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Radio

MOD. UNISA: MOD Hijack

Played on their own, alongside no other ad, in premium spots;
Heard directly after the news before returning to programming.
A lot of time and consideration went into these carefully manufactured ads. It
would have been easy to mash together a cacophony of random sounds, but MOD. is
deeper than that. Instead, what you’ll hear in each version is a story wrapped up in a
mystery - after all, this is the curiosity we’re encouraging our listener to discover.

As Version 1 begins, it demands the listener’s attention with a vacuum-like crescendo,
pulling their ears away from the expected. Once through it, the listener discovers a
strange chanting crowd, marching as one; an ethereal choir; classical music hard up
against a funk drummer. Then, from nowhere, the words: This is not MOD. As the
mind tries to make sense of the meaning, the vacuum crescendo returns - louder than
at first - throwing the listener back into their everyday listening.
For us, this was a way to demonstrate the real-world MOD. experience: you may leave
with more questions than you started with.
In Version 2, we insist on the listener’s attention with multiple knocks on a plank of
wood, glass shattering at the same time. A dark piano chord rings out and a new
mystery beckons to be solved. A shaky dial tone hums, but a connection cannot be
made. Now it appears that water is flowing through the room, but before you can
compute the meaning an old phone rings. The hammering continues, the phone rings
again. As the hammer begins to hit an anvil in frustration, the crescendo takes us out
of the commercial and back to everyday programming.
This ad embodies the participatory nature of the MOD. experience, in particular the
ringing phone beckoning the listener to “pick up”.

Version 3 is packed with hidden surprises that hint to the name and location of MOD.
After a static charged dial tone makes its shaky connection, the truly attuned listener
may notice the sound of skateboards at a skate park. However, right along these
sounds is the very similar sound of a shovel digging new dirt. A familiar yet
disembodied bell tolls – it is the sound of an Adelaide tram on North Terrace. A sonar
pings repeatedly, asking the user to keep “scanning” for answers. The keenest of
explorers may also notice the word MOD. expressed in Morse Code. Just as the ad
begins to create a comfortable rhythm, all MOD. breaks loose – flooding the listener’s
senses.
Although “This is not MOD.” may seem contradictory on this occasion, there is still
some truth in the phrase. After all, we can’t express everything MOD. is in 30 seconds;
one needs to experience it in person.
Credits

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