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My Radio Reel

Here’s a collection of some of my favorite executions in my favorite medium, radio.

JUST ADDED: Just found this old spot I did at The Martin Agency in 1985. (Yes, radio had just been invented then, very funny.)

This next one “Crickets,” is for Dunwoody, a technical school in Minneapolis that trains young people in the trades; training that will actually land them a job. It was fun working with the sound engineer to create the trill of the cricket’s voices.


The next one down is for Norwegian Cruise Line. They wanted to tell folks that NCL docked longer at the Hawaiian Islands, giving customers more time to play.


A demonstration spot for the political coverage of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.


Another spot for Dunwoody.


National radio spot for Miller Lite beer.


Another Miller Lite spot.


This last one uses original music. I’m always telling writers, “Dude, don’t do music” and then I go and do it. Sue me.



Loved the NCL spot. I got into this business because I hated radio ads and knew I could do better.

Nancy Jo Austin

These are really funny, but then, what else would I expect from the owner of the floppy knife?

I like all of them, but the Dunwoody one with the original music and the one about the resume slurry made me laugh. The Miller Lite with the “custom commercial” was great. I liked the voice of the menu system. She sounded so tired!

[…] chocked full of good common sense advice.  Written by Ex-Fallonite Luke Sullivan – I think his work speaks for itself.  If you are not familiar with it – again stop what you are doing and […]


shouldn’t in the personalised Miller commerical one, the singers, sing “bottle” not “can”, cos at the beginning the caller pressed 2 for bottle.. Just saying

Art Halperin

Really like how in the two Miller spots the audience knows exactly where they are in the first two seconds:
“So I’m at this bar…” and “Thank you for dialing Miller Time…” Great casting!


Yo Art. thanks very much, glad you like. and yes, I agree, it helps to quickly establish for a listener your premise or location.


The “Crickets” spot is the very reason why I fell in love with writing radio scripts. This page is like The Met of radio spots; great voice talent, great subtle humor and spectacular writing. Thanks Luke!


Well, that is about the nicest thing anyone’s said all week, dude. Thank you so much. And yes, my fave thing i ever did in 32 years in the biz, the radio for Dunwoody Institute.


You are a god. And one of my favorite books is Hey Whipple, Squeeze This. Being a junior copywriter, we need a little inspiration and your works dares me to write great radio every time a work order is handed to me. Thanks, Luke. You rock. Hope your book becomes available here in the Philippines. Cheers!


You are too too kind. And as for my book in the Phillipines? I’ll mention your email to my publisher.


damn, your audio files seem to be missing. :(


Well, I just checked and it seems to be there and working? Don’t know what to tell you. But thank you for your interest.


am a new kid on the block just started working in advertising a month ago with 140BBDO in cape town south africa and my mentor and chief creative officer gave me a copy of hey whipple this and have been reading it 4 the past 3 days and learning about you and the people you talk about so this is my school… thanks sir (My Lecture) lol……
enjoying the radio spots by the way helping me with a few that am writing


Man, I’ve been to Cape Town, one time, for a shoot for United Airlines. Man, what a beautiful place.


you should come and holiday here… u will be inspired and creatively breathing fresher ideas i’m telling you… many thanks

Kevin Endres

Luke, first off, where are the spots?
I’m looking all over the page. I know I’m old, but I can usually get myself around a web page.
Second, I wish you’d say/do something about working in really, really tough categories. Say healthcare. And doing radio spots for, like, minimally invasive gynecological surgery.
I know Devito has some really nice healthcare work. And Lewis.
Your book is an inspiration, make that irritation, to my students at O’More College of Design. I like it though.


Hey Kevin: Well, something must have happened to my site. Thanks for the heads up. I will get on it.
As for how to do great work in a category not known for it? Sorry, but I can’t think of any creative magic. Fact is,
I dont think the problem is coming up with creative stuff for, say, pharma. The trick is to sell it.
And to sell it you need 1.) a great account and planning team and 2.) to educate the client. It is not a client’s
fault that they don’t get creative. DThey didn’t train in it. They are mostly lawyers and MBA’s.


Hi Luke,
Wanted to bring to your attention the problem like Kevin did. Can’t see any spots linked.
I’m a budding copywriter just starting my career. I’ve read Hey Whippple countless times and usually skim a chapter before every new project.
I have 2 question:
1. Do you have your portfolio published online somewhere comprehensively?

2. Im working on a Radio campaign. I read the chapter on radio last night, I agree about jingles being overused and all. But I just listened to the mercury radio awards archives and they had a lot of winners jingles. I personally dont like jingles at all. Do u think its an easy way out? we need to put a tune into listeners’ head so they keep singing it all day? e.g. dumb ways to die?



Hello Hamza: Thanks for writing.
I happen to hate jingles.
That is a stylistic bias.
But I’m not the only one in the biz to think so.
Also, remember, just because something is in an award show
doesn’t mean it’s great and you should start doing it.

I actually did one jingle, but it was a parody of a jingle.
When I get the radio back up on my site, it’s in the
MY FAVE RADIO CAMPAIGN page, a spot for Dunwoody Technical
Institute titled “Ditch Diggers.”

Rules in advertising can be a helpful start,
but for every rule there is the brilliant exception.

Best regards, Luke


hi luke, last week marked me being one year in the ad industry as a junior copywriter. i’ve read your book over and it really helped me. so i have a few questions –
1) you mentioned about jingles being an ‘almost no-no’ except in exceptions, but here in Nigeria, based on our cultural affinity to music, ‘danceable’ jingles are needed. How do i balance your advice and the reality here?
2) i’ve been looking for an extensive book on writing tv spots especially as regards the different shots used, could you please point me in the right direction?
3) i seem to kinda struggle with ideas alot, and most times, i beat myself up for not coming up with “cannes-worthy” ideas everyday. so how do you come up with your ideas?

Thanks alot, hoping to hear from you.


Wow. After two and a half years in the business and reading your book more than three times, I am finally getting to write to you.
The radio is, what can I say, something that makes me jealous. Wish I could do that. The bill bob tom commercial is hilarious – and so timeless. You did it when radio just squeezed out of the womb it was in. Damn!
I am a writer, or at least I like to think that. I’m ACD with an agency in Mumbai. We do healthcare work. I’m waiting for my break into mainline. You will always be my inspiration Luke. I hope I will get to meet you some day. I will mention then to you that I wrote on your blog that I hope I get to meet you some day. 😀 Cheers!

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