Tag Archives: Nick St. Pierre

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

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.

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.

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! 🙂

Airlift Productions, New Orleans


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 ***


Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from NOLA since 1984!

SEX Continues To Sell Well At Airlift Productions

9c8980092c6baa5cb82835995209d93eIt occurs to me that my last several blogs have dealt with Life’s Rear View mirror (history), so let’s pump the brakes just a second and re-enter the 21st century – in fact, a poker-hot July at the Airlift Productions Studios in NOLA.

From the days of the Mad Men in the ’60s to today, let’s face it, SEX sells! Folks will part with their last dollar to find it, thrill to it, and hang on to it. The magic allure of sex is a well that the Madison Avenue crowd will always draw from.  Always.  And in all ways.

I was reminded of this just this past Wednesday as the phone rang from Madison Avenue in NYC looking for some help on a project for Yves Saint Laurent.  The boys were curious if I could find some time to record an actor while he was filming for HBO in New Orleans.

Ah-h, sure, let me check my schedule.

So, in the middle of cranking out some new night club commercials (also involving sex and the search for same), I agreed to record Edoardo Ballerini on behalf of Yves Saint Laurent for Moritz & Company in Manhattan.

NYC-based Film/TV actor Edoardo Ballerini records VoiceOver for Yves Saint Laurent at Airlift Productions NOLA

Check this dude out. Perhaps you’ve already witnessed Edoardo’s talents on the Sopranos or Boardwalk Empire on HBO.  It was further work with the Home Box Office crowd that brought him to NOLA.  His new show, coming soon, is called “Quarry”.

What a stud. Edoardo blew through the Airlift Studio doors yesterday afternoon with all the swag of Johnny Depp … only with more talent! His zen-like, laser-focused mic techniques – honed through his recording of over one hundred audio books – were most impressive.  Listen here to just a bit of this week’s magic captured by the Airlift Productions mics …

** Edoardo Ballerini talks for Yves Saint Laurent, 7-16-15 **

Ballerini on-camera playing shoot-em-up
Ballerini on-camera playing shoot-em-up

This guy’s skill set is just off the charts.  Not only is he bilingual, fluent in Italian as well, but he studied Latin while on a scholarship – in Rome.  And his relaxed and self-assured looks allow him to fit into any era on film.  And play good guy or bad – with style.

In fact, as we discussed his life yesterday after our session, while he banged on my guitar in the Airlift Studios Green Room, I felt somewhat envious. Edoardo jets between NYC and NOLA, playing out the lives of fascinating folks on sets and sound stages …. while yours truly makes a living from the solitude of a dimly-lit, tricked-out digital cave.

Airlift Productions, New Orleans

But it’s funny, ya know,  the Great Spirit has kept things in such perfect balance that one cannot lose one thing without gaining another. One door may close, but a window will open.

And a fine digital cave it is. And I have my privacy. And flying is for the birds.  And the inquisitive fingers of prying TSA agents.

Which brings us back to sex.

And it continues to sell – well at Airlift Productions.

** A couple recent radio thirties for the gang at Legends Encore from Airlift Mike & the Airlift Productions Studios **



DaleAnthonySmithRecordsWithAirliftProductionsNOLA“It has been my pleasure to collaborate with Mike at Airlift on a variety of projects from sound effects for museum films, to narration for corporate and commercial work, to high end deeply layered radio spots.  In every case, he has maintained the highest standards of production that equal anything produced in New York or LA. He is dedicated, tireless, dependable and truly enjoys his work to the point of making the process actually fun. I would not hesitate to recommend his services to my colleagues or anyone seeking a totally professional sound track.”  ~ DALE ANTHONY SMITH, Designer/Producer at Multi-Media Corporation, NOLA


Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from New Orleans since 1984

Sex Sells Via Airlift Productions



Perhaps it’s because SEX is the act that brought us all here, I mean you would not even be alive to be reading this blog post if mom & dad had not done the horizontal hokey-pokey, that it drives so much attention, and as a result – most advertising.

From all makeup products to clothing styles, colognes to beer – SEX and the drive to find it, hang on to it, make yourself more attractive to the other and/or same SEX, it’s allure & mystical powers have driven us all to part with more dollars than any other ad gimmick you can name.

Not to be left out, enter Airlift Mike and local N’awlins radio work for Chad, Nick and the krewe at Legends Encore, radio ads for “Jeff Parish’s Party Palace”.

In putting together the latest spot for the club, I threw ‘lost love’, the quest for ‘new love’, Steve Carell’s voice from ’40 year old virgin’ and the ’50 Shades of Grey’ phenomenon into the audio cuisinart and came up with this, beginning tomorrow on N’awlins radio …..

** LEGENDS ENCORE Radio :30 from Airlift Productions **

Since time immemorial men have dueled under oaks over a lady, fought to the death in arenas over a lady, waged great wars over the loss of a lady. Thankfully, and hopefully, there’ll be less bloodshed on North Hullen generated by this radio ad.

On a tamer note, after years of staid educational software audio work that gave me cause to walk away from the local media scene, it sure is fun and rewarding for yours truly to be back on the radio & TV in my own home base of New Orleans.

And in many cases, as is the case with this Legends Encore piece, writing the spots too! It gives me the opportunity to put my own words in my own mouth.

From TV campaigns for Sue’s Jewelry & Laser Tag of Metairie to some recent political ads … and, of course, this on-going work to help pack the club at Legends Encore, it sure is a riot to be flexing my commercial muscle again for the hometown crowd.

Airlift Productions Audio Spin Doctor Micheal, it’s 50 Shades of  Ziants

Yes, SEX sells – 24-7-365… even at Christmastime.

And what if, just what if, at the end of the game (the end of life) … the hokey-pokey really IS what it’s all about?

Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from NOLA since 1984