Radio-focused creative agency Oink Ink has named the winner of its 18th annual Dead Radio Contest in Emmanuel Torres, an art director from Cundari in Toronto. Torres won for a 60-second radio spot called ‘Push’ for client Fixauto.com.
The Dead Radio Contest was founded 18 years ago to give a second chance to great radio scripts that clients deemed too risqué, too zany, never made it to air. Each year, Oink Ink takes submissions from script writers from around the globe for the contest, which are judged by a panel of industry professionals. This year's entries were reviewed and judged by an international panel – including Tony Hertz, CEO of Tony Hertz: Radio & Brand Sound, Philippines and Ralph van Dijk, founder & creative director, Eardrum, Sydney, Australia.
Torres came up with his script seven years ago in his first advertising class in college. He has pitched it several times over the years but never had any takers because of its edgier approach. In the spot we can hear a woman struggling and grunting, as if she were giving birth, with her husband encouraging her the entire way. At the end, we hear a car start, no baby in sight.
"This script was born in one assignment. When I presented it to class, they laughed. It was pretty out there, but everybody got the joke," Torres said in a release. "I've tried to bring it to other clients when it would work under their category, but the opportunity to run with it never happened – until now."
Said Dan Price, Oink Ink co-founder: "Emmanuel's story – how he actually wrote his script while at ad school – is exactly what this contest is all about. We're thrilled to have been able to rescue 18 spots that belonged on the air but for various reasons hadn't been given the chance."
Torres spent time at Audio Engine, Oink's New York-based studio recently, where he was able to witness the resurrection of his shelved script as the spot was recorded and brought to life.
"The talent was first class," Torres said. "The script has a lot of screaming. They were really good at ad libbing. Dan knew how to direct it all and what would make this spot the best – and I learned a lot watching him in action."
Rick Ardito, a New York-based freelancer, won second place for a spot he wrote for Starz' television show Ash vs. Evil Dead called ‘Casting.' Daniel Jordan, of OKRP/Chicago, won third place for a spot he wrote for Groupon.
All the scripts and winners can be found on the DeadRadio website.