ORCA 2020 winners on harnessing the creativity of radio

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ORCA 2020 winners on harnessing the creativity of radio

This year’s Outstanding Radio Creative Awards were a little different to normal. The country (and subsequently Auckland) was thrown into lock down shortly before the first awards date and then also the reschedule. Ultimately, The Radio Bureau crowned its winners online.


However, what wasn’t different this year was the standard of incredible advertising that entered the earphones of the judges – nor the talent of the two winning teams, who TRB caught up with over lunch this week.

Tim Thach and Brooke Wiley from Stanley St won the 2020 Grand ORCA for their Rebel Sport campaign ‘Find Your Rhythm’, featuring clever sound effects and theatre of the mind that almost didn’t transpire.

Says Thach and Wiley” “We originally had voiceover throughout, but realised that the spot was much stronger without it. The sound effects of the sports equipment and the “Only at Rebel Sport” said it all.”


The Media Design School graduates reinforced their enthusiasm for audio creative, saying: “Radio resonates with people in ways no other medium can. As a platform, it gives us the freedom to come up with an idea and execute however we like. We’re not bound by tight budgets. It’s a place we can really have fun and do what we want, and in this day in age that’s really hard to come by.”

This sentiment is shared by two time People’s Choice Award winners (and 2019 Grand ORCA winners) David Shirley and Melina Fiolitakis from FCB.

Says Shirley and Fiolitakis: “It’s such a great story-telling platform. You can be incredibly simple and understated in what you say, or you can take people on an epic journey, fuelled by their own imagination. No other medium has that power – you get to build a stage in your audience’s mind and get them to help you fill it.”

In terms of top tips for 2021 entrants, Thach and Wiley say you need to back yourself: “We almost didn’t enter and left it to the very last minute – literally. So our advice would be, if you have an idea you believe in, just enter it.”

For Shirley and Fiolitakis it’s all about originality: “Quite simply… don’t follow anyone else. You so often hear ads that feel like they’ve been inspired in style or content by classic campaigns. Find your own voice and use the medium in a way that engages and entertains the audience.”


Stay tuned for more about the 2021 competition – entries are slated to open in January.