Tag Archives: Archie Manning’s Gold’s Gym

It’s An Audio Christmas Card From Airlift Mike

From Nat King Cole’s “Chestnuts roasting…” to Bing Crosby’s “I’m dreaming…” to Karen Carpenter’s “Greeting cards have all been sent…” the Christmas holidays every year have always been about all things audio to me.

And since I long ago left the snow-covered northeast for warmer climes in New Orleans, I’ve also replaced the crunch of snow and the sound of snow shovels scraping across concrete sidewalks with holiday sounds of my own making.

Conveniently enough, my Airlift Productions Studios have long provided me the platform and vehicle for making those holiday sounds.

Funny. Sarcastic. Profound. Inspirational.

So, on this Christmas 2018, let’s queue up a few for this audio Christmas greeting from NOLA…

Archie Manning records with Airlift Productions

While I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Peyton or Eli Manning, I sure have met and worked with their pop Archie.

In the early days of the Airlift Studios down on the Crescent City’s Iberville Street, acting as writer and producer for Archie Manning’s Gold’s Gym, it was my job to work with Archie on his various different radio campaigns.

Among my fave creative efforts for Archie was this one, wherein I was Santa Claus and he was the kid on Santa’s knee at the mall telling me what he wanted for Christmas.

** Archie Manning’s Gold’s Gym ** from 1992 **

And with our Saints making a Super Bowl run here in late 2018, how much fun was that?

Another 1990s Christmas effort of mine has resurfaced here this Christmas season, as old pal Sue Bonano resurrected a couple spots of mine to air on Entercom radio stations here in 2018!

Yeah, it all sounds a bit crazy but, with a little editing, a radio ad that is now 23 years old, was brushed-off and aired all over NOLA this holiday season to lovers who weren’t even born when it first aired.

** Sue’s Jewelry “Because…” Radio Campaign, again in 2018 **

As the Christmas audio memories continue…

Hired by a Chicago-based ad agency called Right Hat in late 2015, I was tasked with lining-up the talent and recording a web-based “politically correct” Holiday greeting card for a Washington, D.C. law firm.

Wait a tick, a what?

That’s right.  A politically correct greeting card! So I tracked down a trio of very talented professors at our Loyola University to come to Airlift Productions to record a classic that would have old Ebeneezer himself doing a double take.

** Right Hat’s take on Christmas 2015, with Airlift Mike **

Whew! Let’s decompress after that one, OK?

And at the same time shift gears totally.

Shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific school shooting at Newtown, CT just before Christmas in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary, I was inspired to hit the Airlift Studios.

Taking an anonymous internet writing and adding Danny Elfman’s mystical score to my voice, I came up with an answer from the “other side” as to what happened to those beautiful young souls that fatefully painful December morning…

** Christmas Eve in Newtown  by Micheal Ziants**

Without a doubt, Jesus of Nazareth is the Reason for the Season!

But given the fissures & cracks in our 21st century society, is it any wonder why the season can be so paradoxically wonderfully troubling and problematic for so many?

Meanwhile, the prayers and reflections continue to this day…

Like I said, for this Christmas audio greeting card – Funny, Sarcastic, Profound, Inspirational.

Which pretty much sums up my feelings, my take here on my 66th Christmas here on the 3rd rock.

From yours truly and the Airlift krewe here on Pomona, here’s to a Merry Christmas!

And for 2019 – a wish for everyone across the planet to Increase the Peace.

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Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy & Digital Magic from New Orleans…since 1984

Airlift Mike’s Anatomy Of A Radio Spot. That works.

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Micheal Ziants – New Orleans Voice Over Talent & Airlift Productions Studio Owner ~ 2012 promo pic

It’s kind of hard for me to get my mind around sometimes, but I recorded my very first radio commercial in late 1971 just outside Columbus, Ohio in a little town called Delaware. At WDLR radio. For, of all things – a funeral home.

Today, in 2015, just a few years later, and literally thousands of commercials later, I find myself still perfecting the craft. And at the same time marveling over the fact that while many things in the industry have changed, at the heart of the art will always be the need for attention, engagement, entertainment and imagination!

From reel-to-reel tape to mp3s, from broadcasts to podcasts, from mixing consoles to digital audio workstations – the tool kits have changed but the heart of the art remains the same.

And one of the things that I’ve relished about my now-thirty years of running Airlift Productions here in New Orleans is that many of my clients have entrusted me through the years to not only serve as the voice and producer of the commercials – but to WRITE them as well.

So, let’s play and have some fun, while at the same time, lace-up the Adidas for a jog down memory lane.

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Airlift Productions Client Legends Encore

This week I got my imagination racin’ and had quite the time writing copy, assembling bites, voicing and recording yet another radio thirty to help pack the night club known as Legends Encore here in the bosom of suburbia outside New Orleans.

Opening with all the intensity of a movie trailer, “Wine, Women & Song-2015 style” opens with battle axes on shields, horse whinnies, and sword play … and closes with Billy Crystal from “The Princess Bride” shouting “Have fun storming the castle!” The last thought? The night club’s name.

*** Airlift Mike’s Legends Encore Radio :30 ** July 2015 ***

Attention + Engagement +  Entertainment + Imagination = Memorable Radio.

See, while everyone else is trying to cram way too much information, and laundry lists of prices, items, phone numbers, addresses, yada, yada, yada …. Airlift Productions captures attention, has some fun, entertains, and delivers.

For client after client. Year after year.

Now, as to the ‘jog down memory lane’ part of the blog, just a couple quickie faves from the ’90s that I still get comments about….

ArchieManningCloseUpAirliftProductionsNOLAI loved working with Archie Manning. Yes, Peyton & Eli’s pop was a client of mine for a couple years as he and his partner Steve Smith,  a body builder from Mississippi, were co-owners of Archie Manning’s Gold’s Gym on Veterans Boulevard, and I wrote, voiced and produced all their radio ads for them.

I’ll never forget Archie rolling his eyes when I came up with this one: I’d be Santa Claus and he’d be the perennial kid  sitting on my knee during December in the mall telling me what he wanted for Christmas! Really.

We produced this radio spot together – old school, on reel-to-reel tape, no digital edits, in real time – at the Airlift Productions on Iberville Street location in 1992.

*** Airlift Mike with Archie Manning, “Gold’s Gym”, 1992 ***

ArchiePeytonEliManningAirliftProductionsNOLAGee, and the Saints wouldn’t even smell a Super Bowl until a couple decades + later.

Although his boys sure have seen their fair share, huh?

 

Yes, radio spots, in order to be effective, must prove WORTHY of the imagination of the listener. And show RESPECT for the time that they’re investing to listen.

OK, just one more.

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Cajun Comic & New Orleans Voice Talent LUNO BORDELON plies his trade at Airlift Productions ~ along with some help from his pal T-Claude

One of my favorite people on planet Earth is this wacky Cajun from Lafayette, LA named Luno Bordelon. In fact, just this past Tuesday night, while in NOLA on business, he spent the night with us here in Metairie.

Well,  Luno and I were tasked with building the crowds at a local Mexican restaurant named “Jalapenos”, and I came up with the idea that this was “the Mexican restaurant that even a Cajun could love”. 

So, I played intrepid man-on-the-scene reporter and Luno was, well, Luno!  Check out the Lu-nacy here….

*** Airlift Mike & Luno Bordelon for “Jalapenos”  ***

Wow! And after all these years, 1971-2015, this is still FUN!

As a guy who fell in love with theater and the human voice as a kid, then a mad love affair with the radio and tape recorders – it’s still today almost as if people are paying me to play with my train set.

Yes, when it comes to advertising,  audio – and well-constructed radio ads – will always drive the emotional train. Allow me to be your engineer. All aboard! 🙂

AirliftProductionsRecordingStudioNewOrleans
Airlift Productions, New Orleans

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Millie with husband Rene’

“I have worked with Michael on a free lance basis for years. I continue to be amazed at his technical genius and amazing voice. His ability to make the average sound spectacular never ceases to amaze me! I have worked with Mike on a variety of      projects, and he gets it done right the first time, every time! It is ‘one stop shopping’ for first rate results!”

*** Millie Stouse Fuselier, New Orleans Queen of VoiceOver ***

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Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from NOLA since 1984!