Addressing what occurs “when bad things happen to good ideas,” Oink Ink’s Dead Radio Contest is a competition for advertising copywriters who have written radio scripts that for whatever reason (too provocative, too silly, or simply overlooked) were never selected by the client. A panel of industry creatives will judge the entries and choose the best “dead” spot, along with 2 runners-up. The Grand Prize Winner receives a deluxe trip to Oink’s studios in New York City or Los Angeles (2-night luxury hotel stay included), where the once-shelved spot is brought back to life and given the benefit of a fully cast, directed and mixed production. Judging by the success of prior years, Oink Ink expects 2012’s pool of submissions to be extremely competitive.
What began as a humble platform to shine light on overlooked – but great radio ads – has become an arena for writers to gain recognition for stellar work that isn’t always embraced by clients. However, the occasional reigning Dead spot has caused some clients to think twice about their initial rejection – and some ads have made it to the air after all.
“In fact,” according to Oink president, Dan Price, “since the contest began, about 7 or 8 winning spots went on to eventually win national awards.” Among them Radio Mercuries, Cannes Lions and several others. Last year’s Dead winner – Michael Bense – was a finalist at this year’s Mercury Awards for his spot “Business Names”. Since 1998, spots written for IKEA, Southwest Airlines, Durex, Miller Lite, Verizon and even M.A.D.D. have earned recognition as the best of the Dead.
Bense’s spot was penned to detail the power of advertising, and features a humorous list of imaginary companies that would not be able to find success without radio.
“Winning the Dead Radio Contest was quite a treat,” said Bense. “I got to produce a spot I have a lot of heart for.”
Scripts submitted for competition must not have been previously produced, and should be no longer than 60 seconds in length.
“The Contest gives us writers hope that the radio spots we love may not be dead after all. Just incapacitated or in a very serious coma,” said Cam Boyd, 2007’s Grand Prize Winner.
Contest details and submission forms can be found on the Dead Radio Contest Website [http://www.oinkcreative.com/