Because it’s time once again for the annual Hersky Awards. And nobody here is going to wear a black dress. Only shorts, a tee shirt and flip-flops. And no legal team is here to mix up the envelopes. Only one list to be handled by the entire awards committee. (See byline above.)
These are the 11th Annual Hersky Awards to honor the very best in talk radio sales and advertising.
Please keep in mind there are strict judgment rules which may vary from year to year depending upon the whim of the awards committee. And who’s on the committee? Just one person. (Again see name above.) And no plaques, statuettes, globes or any other kinds of gaudy, weird memorabilia will be presented to the winners. Just acknowledgement from the entire awards committee. (Once again name above.)
There is only one fundamental rule. The awards are confined strictly to national entities and national concepts. While there are many worthy local candidates, it is physically impossible for the committee to review and judge them. Now, the envelopes please!
The first Hersky goes to the national talk show host who presents live commercials in an outstanding manner. This year’s winner, surprisingly, is from the sports talk arena. It’s Dan Patrick, who currently hosts a nationally syndicated, daily sports/talk show. Patrick has a smooth but enthusiastic delivery and is able to glide into a live commercial in the same manner with the same sincerity that he displays when discussing activity in the world of sports.
This next Hersky goes to the nationally syndicated talk show host who does local commercials on behalf of his/her affiliates. The award winner this year is Sean Hannity. In my listening area, Sean can be heard doing a commercial for a regional financial advisory company. Not only does the sponsor get the benefit of the nationally known host to present his story, but listeners get the sense that the national host is part of their community.
The top produced commercial of the year prize goes to Motel 6. Yes, the same Motel 6 who has been using radio since the ‘90s with the same announcer, Tom Bodett, voicing the spot, with the same background music and the same line closing the announcement – “and we’ll leave the light on for you!”
Singing commercials or jingles have pretty much disappeared from the airways. There still are many with a single closing line or a vocally sung identifier. But one advertiser has found the way to make its presentation strictly musically, probably because it is a tough one to talk about. That one is Charmin. And they are singing effectively about toilet paper. So this year the Hersky goes to Charmin.
No annual awards ceremony would be complete without at least one Nosey. Noseys are awards which want to make you hold your fingers to your nose.
This honor (?) goes to the numerous stations that air 90-second breaks which include the weather forecast or traffic report plus the commercial with an open and close for the feature. It’s tough enough to do all of this in 90 seconds if the weather is fine or the traffic is normal. But if there is one storm brewing or a highway car crash, then it becomes a maniacal, verbal race to get it all in. Nothing is intelligible. Why an advertiser would want to pay for this is a mystery.
But this is just a minor bump in the road. It has been an outstanding year for the fine presentation of commercials using talk radio. So, keep it up, gang!
Al Herskovitz is president of H&H Communications and a TALKERS marketing consultant. He can be emailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org.