadcast from Los Angeles at 7 p.m. June 9. That stage event will then tour 13 cities (not including Seattle).

Twisting the dial

The Metropolitan Opera broadcast season concludes April 29 with Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore,” at 9:30 a.m. on KING-FM, 98.1 mHz. .

. . Kaaren Hall, from Phoenix, is midday personality at KZOK . . . Tim Edwards, production director at KMPS, has moved to the same job at KJR . . . Bob Reece is new weekend announcer at KJR . . . Bob Blackburn Jr., formerly at KVI, is working a weekend shift at KISS, Los Angeles.

Author: Victor Stredicke

Former radio columnist for the Seattle Times (1964-1989). --- View other articles by Victor Stredicke

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