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Ideas and technique to help you promote and image radio

The $27,000 live read


A chemist in Australia paid $27,000 for an advert voiced by the local talk stations flagship Breakfast Show presenter  – who’s never voiced a client ad in his broadcasting career.

The 3AW talk station based in Melbourne, Australia ran an on air auction for a local business to receive a presenter voiced read ad which scored $27,000 (approx £18k) after the talk show host promised to never do a live read. The money was part of their Good Friday appeal raising money for a local hospice.

Whilst this created some good local PR and money for charity – it actually sounded quite fun on air and brought the power of the presenter read ad to life. Take a listen to this YouTube clip.

The presenter, Neil Mitchel added this quote to the cause:

I have made a decision. My soul is for sale. In 25 years on radio, I have never read an advertisement. I have had intense pressure from management at various times, and I refuse to read ads because I have believed they have the potential to undermine my journalistic credibility.

If I am copping money from Qantas, for example, and they end up at war with the federal government, can I really be independent in my comments?

That has been my decision, until now.

I want to sell myself here and now. And what’s more, I will throw in as a bonus (I sound like a salesman already) one of the most powerful men in Victoria who will help me do the ad. We will read it together; a double act.

That man is the Premier, Denis Napthine. He has agreed.

So, if you would like to buy me and the Premier doing your ad campaign, give me a call.

But, you have to pay. You have to pay a lot of money.

I hope, for the kids, for the Royal Children’s Hospital, the auction begins here and now. Money to the Good Friday Appeal.

We have been throwing around for a new idea to raise money and this is it. It may even become an annual event.

I want to hear from businesses who would like Premier Denis Napthine and me to do their ad.

He has agreed, now here is the deal. You bid.

The winning bidder pays that money to the Good Friday Appeal, and tomorrow when he comes in to see me at the Appeal centre, Denis Napthine and I will make the ad.

3AW will write the script and we’ll get the sound effects and put together the ad. The ad will be recorded live-to-air at around 10.30am tomorrow, with the Premier. Then we will replay it later in the morning.

So you get your business, your product, sold by two people who never sell anything – well, not products.