2023 RADIO MERCURY AWARDS CALL FOR ENTRY

 



2023 TIMELINE

  • Monday, January 9: Call for Entry opens.
  • Monday, April 10: Entry Deadline.
  • Early May: Finalists announced.
  • June: 2023 Radio Mercury Awards event live at SONY HALL, New York City.
  • January 1, 2022 – April 10, 2023: Entry eligibility period.

WHAT’S NEW IN 2023?

  • Several new and revised categories this year that offer you more opportunities to win. See individual categories for details.
  • Before the entry deadline, you will have to provide substantiation on whether the work was broadcast or nonbroadcast, and that the work was broadcast, aired or run during the entry eligibility period.
  • If you submit a video case study, you must include two or three broadcast radio commercials from the campaign and place them at the beginning of your entry.

  • New: Local Market Broadcast Radio Commercial: Agency, Production Company or Advertiser
  • Broadcast Radio Commercial: Agency, Production Company or Advertiser (two awards)
  • Broadcast Radio Campaign: Agency, Production Company or Advertiser (two awards)
  • New: Broadcast Radio Commercial or Campaign for Good: Agency, Production Company or Advertiser
  • Broadcast Radio PSA: Agency, Production Company or Advertiser
  • New: Broadcast Radio Commercial or Campaign with Cultural Impact: Agency, Production Company, Advertiser, Radio Station or Group
  • New: Innovation in Broadcast Radio: Agency, Production Company, Advertiser, Radio Station or Group
  • Multi-Platform Campaign with Broadcast Radio: Agency, Production Company, Advertiser, Radio Station or Group
  • New: Short Broadcast Radio Commercial: Agency, Production Company, Advertiser, Radio Station or Group
  • New: Use of Humor in a Broadcast Radio Spot: Agency, Production Company, Advertiser, Radio Station or Group
  • Use of Songs/Music in a Broadcast Radio Spot or Campaign: Agency, Production Company, Advertiser, Radio Station in Group
  • Use of Sound Design in a Broadcast Radio Spot or Campaign: Agency, Production Company, Advertiser, Radio Station or Group
  • New: Local Market Broadcast Radio Commercial: Radio Station or Group
  • New: Use of Personality in a Broadcast Radio Commercial: Radio Station or Group
  • Broadcast Radio Commercial: Radio Station or Group (two awards)
  • Broadcast Radio Campaign: Radio Station or Group (two awards)
  • Broadcast Radio Promotional Spot: Radio Station or Group
  • Broadcast Radio PSA: Radio Station or Group
  • New, Showcase Award: Branded Podcast: Agency, Production Company, Advertiser, Radio Station or Group
  • Showcase Award: Student-Produced Radio Commercial

 

CLICK ON THE SELECTIONS BELOW TO GET MORE INFORMATION


  • Agency/Production Company/Advertiser:
    • $150 for single/noncampaign entries.
    • $300 for campaign entries.
  • Radio Station or Group:
    • $100 for single/noncampaign entries.
    • $240 for campaign entries.
  • Student: No charge.

Read through the categories and their individual guidelines to find the best matches for your work.

Have the following information ready before you begin the entry process. Note: You can start your entry online and finish adding elements before the entry deadline.

  • Complete credits, including the people who produced the entry, e.g., writer(s), producer(s), talent and production company. We will use these credits if your entry becomes a finalist, so make sure the credits are complete and accurate before you finalize your entry.
  • Important: In order to finalize your work and before the entry deadline, you will have to provide substantiation on whether the work was broadcast or nonbroadcast, and that the work was broadcast, aired or ran during the entry eligibility period. This substantiation could be a Proof of Air/Traffic Log from a radio station, an invoice from a radio station or a written and scanned letter from the media buying agency with dates. You must upload this paperwork by our entry deadline.
  • The actual audio/video file for your entry.
  • A written description of the work and how you feel it successfully used radio and or audio to drive the main message. Note: Do not include your agency/company/station name or names of creative team in the description, as all work is judged anonymously.
  • Payment information, e.g., credit card number.

  • You can submit entries in any language.
    • You can enter non-English language work in any category.
    • Non-English language entries should be originally produced in that language, and the final produced work should be predominantly in that language.
    • You will need to submit a side-by-side translation of the work included in the entry, and for any printed or visual copy that is in not in English.
  • Definition of broadcast and nonbroadcast entries:
    • Broadcast: For the purposes of the Radio Mercury Awards, “broadcast radio” means U.S.-licensed AM and FM radio stations owned and operated by U.S. radio stations and groups, along with any digital radio stations owned and operated by the stations and groups. The work ran on-air on a U.S.-licensed radio station(s). The work can also have run entirely digitally on a U.S.-licensed radio station or be a combination of on-air and digital on a U.S.-licensed radio station(s).
    • Nonbroadcast: For the purposes of the Radio Mercury Awards, “Nonbroadcast” audio means digital-only streaming services, e.g., Spotify and Pandora; satellite-only services, e.g., Sirius XM; CB, Ham and amateur radio stations.
    • Some categories are open to nonbroadcast audio entries, e.g., Branded Podcast and Multi-Platform Campaign with Broadcast Audio.
    • Note: If you produced a commercial or campaign that ran both on broadcast radio and  nonbroadcast channels, you can enter the work in an eligible commercial or campaign category as long as the work ran on a broadcast radio station(s) in conjunction with the nonbroadcast channels. At the time of entry, you will be required to submit appropriate paperwork attesting that the work ran on a broadcast radio station(s), as defined above.
  • Definition of who can enter:
    • Agency, advertiser, or production company submissions: Work that was produced by an agency, advertiser or production company.
    • Radio station or group submissions: Work that was produced by a radio station, group, or a radio station or group’s production/creative services department.
    • Student submissions: Work that was created by a student or group of students at a U.S. accredited college, university, college-level radio station or trade/specialty school.
  • Entries that do not comply will be returned, and you will be asked to resubmit them in the correct format and/or length.

Eligibility period:

  • Broadcast entries that aired on a commercial radio station or the station’s/group’s website/digital stream between January 1, 2022, and April 10, 2023, initially and primarily in the U.S. and its territories.
  • Nonbroadcast entries that aired digitally, were released, or transmitted between January 1, 2022, and April 10, 2023, initially and primarily in the U.S. and its territories.

Entry version to submit:

  • Submit entries in their original release version, with this exception: For certain categories, we may request that you submit an excerpt. We may return an entry and ask you to resubmit it if it exceeds the guidelines noted in a category.
  • Audio entries: MP3 or WAV format - 256 kbps minimum 44100 hz stereo - no slate. Non-Audio Entries: One .mov or .mp4 file, 1280 x 720 Resolution, H.264 video codec.
  • Video case studies: If you submit a video case study, you must include two or three broadcast radio commercials from the campaign and place them at the beginning of your entry. Case studies that do not meet these criteria will be returned, and you will be asked to resubmit your case study to comply with our guidelines.
  • If your entry does not comply with our guidelines, we will return the entry, and we will ask you to resubmit it to conform with our guidelines.

Judges will evaluate a single broadcast commercial/spot on its overall creative excellence in delivering the main message.

  • Judges will evaluate a broadcast radio campaign on the overall creative excellence of all the spots in delivering the main message.
  • Judges will evaluate nonbroadcast audio, podcasts, use of humor, innovative use of broadcast radio, use of sound design and use of songs/music on the overall creative excellence of the work in delivering the main message.
  • Judges will evaluate multi-platform campaigns on the overall creative excellence of the work in delivering the main message, along with the integration of broadcast radio as an essential component of the campaign.
  • Please refer to individual categories for specific judging guidelines.
  • Awards and Best of Show:
    • The final round jury have the discretion to award a Best of Show, along with a trophy and $10,000 prize. All other winners will receive a trophy and $1,000 prize.
    • In accordance with the original mission of the Radio Mercury Awards to encourage and reward the development of effective and creative broadcast radio commercials, only entries that include broadcast radio as an integral component of the work are eligible to compete for the Best of Show award.
    • Entries that include other elements, e.g., podcasts, TV and/or digital, are eligible to compete for the Best of Show award, as long as broadcast radio is an integral part of the overall submitted work.
    • For 2023 there are two showcase categories. Showcase category entrants are not eligible to compete for the Best of Show. The winners in these two categories will receive a Radio Mercury Awards trophy and prize monies.
    • Final round judges have the discretion to split an award among two winners.
    • Entrants will have the opportunity to win awards in multiple categories. However, a winner can only win one award in a multi-award category, e.g., one broadcast radio campaign award, one broadcast radio commercial award.

 

ENTRY CATEGORIES

NEW: LOCAL MARKET BROADCAST RADIO COMMERCIAL: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY OR ADVERTISER: Broadcast radio commercial created and produced by a local advertising agency or local in-house advertiser team for a local advertiser that creatively communicates the advertiser’s services and value.

BROADCAST RADIO COMMERCIAL: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY OR ADVERTISER: Broadcast radio commercial that creatively communicates an advertiser’s services and value.

BROADCAST RADIO CAMPAIGN: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY OR ADVERTISER: Broadcast radio campaign that creatively communicates an advertiser’s services and value. Submit two or three commercials from the campaign, without slates, and with no more than two seconds between spots.

NEW: BROADCAST RADIO COMMERCIAL OR CAMPAIGN FOR GOOD: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY OR ADVERTISER: Broadcast radio commercial or campaign created for an advertiser or organization that brings awareness of relevant social issues, e.g., poverty, justice, gender equality, health and well-being, the environment, clean water and sanitation. For campaigns, submit two or three commercials from the campaign, without slates, and with no more than two seconds between spots. (Note: The U.N. 17 Sustainable Development Goals offer an overview of relevant issues: https://sdgs.un.org/goals#goals for specific examples.)

BROADCAST RADIO PSA: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY OR ADVERTISER: Broadcast radio PSA for an organization or cause-related effort with a clear call to action message that engages an audience through education, factual information and/or guidance on relevant public and social interest issues.

NEW, SHOWCASE CATGORY: BRANDED PODCAST: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, ADVERTISER, RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Branded podcast episode created by an agency, production company, radio station or group and produced for, or in partnership with, an advertiser or nonprofit organization. The work should successfully and creatively integrate the advertiser’s services and value, or the nonprofit’s mission, within the podcast. Submit an excerpt from the episode, or highlights of the episode, at a minimum of three minutes to maximum of five minutes. You may include a link to a full podcast episode of the work in the section where you submit a description of the work. You may enter individual episodes as separate entries. Note: This category is not eligible to compete for the Best of Show.

BROADCAST RADIO COMMERCIAL OR CAMPAIGN WITH CULTURAL IMPACT: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, ADVERTISER, RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio commercial or campaign that authentically conveys an advertiser’s services and value to a niche or specific segment of the population, e.g., Hispanic teenagers, people with disabilities, African American mothers, senior citizens, LGBTQ+ consumers. The commercial or campaign should authentically portray the values, cultures and/or lifestyle of the audience and include voices and language that accurately reflect that audience. Submit two or three commercials from a campaign, without slates, and with no more than two seconds between spots.

NEW: INNOVATION IN BROADCAST RADIO: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, ADVERTISER, RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio commercial or spot for an advertiser or nonprofit organization that utilizes broadcast radio in an innovative way to creatively communicate the advertiser’s or organization’s services and value. The work may be a broadcast radio commercial, or it may be a PSA. Eligible examples of innovative work include 3D audio productions, use of broadcast radio with visual and/or digital components, or use of sound effects and soundscapes.

MULTI-PLATFORM CAMPAIGN WITH BROADCAST RADIO: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, ADVERTISER, RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Multi-platform campaign, in which broadcast radio is an essential and driving media of the campaign, that creatively communicates an advertiser’s services and value. Additional media channels can include nonbroadcast audio spots, social media, podcasts, branded content and experiential display. The campaign should deliver a consistent brand message across all the channels. The broadcast radio component should be able to stand on its own as a campaign.

Entry requirements:

  • Include two or three broadcast radio commercials from the campaign and position the broadcast radio commercials at the beginning of your entry.
  • Submit the commercials, without slates, and with no more than two seconds between spots.
  • You can include a link to additional media used within the campaign in the section where you submit a description of the work.
  • Case studies: If you submit a video case study, you must include two or three broadcast radio commercials from the campaign and place them at the beginning of your entry. Case studies that do not meet these criteria will be returned, and you will be asked to resubmit your case study to comply with our guidelines.

NEW: SHORT BROADCAST RADIO COMMERCIAL: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, ADVERTISER, RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio commercial that runs under 30 seconds, including disclaimers, that creatively communicates an advertiser’s services and value.

NEW: USE OF HUMOR IN A BROADCAST RADIO SPOT: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, ADVERTISER, RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio commercial or PSA that utilizes humor as a featured element to creatively communicate an advertiser’s or organization’s main message. Humor can be featured in one or more elements of the spot, e.g., the script, voice talent, sound effects or music.

USE OF SONGS/MUSIC IN A BROADCAST RADIO SPOT OR CAMPAIGN: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, ADVERTISER, RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio commercial, PSA or campaign where song(s) or musical compositions are a featured element, that creatively communicates an advertiser’s or organization’s main message. Eligible entry examples include jingles, sonic branding, a song or a musical composition with or without lyrics. Songs or musical compositions can be original works, or they can be repurposed or rearranged through new lyrics and/or performances including vocals or style, e.g., a classical composition arranged in electronic dance style. Submit two or three commercials from a campaign, without slates, and with no more than two seconds between spots.

USE OF SOUND DESIGN IN A BROADCAST RADIO SPOT OR CAMPAIGN: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, ADVERTISER, RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio commercial, PSA or campaign where sound design is a featured element, that creatively communicates an advertiser’s or organization’s main message. Eligible entry examples include the use of sound effects, foley, live performances or remote recording, sonic branding, soundscapes and editing of previously composed or recorded audio. Submit two or three commercials from a campaign, without slates, and with no more than two seconds between spots.

NEW: LOCAL MARKET BROADCAST RADIO COMMERCIAL: RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio commercial created and produced by a local, in-house station team for a local advertiser that creatively communicates the advertiser’s services and values.

NEW: USE OF PERSONALITY IN A BROADCAST RADIO COMMERCIAL: RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio commercial that uses the voice of an over-the-air (OTA) personality(ies) to communicate the value of an advertiser’s products and/or services authentically and creatively. The commercial was created in partnership between a local or national radio station/group and an advertising agency, production company and/or an advertiser.

  • The entry will be judged on the impact of the personality(ies) to accurately – and creatively  - communicate the value of an advertiser’s products and/or services.
  • Two awards will be given to the winning commercial: One to the personality(ies) and the radio station/group and a second award to the advertiser and their agency or production company.
  • Examples of eligible work include:
    • Personality(ies) who describes an advertisers’ products and/or services.
    • Personality(ies) who used an advertiser’s products and/or services and speaks from personal experience, e.g., staying at an advertiser’s property, eating at an advertiser’s restaurant, test-driving a vehicle or signing up for a delivery or subscription service.*
    • The broadcast radio commercial can be produced or a live-read.
    *The personality(ies) may have received complimentary goods or services and may have been compensated by an advertiser in return for their honest opinion.

BROADCAST RADIO COMMERCIAL: RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio commercial, created and produced by an in-house team or a station or group’s production/creative services department, for an advertiser that creatively communicates the advertiser’s services and value.

BROADCAST RADIO CAMPAIGN: RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Radio campaign, created and produced by an in-house team or a station or group’s production/creative services department, for an advertiser that creatively communicates the advertiser’s services and value. Submit two or three commercials from the campaign, without slates, and with no more than two seconds between spots.

BROADCAST RADIO PROMOTIONAL SPOT: RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio spot that promotes a station or group’s programming, talent, special events, anniversary or historical moments, promotional drives or contests. Work can be recorded or a live read. The work can be for the station or group or in partnership with an advertiser or organization. Note: The original broadcast spot should not be more than two minutes in length.

BROADCAST RADIO PSA: RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio PSA for a nonprofit organization or cause-related effort with a clear call to action message that engages an audience through education, factual information and/or guidance on relevant public and social interest issues. The PSA can be created by the station or group on its own, or on behalf of or in partnership with a nonprofit organization.

NEW, SHOWCASE CATGORY: BRANDED PODCAST: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, ADVERTISER, RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Branded podcast episode created by an agency, production company, radio station or group and produced for, or in partnership with, an advertiser or nonprofit organization. The work should successfully and creatively integrate the advertiser’s services and value, or the nonprofit’s mission, within the podcast. Submit an excerpt from the episode, or highlights of the episode, at a minimum of three minutes to maximum of five minutes. You may include a link to a full podcast episode of the work in the section where you submit a description of the work. You may enter individual episodes as separate entries. Note: This category is not eligible to compete for the Best of Show.

BROADCAST RADIO COMMERCIAL OR CAMPAIGN WITH CULTURAL IMPACT: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, ADVERTISER, RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio commercial or campaign that authentically conveys an advertiser’s services and value to a niche or specific segment of the population, e.g., Hispanic teenagers, people with disabilities, African American mothers, senior citizens, LGBTQ+ consumers. The commercial or campaign should authentically portray the values, cultures and/or lifestyle of the audience and include voices and language that accurately reflect that audience. Submit two or three commercials from a campaign, without slates, and with no more than two seconds between spots.

NEW: INNOVATION IN BROADCAST RADIO: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, ADVERTISER, RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio commercial or spot for an advertiser or nonprofit organization that utilizes broadcast radio in an innovative way to creatively communicate the advertiser’s or organization’s services and value. The work may be a broadcast radio commercial, or it may be a PSA. Eligible examples of innovative work include 3D audio productions, use of broadcast radio with visual and/or digital components, or use of sound effects and soundscapes.

MULTI-PLATFORM CAMPAIGN WITH BROADCAST RADIO: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, ADVERTISER, RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Multi-platform campaign, in which broadcast radio is an essential and driving media of the campaign, that creatively communicates an advertiser’s services and value. Additional media channels can include nonbroadcast audio spots, social media, podcasts, branded content and experiential display. The campaign should deliver a consistent brand message across all the channels. The broadcast radio component should be able to stand on its own as a campaign.

Entry requirements:

  • Include two or three broadcast radio commercials from the campaign and position the broadcast radio commercials at the beginning of your entry.
  • Submit the commercials, without slates, and with no more than two seconds between spots.
  • You can include a link to additional media used within the campaign in the section where you submit a description of the work.
  • Case studies: If you submit a video case study, you must include two or three broadcast radio commercials from the campaign and place them at the beginning of your entry. Case studies that do not meet these criteria will be returned, and you will be asked to resubmit your case study to comply with our guidelines.

NEW: SHORT BROADCAST RADIO COMMERCIAL: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, ADVERTISER, RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio commercial that runs under 30 seconds, including disclaimers, that creatively communicates an advertiser’s services and value.

NEW: USE OF HUMOR IN A BROADCAST RADIO SPOT: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, ADVERTISER, RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio commercial or PSA that utilizes humor as a featured element to creatively communication an advertiser’s or organization’s main message. Humor can be featured in one or more elements of the spot, e.g., the script, voice talent, sound effects or music.

USE OF SONGS/MUSIC IN A BROADCAST RADIO SPOT OR CAMPAIGN: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, ADVERTISER, RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio commercial, PSA or campaign where song(s) or musical compositions are a featured element, that creatively communicates an advertiser’s or organization’s main message. Eligible entry examples include jingles, sonic branding, a song or a musical composition with or without lyrics. Songs or musical compositions can be original works, or they can be repurposed or rearranged through new lyrics and/or performances including vocals or style, e.g., a classical composition arranged in electronic dance style. Submit two or three commercials from a campaign, without slates, and with no more than two seconds between spots.

USE OF SOUND DESIGN IN A BROADCAST RADIO SPOT OR CAMPAIGN: AGENCY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, ADVERTISER, RADIO STATION OR GROUP: Broadcast radio commercial, PSA or campaign where sound design is a featured element, that creatively communicates an advertiser’s or organization’s main message. Eligible entry examples include the use of sound effects, foley, live performances or remote recording, sonic branding, soundscapes and editing of previously composed or recorded audio. Submit two or three commercials from a campaign, without slates, and with no more than two seconds between spots.

SHOWCASE CATEGORY: STUDENT-PRODUCED RADIO COMMERCIAL: Student or a team of students will produce a radio commercial from a brief for a real advertiser/brand. Note: This category is not eligible to compete for the Best of Show.