This page is aimed at people who’ve just read my essay “Another 4 minutes of non-stop commercials” in the 2013 Emerging Writer’s book.
(Don’t have the 2013 EWF book? View an online preview here. It’s packed with practical and inspiring articles for old or new writers. And no I don’t get a commission.)
Who is this guy, anyway?
Sure, that’s a reasonable question. I studied at the Swinburne Commercial Radio School in 1995. I learnt a lot – it covered all areas of radio, and this helped me decide that writing was ‘my thing’. As I mentioned in my EWF 2013 article, this course was sadly discontinued in 2012. Unfortunately there’s no ‘happy ending’ to report; the funding was not reinstated.
Following the course, I worked at a few small radio stations, then in Newcastle… writing commercials for the two leading FM stations in town. I’ve learnt how to use grammar, pace and tone to keep the reader’s attention. To edit writing down to the absolute essentials. One of the highlights of the last 10+ years was winning a national competition, with a 2 minute ad convincing Aussies to drink less beer – voiced by Mick Molloy!
I started freelancing in 2008. I’ll never forget the buzz of seeing my first piece in print – in the UK’s Retro Gamer magazine! Since then I’ve written for Crikey.com.au, SMH.com.au’s ScreenPlay, Wired UK’s Geekdad, Huggies.com.au and My Child magazine (Australia). Here are my article clippings. I’ve also run the indie/retrogaming blog JustOneMoreGame, and got linked from sites including Guardian.co.uk, Boing Boing and Slashdot.
In late 2011 I undertook the Australian Writers Centre’s “Writing for Magazines and Newspapers” course; I absolutely recommend it! And more recently I’ve been working on more writing projects, including this website, and a non-fiction novel.
So, what about this bonus content, then?
OK, here we go.
I’ll be adding more every month, so don’t forget to pop back now and then.
Branding commercials mentioned in the article:
- Carlton Draught’s “Big Ad” – Youtube / Wikipedia
- Vegemite “Happy Little Vegemites” – Youtube / Wikipedia
Here’s a couple of my ads mentioned in the Emerging Writer article:
- Thought: What if everything else in the world was slower?
- Yep, it’s that vasectomy ad.
Here’s some of my other ads that might illustrate some principles:
- Demonstrate what happens if you don’t act: Orange juice is good for you (boring) But what if I googled all the bad things that soft drinks and flavoured milk contain?
- Clients sometimes want to say “mention this ad, get 10% off” – but listeners feel cheap, so they don’t do it. Problem. Here’s my creative solution for one client.
- Radio is great for emotions and tough subjects…
Finally, here’s a few all-time classic radio commercials that I wish I’d written.
- A brilliant series of Australian 60sec radio ads…
- There must be 100 or more Bud Light Presents radio ads. Every one is incredible.
- This ad was made in the early 1980s and it’s still hilarious.
[Please note: all ads above are presented only for the purpose of criticism and review. Copyright for some works lies with their respective owners.]
Useful links mentioned in the article:
Learning about radio
Listening to great ads
- RAB.co.uk – Aerial awards
- SirenAwards.com.au / radio ad archive
- Cannes Radio Lions / 5 years of international winners
Get a job!
- NewMedia.com.au (radio jobs)
- RadioInfo.com.au (radio jobs)
- TheLoop.com.au (radio jobs along with other creative industries)
Other sites I couldn’t write without:
- Rhymezone.com [When you need something to rhyme]
Useful Files [coming soon]
- Here’s a copy of the ‘sternly worded poster’ from my office door. Avoid the ‘dirty dozen’ and your advertising copy will be 274% better.
- Here’s the radio advertising brief I’ve created and use every day.
- Here are some MS Word macros I’ve created to speed up the ‘writing’ and leave more time for ‘creating’
…and ‘other cool stuff’… to come.