Former Current Editors Walt Jaschek and Paul Fey Become a Story In Themselves

Press Coverage, Radio Commercials, Walt a Life

 

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Former Current Editors Inducted Into St. Louis Media Hall of Fame

Walt Jaschek served as editor-in-chief of The Current, the campus newspaper of the University of St. Louis, in 1974-1975. Staffer and Walt’s new pal Paul Fey was editor in 1975-1976. Years after graduation, the two went on to form Paul & Walt Worldwide, an ad agency specializing in funny radio commercials for national entertainment brands. For this body of creative work, among others, they were recently inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame. And to bring it back home, their former creative meeting ground, The Current, ran a pretty funny article about the whole thing. Read the piece by Kat Riddler here.

The circle of life. It’s a thing!

Funny Radio Commercials: Making Radio Advertising Listenable, Enjoyable

Collaborators, Concepting and Copywriting, Funny Stuff, Radio Commercials

Funny radio commercials? Are they still a thing? Yes, funny radio commercials are still a thing. We specialize in ’em, and advertisers (and audiences) treasure ’em: listeners still love to laugh their ads off. (As it says on this t-shirt by Walt.)

Funny radio commercials provide an attention-getting break from the boring radio norm (radio today: zzzzzzzzzzz). Truly funny radio commercials also provide a memorable, positive, and thus loyalty-building listener experience. 

Please turn your volume up for these award-winning funny radio commercials, written or co-written by Walt Jaschek, and produced by Paul Fey, many from the heady days we were known as Paul & Walt Worldwide. 

“Robert Goulet” | :60 funny radio commercial for The Simpsons
$20,000 Mercury Award for Radio Humor

“Mission Persons” | :60 funny radio commercial for Matlock
Clio Award for “Best Radio Copywriting”


“Laugh Catalog” | :60 funny radio commerical for George Schlatter’s Comedy Club
Clio Award for “Best Use of Sound”


“Viva La Volvo” | :60 funny radio commercial for Volvo
National Addy Award winner


“Put Your Tongue on the Radio” | :60 funny radio commercial for Gene Simmons Family Jewels
Promax Muse Award for radio


“The Ballad of Judge Wapner” | :60 funny radio commercial for The People’s Court
Promax Muse Award winner for radio, National Addy Award for radio


“Millions of Americans” | :60 funny radio commercial for the American Optometric Association


“I’m Shaving My Head!” | :60 funny radio commercial for Star Trek: The Next Generation


“Larry and Laverne” | :60 funny radio commercial for Jeopardy


“Mister Rippemoff” | :60 funny radio commercial for Newscenter 7 Wastebusters


“Auditions” | :60 funny radio commercial for Star Trek: the Next Generation


Bonus fact: for this body of funny radio commercials and more, Walt Jaschek and Paul Fey were inducted into the 2018 St. Louis Media Hall of Fame. Here they are at the March, 2018, induction ceremony, with frequent collaborator, audio engineer Bill Schulenburg.

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Need a new, laugh-your-ads-off campaign of funny radio commercials written and produced? Contact us for a free bid.

And if you need a “Laugh Your Ads Off” t-shirt (like the one below), click here!

Walt Jaschek Looks “Professorial” Promoting Webster U. Radio Class.

Appearances, Radio Commercials, Teaching, Walt a Life

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Come on, a little too professorial. The elbow patches are spot on, sure, but who lines up markers like that, and why would the guy who tries to simplify everything write so much sh*t on the board?

“Don’t blame me,” said Walt Jaschek. “I’m teaching radio advertising again at Webster University School of Communications during the Spring, 2018, semester, and a student at the end of class snapped at pic on my phone.”

At your own request?

“Well, sure,” Walt admitted. “I promote the class as a way for advertising majors to learn to strategize, write, produce, cast, direct and engineer a original, 3-spot radio campaign — — and I wanted to look the part.”

Walt’s slogan for the class, which is filled with mostly funny radio, old and new: “Laugh Your Ads Off.”

That might be better slogan than the one he had for his previous presentation to UMSL ad students about thinking big: “Let Loose the Large.”

Okay, “professor.” Just please don’t tell us you have a pipe in your pocket.

P.S. Hear funny radio commercials co-created by Walt.

It is to laugh: Walt Jaschek and Paul Fey inducted into St. Louis Media Hall of Fame

Awards, Radio Commercials, St. Louis Media Hall of Fame, Walt a Life

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It’s not a dream. It’s not a hoax. It’s not an imaginary tale.

Walt Jaschek and his long-time friend and creative collaborator Paul Fey, writers and producers of funny radio commercials, were inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame at a gala ceremony in downtown St. Louis on March 17, 2018.

The St. Louis Media History Foundation inducted 20 other individuals into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame that night, as well. More than 200 people attended the gala. (See the full list of the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame 2017 Inductees on LinkedIn.)

Said the Foundation: “Individually and together, Paul and Walt have reputations for creating high-impact, industry-admired advertising campaigns. They teamed up in 1991 to create Paul & Walt Worldwide, the radio commercial boutique agency and production company. With offices in Hollywood and St. Louis, their work quickly won CLIOS, ADDYs and many other awards for national brands.”

Paul is now President and Chief Creative Officer of World Wide Wadio in Hollywood.  Walt is now writer of comics and comedy here at Walt Now. Both men continue to collaborate frequently.

See Paul Fey’s profile in the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame.

See Walt Jaschek’s profile in the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame.

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Bonus scenes from the night of the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame ceremony:  Walt and what he calls his “Hall of Fam:” From left, son Adam; Walt’s wife Randy; and Adam’s fiancé Bernie. Below, Walt’s Hall of Fame plaque.

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Hear funny radio commercials by Paul & Walt | Walt Jaschek home

Paul & Walt Help CBS-TV to Fall Sweeps Success

Press Coverage, Radio Commercials, TV Promotion

This article first appeared in Call Letters, the member newsletter of the Southern California Broadcaster Association, in Fall, 1995. Paul & Walt Worldwide had just completed a national, Fall Sweeps radio campaign promoting CBS-TV, including hit show “Murphy Brown.” Candice Bergen and cast, above.

Paul & Walt Worldwide Converting Ears to Eyes

A Southern California ad agency with the unlikely name of Paul & Walt Worldwide created a “huge radio extravaganza” recently, included appearances by the Temptations, Candice Bergen, Connie Chung and the stars of Designing Women to help client CBS-TV score a major upset, winning its first Fall Sweeps ratings victory in Southern California in six years.

The radio “theatre of the mind” – which recently won a SUNNY for best television promotion – featured a cast of thousands and two CBS-TV sportscasters describing the action with Connie Chung playing the saxophone and the Temptations executing simultaneous backflips. The spots also featured the stars of Designing Women in a dazzling exhibition of synchronized swimming.

“This was a perfect opportunity,” says partner Paul Fey, “to make a major effort on radio and use the medium for what it does so well: utilize the listeners’ imaginations.

CBS-TV made a major commitment to win the Fall premiere week and sweeps battle with new programming and promotion after finishing poorly for several years. The company made the biggest radio campaign in history as part of the massive, multi-media drive.

To tie in with the television campaign, CBS-TV saturated Southern California radio over Labor Day weekend. Paul & Walt produced eight related radio spots built around a fictional event: the “CBS Get Ready Weekend.”

The agency’s two principals, Paul Fey and Walt Jaschek, had separate, successful ad careers prior to joining forces as Paul & Walt Worldwide. Fey began his career at CBS-owned KMOX-TV, St, Louis, creating radio for the station’s audience promotion efforts. Jaschek was simultaneously working as Creative Director for a Colorado ad agency. By 1982 they were each winning national awards. Since then, they’ve won more than 300.

“Walt and I met in 1974 in college when we were both journalism majors and worked on the college newspaper together,: says Walt Jaschek. “Paul used to collect Dick Orkin and Alan Barzman radio spots, and I would ask him, ‘When are we going to great stuff like that?’”

When Paul Fey was writing and producing alone, he was getting job offers from CBS stations who were aware of his work for KMOX. “I didn’t really want to do the same thing in L.A. or New York,” he says. “I really wanted to hold out just enough, to go into business for myself and work for all them. I did that in 1985, and within a few months I was a one-man shop, writing and producing and doing most of my work in Los Angeles. The business was growing fast and needed some help.”

Fey’s school chum Walt, having moved back to St. Louis to become an advertising manager for Southwestern Bell, eventually realized his goal of free-lancing.

The two joined forces fives years ago when Paul got a huge assignment. Since that time Walt has become the full-time writer and Paul participates in concept work and takes care of the business and production end. 

In addition to CBS-TV, the agency does creative work for King Word (distributors of “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy”,) Warner Bros. and Anheuser-Busch.

“We love working in radio,” says partner Jaschek. “It lets us supply endless visuals and the listener completes the pictures we create.”

“The only downside to doing radio,” adds Fey, “is that you can’t convince the client that the radio spot has to be done on location in Hawaii like you can with a TV spot.”

Paul Fey and Walt Jaschek of Paul & Walt Worldwide.

2019 update: Paul Fey now runs World Wide Wadio in Hollywood, California. Walt Jaschek now runs Walt Now Creative  in St. Louis. The two continue to collaborate on… radio. In 2018, Paul & Walt were inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame.

From Radio World: Paul Fey, Walt Jaschek Are Behind Radio’s Zany Commercials

Flashbacks, Press Coverage, Radio Commercials, Uncategorized

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This article on our audio-drenched days as funny radio commercial creators Paul & Walt Worldwide was written by Dee McVicker, and appeared in Radio World®, Vol. 17, No. 23, December 8, 1993.

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Paul & Walt: Behind Radio’s Zany Commercials

by Dee McVicker

LOS ANGELES  

It has been said that a radio station is only as good as its commercials. That axiom has served Paul Fey and Walt Jaschek well.

Widely acclaimed for their sharp sense of humor, the team is nationally recognized as the creative genius behind a number of radio spots promoting the seasonal lineup of shows for TV networks.

Their client list includes King World, Warner Brothers Television, 20th Century Television and CBS Television Network.

“If a commercial is boring and doesn’t hold their attention, we can’t blame them if they reach up and hit the button on the car radio,” said Paul Fey, founding partner of Paul & Walt Worldwide. “We want to stop them in their tracks.”

Fey and Jaschek have been on the laugh track since high school, winning some 400 awards for excellence in commercial production, including three Clios and two regional Emmys. The team walked award with the five Ollies in one evening, setting a record for the most awards won by one company in the Hollywood Radio & Television Society’s annual presentation.

One Ollie was presented for a Paul & Walt commercial, “Auditions,” in which Patrick Stewart is among the voices trying out for the part of Jean Luc Picard in “Star Trek.”

Of all the awards (which stream in at a rate of 50 a year), Fey is most partial to the team’s first Clio. Fey aspired to win a Clio since his high school years, and recalls vividly the magic feeling of creating the spot.

It was a radio ad featuring a “catalog” of types of laughter. “The whole spot was kind of invented on Walt’s front porch. It just sort of came out… It wrote itself,” he said.

What keeps this team on the leading edge? “We never want to get satisfied with doing the same thing,” Fey said, pointing out that too many comedy teams rely on formulaic humor.

“Once upon a time, and it wasn’t that long ago, funny dialogue radio spots were what broke through the clutter. Now, I feel that funny dialogue spots are becoming the clutter, because there is so much of it out there,” Fey said.

Radio in particular lends itself to production-oriented spots, where a hybrid of audio effects, humor and dialogue work together. “It’s much easier to do a gigantic-scale production on radio because a lot of it is letting people’s minds fill it in,” he said.

A recent Paul & Walt commercial for a cellular telephone carrier, for example, camped up the Beach Boys’ “I Get Around” with a polka beat accompanied by amusing dialogue, delivered in a deadpan voice:

“I get around, so I signed up for voice mail. I used to leery about sending voice mail. I wasn’t sure if I was putting enough stamps on it.”

As the music cut in and out abruptly, the deadpan voice again speaks up:

“Voice mail is easy. Think of it as rolling up a yellow sticky-note, jamming it into your cellular phone, and having it pop out somewhere else.”

Life begins for a Paul & Walt spot with an idea, either dreamed up by Fey, the production genius of the team, or Jaschek, the primary writer. Fey works from the Paul & Walt Worldwide office in Los Angeles, while Jaschek works from his office in St. Louis, the city where they both grew up.

They communicate through faxes and computer modems to tighten ideas, copy and production of radio ads.

The spot takes life in the imagination long before it is committed to tape. “It’s no exaggeration for me to say that I know exactly what a spot sounds like before it’s recorded,” Fey said. “The key is trying to put on tape what’s in my head.”

Paul & Walt fleshes out the characters, relying on a pool of creative talent from an audio studio in the same building as its Los Angeles office.

“People get accustomed to thinking of radio in a certain way,” said Fey, who claims the company owes its success to breaking those conventions. The plan for the future is to continue carving out new niches in radio commercials.

Paul & Walt Worldwide is now working on a project that Fey hopes will set a new milestone in how people perceive radio. He was mum about who the client is and the product, saying only that he is not bound to the conventions of 30 or 60 seconds for the spots.

“We’ve barely scratched the surface of what we can do with radio,” he said.

Update, 2019: Paul currently runs World Wide Wadio in Hollywood. Walt runs Walt Now Entertainment in St. Louis. They both continue to collaborate on… radio.

“Radio’s Word Magic”: Article from The Colorado Springs Sun, 1983

Clippings, Flashbacks, Press Coverage, Radio Commercials

Here is Walt Jaschek at his first ad agency job, holding reel-to-reel tapes of funny radio commercials. He seems to be having a hard time.

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The below, 1983 article by Debbie Warhola of the Colorado Springs Sun about radio commercials, including an interview with a young creative director named named Walt Jaschek, shared the page with a review of a hot, new movie called “Scarface.” It was the last time Pacino and Jaschek appeared together. .

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Radio’s Word Magic

Putting together those essential, captivating commercials is ultimately “a roll of the dice”

By Debbie Warhola
Colorado Springs Sun
Friday, December 23, 1983

Commercials, so very important to radio stations and advertisers, are often misunderstood by the public.

That’s according to Phil Emmert, sales manager at KRDO radio, who says, “People are touched by radio everyday. The listen to music, news, weather … but they don’t understand that the production of a radio commercial is important.”

Although some people consider flipping the station when one is aired, commercials provide 100 percent of the revenue of radio stations.

“We haven’t figured out a way to pay for radio other than commercials,” Emmert said.

The trick is to convince those listeners not to switch the dial.

“It’s tricky. No, it’s very, very tricks,” said Walt Jaschek, creative director for The Flynn Group Advertising Agency.

Being an auditory medium, radio provides an intangible experience. It’s what Lee Durham of Gabel Advertising calls “word magic.” Mark Cardaronella of Z-93 says it’s “larger than life.” Emmert refers to it as “the theatre of the mind.” And Jaschek dreams of “igniting the human imagination.”

It’s what makes one listener think of a romantic, candlelight dinner when hearing the pop of a champagne cork, while another listener has visions of a broken window.

Because radio touches people differently, commercials are a gamble. Some work and some don’t. Some are good and some are bd.

“It’s a roll of the dice,” Jaschek said.

Jaschek is a copywriter/producer/director of many local commercials, including the Baron’s Saloon “Subliminal Seduction” commercial, which recently captured the “Best of Show” trophy at the 17th annual Pikes Peak Advertising Federation award ceremony.

“I was more surprised than anyone from the reaction of the public and my peers,” he said of his award-winning commercial.

Jaschek said he feels commercials are an artistic endeavor.

“I look at radio as a visual medium,” he said. “No art director can create the same emotional triggers as you can with the power of sound effects.”

Cardaronella, on the other hand, believes that the purpose of a radio commercial is to sell the product. Some commercials that are not artistically pleasing still achieve that goal.

But an offensive radio commercial may prompt a listener to switch the dial, which could be detrimental to a radio station,” particularly during a radio rating period.

“At the same time, there are some exceedingly obnoxious commercials that work better than anything else,” Cardaronella said.

Cardaronella has been at Z-93 two years, since the Transtar radio network placed him as a disc jockey there. Transtar has a satellite 50,000 miles above the equator and beams the signal to subscribers worldwide.

Although a radio station by law cannot refuse an advertiser, it can refuse a commercial because of unacceptable quality,.

Jaschek said when he created the first of five Baron’s Restaurant radio commercials, one FM Station in Colorado Springs refused to air it because it did not have any music.

“The station’s policy, at the time, was to not air commercials without background music,” he said. The station has since changed its policy and airs many voice-only commercials.

Even though commercials are how radio station stay in business, most stations limit the amount of advertising they carry. In fact, some stations emphasize the fact they offer hours of commercial-free music.

At Z-93 there are four commercial breaks per hour. The breaks are never longer than 2 ½ minutes and not more than three commercials are run consecutively.

Cardaronella said that limiting advertising is smart in the long run.

“It’s a supply and demand situation,” he said. “Listeners want to hear music. Have fewer advertisers costs the station more, but generally it’s a more successful stations because it keeps the listeners.”

The average household has five radios which constantly bombard listeners with information.

“The trick to radio commercials is to break through the radio barrier,” Jaschek said. “You want to be heard, remembered, and remembered well.”

People remembered one of Jaschek’s radio commercials so well, that they began to recit it – in restaurants, on the street, even in a swimming pool.

Jaschek’s 60-second Baron’s Saloon “Subliminal Seduction” commercial, with no music, two voices and simple copy, caused a phenomenal reaction.

And it was written overnight.

The commercial not only brought people to Baron’s Saloon, 310 S. Academy Blvd., but also had the power to prompt listeners to act it out.

Bob Chamberlain, general manager of Baron’s., said the purpose of the commercial was that Baron’s be recognized.

“It works,” he said.

The response was stronger in having people comment on the commercial and mimic it that in was in increasing the volume of customers, Chamberlain said.

Jaschek said his strangest experience came when he overheard two people acting out the commercial in his apartment building’s swimming pool.

He not only wrote, directed and produced this award-winner, but also starred in it by providing the background voice.

The commercial, which denies that Baron’s succumbs to any “subliminal seduction nonsense,” actually tells people to take our their wallets and give Baron’s their money.

First, a booming, announcer voice: “No doubt you’ve heard about this ‘subliminal seduction’ nonsense. You know, commercials that are supposed to have hidden messages in them. Well!”

Then a tiny, mechanical voice in the background: “Come to Baron’s.”

Announcer: Obviously Baron’s has that rare combination of good food…

Subliminal Voice: Take out your wallet.

Announcer: Good fun…

Subliminal Voice: Give us your money.

Announcer: And good prices.

Subliminal Voice: Give us your cash.

And give Baron’s their cash they did. After all, isn’t that what all commercials tell us?

To be effective, a commercial must intrigue the listener, Jaschek said. It must provide information that the listener will retain.

“Many commercials created an adversarial position between the advertiser and the listener,” he said. “The most effective commercials teams up with the listener and doesn’t insult their intelligence.”

Jaschek, who writes and produces six to 12 commercials a month, said the “Subliminal Seduction” commercial targets the young, profession adult who is media-saturated and can identify with the sarcasm and satire.

“In some cases, the most simple is the most complex,” as it was in this case.

What makes an award-winning radio commercial?

The birth of any commercial begins with an idea. Because radio is an intrusive medium which allows you to do other activities such a drive a car or do the dishes, it must be a simple idea.

Jaschek said he can struggle with an idea for a day or a week. And he daydreams a lot.

“There’s really no secret to it. You struggle and struggle and the moral is – you never know,’ he said.

Anything can throw a commercial off: the wrong voice, inaccurate sound effects, even incorrect station placement.

After deciding what information with go into the commercial and how the idea will be conveyed, it is crafted into a 30- or 60-second script.

Then the props must be set up. Will it have music or not? What kind of voices will deliver the words? Are sound effects necessary?

The voices can be professional, such as from the Screen Actor’s Guild union, or people off the street. Jaschek said agencies are always looking for interesting radio voices.

Sound effects are available from tape libraries, which most production companies stock.

A 30-second commercial can take five minutes or all to day to produce. For this market, production can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000. And the stations charge a fee for each time the commercial is aired.

Another factor to consider is on which station the commercial will air. Jaschek said the commercial should fit the station’s target audience.

After all of the considerations, whether the commercial will instill magic in the listener’s imagination or instill the desire the change the station, is always up to the listener.