We've Done Radio

By our Creative Director Neil Cowling. 

Late night. Marketing industry event. A friend introduces me to her colleague - a Marketing Manager.

Friend: “Hey – this is Neil. He makes radio ads.”

Friend’s colleague: “We’ve done radio.”

Walks away.

Ah. Right.

End of conversation.

This guy is so fed up of people not understanding the power of radio he's turned into stone. 

This guy is so fed up of people not understanding the power of radio he's turned into stone. 

You’ve "done radio" huh? I assume you mean it didn’t work for you, so you won't be doing it again. Let me guess:

The brand is too visual? Crap. No decent brand is too visual. If it’s got any sort of emotional value or connection with its consumer, that connection can be expressed in words and sound. What you mean is that you or your creative agency is too visually focused, and not capable of cracking a brief without drawing something. Close your eyes and think again. Or give me 24 hours to prove it.

The creative wasn’t good enough? Pay decent money then. If you’ve booked £100,000 of airtime, don’t get the creative bundled in for free (it’s not really free), or quibble about paying a few hundred/thousand quid extra to get it right. Use specialists who value their work properly. Otherwise, just burn that £100,000, open the window and shout at passers-by.

Radio’s not measurable enough? Oh dear, do you love celebrating getting 0.69% click through rate on your digital banner rather than your standard 0.63%? No, you won’t get that with radio. Sorry. How about a direct response campaign with a text-response mechanism? Running an offer in a test area and seeing how quickly it sells out? Or even, blow me, consistently building your brand over the medium term with brilliant, memorable audio creative and a single-minded, perfectly written message.

No-one listens to radio any more? Don’t get me started. Google Radiocentre and read the stats.

Would you give up on digital if it didn't work first time? No.

So do radio again. Just do it better.

I would have said all this at the time, of course. But he’d already started talking to someone else, and I didn’t think quickly enough. I was also a bit pissed. Next time I’ll do it better.

Boo! That's Right...it's SHOCKtober!

Now we’re talking!


October - one fine mother-humpin’ month. The sky is grey, the leaves are finally dead (those bastards) and everyone, everywhere, is scared. Terrified. Because October is not only the tenth month of the year – it’s also every ghost’s birthday!

And I’m afraid, as is tradition, the Maple Street Creative October Newsletter will offer no refuge – it is, once again, very haunted. Keep your eyes peeled.

You should already have your Hallowe’en costume sorted, of course, BUT if you are at a loss, here are a couple of ideas that you can do at low cost and with minimal materials, to wow the pants off any party –

  • Fat Skeleton – Go naked, but paint your body white.
  • The Concept of Death – tell everyone you’ll be there, but don’t tell them when. Arrive unexpectedly at some point, immediately switch off all the lights and make everyone leave.
  • Business Ghost – Cut two holes in a white sheet and pop it over your head, wear a tie over the top. Boom. Business Ghost.
  • The Invisible Man – Don’t go, say you did. 


PROMAX Awards – Abomo-Nomination

So, yes, no need to boast, but we, along with our sister company Fresh Air, have been nominated for a PROMAX Award, and obviously we’re very proud, yes yes, thank you thank you. But more importantly…would it be appropriate to go to the awards dressed as a Business Ghost? Obviously going as a normal ghost to a formal, black tie event would be incredibly disrespectful…but going as a business ghost…in a dickie bow…that’s fine, right?

We’re very proud of this nomination, the PROMAX Awards are a big deal and we’ll be rubbing shoulders with some very exciting people. Our nomination is for our work on the ITV Promo for The Level,


Haunted Section

Uh oh.


Yes, I’m afraid you guessed it. This section is entirely haunted. By this particularly frightening pumpkin.




The Second Annual Maple Street Comedy (FRIGHT) Night…

…is over. Sorry. You have now missed it. But it was great!

John Robins finally got to the bottom of the tricky issue of Internal Comms, Heidi Regan revealed her boxset based system for re-educating Hitler, and Tom Ward played us the sexiest noise Prince ever made. And there were lots of other bits, it wasn’t just that.

It was a great laugh, so, what d’you reckon – same time next year? 



MQ Mental Health


MQ Mental Health are a little team of legends trying to change the way mental health is treated and understood in this country. Through scientific research, they’re making big old strides and it’s a wonderful thing to be a part of.

We made their radio ads, and we like them a lot. Have a wee listen here.



Second Haunted Section

This section is brought to you by Ghosts!

Whether you’re looking to decrease the price of a property you’re interested in, spice up a spooky party, or you simply live alone and could do with the company – ghosts are the answer to all your problems!

Rent a ghost, today!

(Look, we’ve got to fund this Newsletter somehow. It was only a matter of time before we sold advertising space to the undead, you know that.) 





24 Hours to Catch a Killer with Trevor McDonald

It sounds like a dream you had, sure – but it’s not. It’s a breath taking new ITV documentary with unparalleled access to the Police in the immediate aftermath of a murder.

We produced the promo for the show, which you can hear here – and it was voiced by Big Trev himself! Cue a surprising amount of swooning around the office.



They Come at Night       

They roam our hallways. They creep in beneath our floorboards. On certain nights, in certain lights, you can hear them, calling out, even now, dying to be heard…

Who are they?


We get famous people in here – both living and (possibly) dead. Want to follow in their ghostly wake? Then you, like them, could use our studios! From adverts, to podcasts to, who knows, your own (posthumous) ground-breaking rap album – record in top class facilities with top class producers and a fully working fridge.


And that is all for October…


...Sorry, Another Haunted Section

Ah. Sorry, I really am. I thought that was the end. But this is another haunted section – and possibly the scariest of them all.

Yes, that’s right.

Bone People.

I’m sorry to scare you.

Enjoy your Hallowe’en, stay safe, and remember, only call your local Ghostbusters in the event of a ghost busting emergency. Hallowe’en is their busiest night of the year. For non-urgent issues, call Scarestoppers or visit your local Ghostbusting Station.

Stay spooky, gang!


Remember, Remember also Rhymes with September

September is over, we’re all back at school, summer is but a long forgotten dream. Ah, those heady days, when it was too hot and yet also rained heavily almost all of the time. Soon you won’t be able to go outside without a jumper because you’ll die.

Let’s face it; September is one of the bad months. Good riddance. No wonder that guy from Green Day sleeps through it every year. What good comes in September? A cursory glance at the national days we’ve had in September makes for grim viewing.

September 2nd – Victory Over Japan Day – That’ll be in America then. Seems unnecessary to rub it in like that. You don’t have to name who you beat. Just call it Victory Day. Or y’know, stop mentioning it. That’s more polite.

September 19th – International Talk Like a Pirate Day ­– an absolute bull***t day for children. A day that devalues the whole concept of ‘National Days’. A day for virgins.

September 28th - World Rabies Day – Well, that one’s a curveball. And it’s today. Hope you’re celebrating, guys, by…I dunno. Staying clear of foamy dogs?

Anyway, point proven. September sucks. Here’s how we spent this terrible month.

Historic England

Did you know, in the past, they didn’t have podcasts? I know, right? Mad! If they wanted entertainment on the way to work they had to trick a crow into dancing for them. That was literally all they had, back there in the past.

Fortunately, we now have podcasts – and, soon, we’ll have one more. Our sisters at Fresh Air are producing a fantastic new podcast in partnership with Historic England.

It’s a chance to explore England’s history through its most spectacular landmarks – it’s a huge project that will be fantastic when it’s ready. There’s a trailer here. In the meantime, I’d recommend not listening to anything else, just because.

Minoli Tiles

Tiles? Where would be without them? Well, firstly, we’d all have very wet carpets in our bathrooms. Secondly, we wouldn’t have anything to go out on. And thirdly, Scrabble would be a challenge.

We need tiles. And if you’re going to get tiles, you might as well get quality tiles. And if you’re going to get quality tiles, there’s only one place to go. Minoli Tiles. Of course. Here’s a nice bit of creative we did for Minoli Tiles.

Bath Spa University

Another month, another university. I know last month we were all ‘You should go to Staffordshire University’ but, friends, we were mistaken. You should actually go to Bath Spa University. That’s where it’s at!

You love a bath! You love a spa! And you need to go to university, because how else are you going to spend that random 30 grand you’ve got lying around? 

If that’s not enough, listen to this. Advert. We made. For Bath Spa Uni.

Sky Store

Here at Maple Street, we’re all about helping up and comers. Start-ups, small businesses – anyone who could do with a helping hand to get on their way in the business world. And it’s that kind of charitable spirit that led us to work with Sky, this month, on their latest Sky Store ad.

If you’ve not heard of Sky, they’re a small telecommunications company and Sky Store is a, like…a sort of online video shop, if that makes any sense? It’s in your TV, and it has, I assume, a few video cartridges already installed, and then you can choose the one you want to watch without having to get it out of the box and put it in the slot. Will it catch on? No, probably not. But we did our best. Listen here.

Be Our Guest, Be Our Guest…

We’ve got some great studios here for hiring – and sometimes those studios are hired by people you’ll have seen on telly.

They come in and they’re nice, and they sort of act like they’re like us. But deep down they’re not. They’re better than us. Wealthier, healthier, more attractive. Leading more meaningful lives. Getting up earlier. Running more. And working harder. They are better than us, and they rub it in our faces because they know it hurts.

We hate them.

This month we’ve been lucky enough to hate loads of great people, thanks to Giovanna Fletcher and Pixiu, who are recording Giovanna’s podcast Happy Mum, Happy Baby. Giovanna is an accomplished actor, writer, and vlogger – and is also married to at least one member of McFly. She keeps bringing in notable mums and interviewing them. Notable mums thus far include Fearne Cotton, Jo Elvin and two of the mums from the Saturdays. It’s a great podcast, well worth a listen. You can find it here.

She’s not had my Mum on yet though, which feels like a snub. My mum is lovely. Don’t get why Giovanna hates her so much.

We Need Good People. Hire Our Studio. Please.

Want to follow in the footsteps of Giovanna Fletcher, Fearne Cotton and (potentially) my mum? Then you, like them, could use our studios! And who knows, maybe you’ll appear here in this very newsletter! From adverts, to podcasts to, who knows, your own ground-breaking rap fusion album – record in top class facilities with top class producers and a fully working fridge.

Get your briefs out!

Send us through your most troublesome brief and we’ll help you make it into an audio masterpiece.

No obligation - just to show you what we can do.

Is it too visual for radio? Is it a rubbish product? Is it tricky?
Is it something you wish would just go away?

 Whatever the reason, hand it over and let us make it shine.  Send your tricky briefs through to us at: production@maplestreetcreative.co.uk.

Well, we’ve got there in the end

This month, I’ll be honest, it’s felt like a struggle to write this. I’m sure it’s been quite a difficult read for you too.

It’s because, you know…September is dull. It’s just such a dull month. And yet it has the audacity to have more letters in it than any other month. Arrogant.

I honestly couldn’t hate September more. Pointless, pointless month.

Let’s meet up again in October. Yes, October – now there’s a month! It’s got Hallowe’en, with its witch hats and pumpkins and honestly ludicrous apostrophe placement. And also National Cat Day on the 29th. What a great month.

See you then.

Au-gust Another Newsletter

Hello old friends.

August has come and gone in the blink of an eye – and the world looks fine, doesn’t it? I mean, sure there’s a storm of unprecedented size raging on America’s southern coast, devastating mass floods in India and Bangladesh, Neo Nazis are marching again, North Korea float missiles over Japan willy-nilly now and the sun literally disappeared for a small amount of time during August, but…y’know, otherwise a good month, no? There was a bank holiday!

Fortunately, here in the safety of our purpose built underground bunker, the Maple Street team have stocked up on clean water and tinned goods so that, when the inevitable nuclear winter/biblical crisis hits, we’ll be able to keep making podcasts and 30 second adverts about it. Need to put out a catchy call for survivors amongst the wreckage? Want a funny podcast to soo the the wrath of N’Bahsulu, the vengeful Sun God that now rules us all? We’re your guys!

But until that happens, it’s business as usual. And business is goooood…


Maple Street Comedy Night 2017 – September 28th

Do you remember our comedy night last year? It was fun, right? We all had a laugh and some drinks. Well FORGET IT. Compared to this year’s comedy night, last year’s comedy night will look like a funeral! More drinks! More jokes! Slightly fewer crisps, actually, than last year – we’re on a budget. THREE AWARD WINNING COMEDIANS! And endless, ceaseless, seizure-like laughter.

Don’t want to build it up too much, though. It’ll be fun. Invites will be sent out soon with the full, very exciting line-up.


Victoria on ITV

Queen Victoria was the longest reigning monarch in English history, until our current Queen came along and absolutely smashed it – so it’s no surprise we need more than one TV series to get through her story.

Victoria returned to ITV last week with more wacky tales of the Widow of Windsor (sorry, bit of a spoiler). What kind of scrapes will she get into this series? Well, specifically, she’ll be balancing her role as Queen with her new role as a mother and wife – and also dealing with famine and unrest, so that’s less cheery.

Fortunately, you already know all this because you’ve heard the radio adverts we made for ITV advertising Victoria’s return. Or, if you haven’t, you now can – right here!


TV Licensing

Kids, now, listen. University is an exciting time, sure – and if you’re jetting off there in September, I wish you all the luck. You’ll have a great time. And, naturally, you’ll want to experiment. To try new things, to break the rules, to discover your own boundaries.

Drugs? Fine! Sex? Go for it! Not paying your TV Licensing? Now that’s where you lose me. Always, always pay your TV license. That’s (kind of) the message behind our new TV licensing campaign – which you can hear, here. They’re going out across Radios 1 & 2, encouraging students and parents to get their TV licence at university.


Staffordshire University

Speaking of university, if you’re going to go anywhere, you might as well go to Staffordshire University. Why? Because we made an advert for them, and if you’re not going to base your major life decisions on our client list then what are you even doing here?

Here’s the ad we made – listen to it, then enrol. Immediately.


And Now, Some Happy News…

Nicki Marinovic is dead.

Ok, that doesn’t sound like good news. But it is. Because she’s been reborn as Nicki Fantei.

Essentially, what I’m saying here in the worst way possible, is that our Senior Creative, Nicki, just got married! IN ITALY! Ahhhhhh!

Here she is with her new husband, literally glowing. We’re very happy for her and you should be too, you monster.


And that is the end of this month’s newsletter.

Honestly, guys, it’s been a blast. May you all have safe and happy Septembers – and let’s catch up again in, say, a month’s time? Does that work for you?

In the meantime I’ll be on the e-mails in case you urgently need someone to badly explain something to you.

The New Voice Booth Could Be Yours!

Prepare the trumpets! Ready the canons! String up bunting from the light fittings! Maple Street have an announcement!



…yeah! Woo. It’s…I dunno…I felt like this would be more of a moment, you know? Doesn’t look that exciting written down.

But it is! We’re championing podcasters and independent voice overs and that’s exactly what this new voice booth is for. It’s entirely self-operated, so go-getting audiophiles can use it to get started. 

OK, how about this…


And all you have to do is click the red button. The RED BUTTON. Like with TV. Press the red button now.

It basically means studio quality sound, for a discount price – and even further discounts if you join our list.

We’re currently in guinea pig mode – so do not hesitate to let us know if you’re a guinea pig, or would like to be one.

booth 2

So if you’re an indie podcaster or a nomadic voiceover artist, press the red button, to find out more and get on the god damn list godammit!