There’s something about “heights” that takes promotions to a new level. (I’m sorry: I agonized over that line for at least 30 seconds and there was no way to make it sound less cornball)When I do Street School with the summer hires and we get to the banner exercise, I always encourage them to look for vantage points around the event that they can get some signage on. At Clear Channel in Wichita for Riverfest, we went to a hotel that loomed over the grounds and bribed the manager with some movie tickets to allow us to hang the giant station concert banner from the rooftop pool.
We won the Signage Battle that day.
There’s something almost metaphorical about being “above” everyone, which is why if you get a rooftop and host a firework’s viewing party, it’s inevitably a homerun.
Going to the 4th is a pain in the ass for the average listener. You park a mile away, do a Bataan Death March with a cooler, blankets and Rusty and Audrey to stake out a sodden piece of turf and fight off Kamikaze attacks of mosquitoes for 12 minutes of shock and awe. Consequently a lot of the stations I consult will have “winner only” viewing parties.
At KSFM in Sacramento it was dinner on the Sony blimp as it hovered a mile from the fireworks. In Austin, TX at CBS it was a rooftop of a bar on 6th Street. Nothing fancy: a keg of beer, some hot dogs and access to a locking toilet. But the winners? They looked gleeful to be above the masses on the street below.
Another Promotional Universal is anytime you stick a DJ on a billboard or hang them from a crane for a week? It will get TV and 100X more donations than having a talen sitting at a table in a mall begging for 24 hours. It’s the “perceived” risk with an element of consequence.
And then there are banner tows.
What is the cliché Radio Bit for when a celebrity goes off the deep end? You offer them a job. But Bob the field reporter for Action News 8 isn’t going to get too geeked about covering a morning show emailing Charlie Sheen…so we pulled a banner over his house, Charlie called within three minutes and the visual went global in four minutes.
There are these kinds of news stories that will cross your path occasionally. Casey Anthony being found not guilty. The star quarterback of your fierce rivals, jumping ship and coming to your team.
When those things unfold, think “banner tow”. It’s a visual. And it’s high. And sometimes you just need to look up for a little inspiration.