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Radio active with Clay Hudson

Our very own Clay Hudson was selected as one of the judges for The One Show Radio contest. Winners of advertising’s best radio spots will be announced on May 12th; but in the meantime, Clay was kind enough to share some insight about judging the contest, writing for radio and working as a Creative Director at GSD&M. Warning: This interview has been effected by Clay’s sense of humor.What do you enjoy most about being a One Show judge?

The enormous sense of power you feel when you know you’ve crushed someone’s dreams with a simple click of a button just for the fun of it. Kidding. Best thing is getting to look at all the cool work. As a radio judge I give points on the radio but I also get to look at all the work – interactive included.

When judging radio, what do you look for? What stands out?

What stands out is how many good spots that anybody would be proud of aren’t based on anything new. Most “radio guys” who are into it have heard just about everything – crank calls, putting different things in left/right channels, game show parodies, spots just for guys, spots just for women, PSA parodies, thinly veiled penis jokes, long drawn out sfx that lead to a payoff line, long drawn out lists that lead to a pay off line… It’s all been done. So when I hear something that I’ve never heard before that’s what stands out. Doesn’t mean it hasn’t been done, but at least I haven’t heard it. And it has to be done well.

The thing I look for in the One Show is just – Is it a simple, brilliant idea executed flawlessly that makes me jealous of the writer? A campaign for Kia was great – in one of the spots a guy is just about to suggest a three way with his best friend’s wife and you hear this beeping getting more intense. It’s advertising “park assist” that tells you when to stop. Simple, brilliant.

In your career, what has been your favorite campaign or project to work on and why?

The University of Texas campaign titled “We’re Texas”. I did the original four or five TV spots with my partner at the time, Tim Sabo. They were simple messages that UT let us make the way we wanted to. They trusted us. Still some of the best work I’ve ever produced. Plus we got to use Walter Cronkite as the VO and I got to meet him.

My blog post about the spot is here and you can watch the spot here.

How do you maintain a high level of work year after year?

Never compromise. Some people say to pick your battles. I pick all of them.

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