SHARPER PENCIL RESURRECTS 1950’S ‘UNTOUCHABLES’ for ess engineering radio campaign

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In a rare departure from the usual ‘straight’ commercial campaign for industrial clients, Sharper Pencil resurrected the 1950’s ‘Untouchables’ to create a radio campaign for ESS Engineering.


With specialist expertise in material handling systems for the mining and the processing industries, ESS Engineering designs, supplies and installs systems, technologies, hardware and solutions for identified material handling opportunities. However within the materials handling sector, some problems regularly arise depending on the nature of the system and the material being conveyed.

In the Sharper Pencil’s scripts, each problem was ‘criminalised’ and the villains given Chicago-gangster style names (such as ‘Blocker’ and (Bad) ‘Bill Dup’). The radio scenarios utilised a stylised drama reminiscent of the famous 1950s ‘Untouchables’ TV series where the ESS squad arrives to put an end to the industrial villainy.

Local actor, Igor Sass adopted the famous Walter Winschel narration style while Greg McNeill based his role on the Robert Stack characterisation of ‘Elliott Ness’ and played the leader of the ‘ESS experts squad.’ Both actors undertook extensive research and rehearsals.

The commercials were produced by Julian Douglas-Smith. They are scheduled to air in the mining areas of north west WA.


Client: ESS Engineering
Client Marketing Managers: Linda Stahura, Samantha Stahura
Agency: Sharper Pencil Marketing Communications

Writer: John Ilian
Producer: Julian Douglas-Smith
Sound Studio: Julio’s Studio
Actors: Igor Sass , Greg McNeil
Casting: Emma Craven – Moore Creative Artists