BRADENTON, Fla. — There is no simpering, third-rate actor in a silver tuxedo making an ill-informed political statement on the red carpet. There is no cutesy starlet in a besequined gown cut down to her pupick sashaying on the red carpet. In fact, there is no red carpet.
This is not the Emmys, the Oscars, the Clios, the Obies, the Tonys and all those other minor award ceremonies that have, at long last, been swept out of the way to make way for the most important presentation of the year – The Hersky Awards….The Eighth Annual Hersky Awards – honoring achievement in the field of talk radio advertising and sales.
How are the Hersky winners selected? Just a few simple rules. No gold statuette, naked or semi-clothed. No fashion parade. No accounting team to guard the secrecy of the winners. The honors are confined to national entities, since reviewing every talk show in the country is a physical impossibility. The decision of the judges is final. And there is only one judge. (See byline above.)
In all honesty, this was a terrific year for national commercials. There were many deserving ones, many good presentations. Difficult decisions had to be made. But may I have the envelopes please!
The first award goes to the national host doing a local commercial. And it goes to Michael Medved doing a spot for an area mattress store. Medved read it as if he knew the store owner and could vouch for the mattresses. National hosts doing local spots go beyond just reading the commercial. They aid in welding the host to the listening area.
Singing commercials or jingles appear to be making a comeback…some full songs; some just as tag lines. But one that has been on the air for several years both in full form and as a tag topped them all this past year. A real Hersky winner – “Mr. Sparky,” a singing commercial for a franchised electrical repair company with a catchy melody and clever lyrics that tell the sales story well enough to stand by itself or be excerpted to make room for a narrative pitch.
This next honor was difficult to make. The best host doing live commercials. Most top hosts do them well. But this year’s prize goes to Glenn Beck. Glenn has a way of integrating commercials into the flow of his program so that you are not conscious of the pitch until he’s well into the message. He has a unique skill at smoothly transitioning from show content to commercial.
And the Hersky for commercial of the year goes to Life Lock Ultimate Plus. The reasons: It is a service that addresses a worrisome national problem – identity theft. It makes no promise that it cannot fulfill. In fact there is a line in it that underscores its honesty that says, “Not all transactions are covered.” And in most cases the commercial is delivered “live” by the talk show host.
No annual awards ceremony would be complete without one Nosey Award. Noseys are awards that want to make you hold your fingers to your nose. This year it is for a category of commercials that hedge their language. It’s a general grouping that uses phrases such as “should reduce your pain….,” “might remove all of the stain….,” “up to 80% of….”
Fortunately this has been a great year for quality commercials and presentations, hence, great Hersky Awards. Let’s hope that this current year keeps up the high standards.
Al Herskovitz is president of H&H Communications and a TALKERS marketing consultant. He can be emailed at: email@example.com.