MY LIMITED BROADCAST WRITING has been primarily for electric utilities, which are ... well, utilitarian. It's dull by design: Follow this storm tip, don't touch downed power lines, learn how to save money and energy. Now, alcohol -- there's a commodity in which you have to show listeners a good time. So I present to you three radio scripts that I wrote for the New Hampshire Liquor Commission.
Absence of a sales tax at New Hampshire's state-run Liquor & Wine Outlets made neighboring Massachusetts a perfect target for Commission advertising. The spokesperson was to be venerable Boston radio personality Dave Maynard, who recorded his commercial work from his home studio.
I was told that Mr. Maynard was ... that is to say, I was given to understand that I shouldn't expect a Stan Freberg or Orson Welles performance. It would be a read without much drama or inflection. So I tried to write to that, making passivity part of the spots. Kind of like Bing Crosby in those old Minute Maid commercials, affable and relaxed to the point of coma.
MUSIC: (Alpine ski theme, up and under.)
SFX: (Low murmur of ski lift.)
MAYNARD VO: Hi, friends. Dave "Jean-Claude" Maynard here, riding the ski lift up -- and I mean way up -- to one of those wicked black diamond slopes in New Hampshire.
Man, look at that view! I must be a couple thousand feet off the ground. And I cannot wait to ski.
SFX: (Lift grinds ominously to a halt.)
MAYNARD VO: Well, maybe I can.
While I'm up here waiting for the rescue team, let's talk about something else that'll give you a lift: the terrific apres-ski shopping at New Hampshire State Liquor & Wine Outlets. What bargains! Pretty much any wine, spirit, liqueur or cordial you can think of. All at low prices. And all tax-free.
SFX: (Wind begins to blow fiercely.)
MAYNARD VO: There are nearly 70 locations. So you'll always find a State Liquor & Wine Outlet within shouting distance of your ski lodge ... and if this chair keeps swaying I think I'll be doing some shouting of my own.
SFX: (Helicopter approaching.)
MAYNARD VO: Well, there's my ride. This is Dave Maynard on the slopes, reminding you to give your spirits a lift in New Hampshire.
MUSIC: (Seasonal music, up and under.)
MAYNARD VO: Happy holidays, everybody! Dave Maynard here. Y'know, people talk about how it's better to give than receive. But what you give -- ah, that is the question.
I mean, it's hard enough being thoughtful and witty when it's for your spouse or best pal. What about the boss who stiffed you on your promotion, or that third cousin from Latvia who just moved into town?
In the spirit of giving, I advise you to ... well, give spirits.
Wines, fine liqueurs and cordials come in all sizes. All tastes and colors. All prices. So you can get a gorgeous boxed gift set for that special someone ... or a value brand miniature for that not-so-special someone.
Head to New Hampshire. The State Liquor & Wine Outlets have the biggest selection anywhere. As for the prices? Lowest in New England. And no sales tax.
Hey, it's one thing to give ... another to give too much. This is Dave Maynard, wishing you happy holidays from here in New Hampshire.
LIVE STATION READ: Get a little holiday spirit -- plus big holiday savings. Check out the December sales at a New Hampshire State Liquor & Wine Outlet.
SFX: (Steady hum of car cruising along road.)
MAYNARD VO: Hi, friends. Dave Maynard here, cruising along I-93. Y'know, there's nothing like heading New Hampshire way to catch the fall colors. And what awesome colors they are! Gorgeous reds ... rich golds ... subtle burgundies.
Wow. Look at that beauty!
SFX: (Car stops screechingly.)
MAYNARD VO: Think I'll take a look up close.
SFX: (Car door opens and closes. Sound of MAYNARD walking.)
MAYNARD VO: While you're out here, be sure and see the leaves too. Sure, you can't take 'em home with you. But they do come in just as many varieties as the great wines you'll find at a New Hampshire State Liquor & Wine Outlet.
SFX: (Door of Outlet store opens.)
MAYNARD VO: Like this one.
The State Liquor & Wine Outlets have the biggest selection anywhere. As for the prices? Lowest in New England. And no sales tax. So I'm leaving the foliage ... and putting a box of these great bargains in my trunk. This is Dave Maynard on the road less traveled, reminding you to catch the colors of New Hampshire.
LIVE STATION READ: Today's foliage report shows terrific colors up north, so hurry to New Hampshire. And while you're there, be sure to pick up some great deals at a State Liquor & Wine Outlet.