The Radio Mercury Awards, hosted by the New York-based Radio Advertising Bureau and now seeking entries, has named Chicago adman Mark Gross, partner / CD in Highdive Advertising as its 2017 Chief Judge.
Since its start in 1992, nearly 18,000 commercials have vied for Radio Mercury’s $3.2 million-plus in prizes. This year’s contenders will compete for up to $84,500 in cash prizes, including the $50,000 Best of Show prize.
“The Mercury Awards have always been the gold standard for outstanding radio,” says Gross, known for his work on the iconic Bud Light “Real Men of Genius” campaign.
“When radio writers look for inspiration they go to the Mercury Awards website first.”
To achieve the goal of attracting record numbers of submissions, Gross and his compadres teamed with Cutters Studios to produce a 1:49-minute video, “On Radio Anything is Possible.”
Co-written by radio guru Gross and Highdive partner / CD Chad Broude and DDB’s long-time CD Bart Culberson (Gross and Broude are DDB alums), the video stars Christopher Jones as the spokesman and Betty Owens as his beloved grandmother, humorously and wildly demonstrating why radio remains one of the world’s most powerful storytelling mediums.
Cutters’ Studios handled the production: Brian Broeckelman of Dictionary Films directed. Cutters’ Tom Brassil edited and Heather Richardson produced. Another Country’s John Binder and Peter Erazmus did the sound design and mixing.
Additional credits go to Highdive’s account management head Aly Withey and Asche & Spencer for music composition.
“I truly believe creatives have more freedom in radio than anywhere else,” says Gross, who has considerable authority on the subject. He has won numerous top-tier awards for radio, including three Best in Show Radio Mercury Awards, two Cannes Radio Grand Prix Lions, and a Radio Grand Clio.
Gross also served as president of the inaugural Cannes Radio Jury, and president of the Clio Radio Jury.
Broude also has won extensive global accolades, including several Radio Mercury Awards. He provided even more validation for radio’s importance in 2017.
“Even with digital spending leading the media landscape, radio spend is up every year,” says Chad Broude, possessor of extensive global accolades. “According to various research studies, radio ads are still one of the most effective forms of communication, especially when it comes to purchase influence.”
The site displays the video and submission information. Deadline is April 3, finalists announced in early May and winners celebrated the 2017 Radio Mercury Awards event in New York in June.