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.
I kind of feel that same way about when stations will get an artist to cut drops like, “Hi, this is Farrah Abraham and when I’m squirting in Scandia, I only listen to K-Paige.” Yeah…….right.
Promotions is the Art of getting people to notice you and if everyone is getting shills to talk about how much they love you, then, well, do the opposite. Read more…
The digital version of this exercise was a few months ago when I needed to check something on one of the client websites, forgot their address so Googled them and accidentally clicked on the wrong station with the same moniker and dial position. Teleported to this other station’s site I was naturally curious about them and what they did… Read more…
Mark said something to the effect of “We’re so desperate to be liked that we’ll glom on to something like Facebook like we invented it, and will look like idiots because by the time we stumble on it, it’s a fundamental in the lives of probably a third of our audience.”
Swag is kind of that way. Going out to a beach and giving someone a drink cup with the accordion straw thingy circa 1990 is going to make you look a little dated. Drink bottles are great but they’ve evolved a little since the first Bush presidency.
Early on in our business relationship, there was some sort of tragedy like a tornado. His promo person, to her credit, had a “send a check to the Red Cross” PSA on the air within minutes.
Rick, handled it deftly. He explained to her that a small percentage of the cash would ever actually make it to the people who needed it and besides, “It’s just not tangible”.
If I put an ad in my local paper and said “This Saturday at 1 pm, I’m going to give ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS to someone who comes to the Target parking lot” there would be Sky Chopper 5 news coverage of the mobs and the traffic jams.
We promise the same amount four times a day and maybe 6% of the audience will pick up the phone and try to win.
Great radio stations have great imaging. Not chlorinated 17 second straight-to-the-point copy. Read more…
With diaries and the ability to manipulate entries through top of mind and loyalty, a standard battle plan was to go out and fish for diaries in some of the far flung corners of the market that might get ignored by the other boats. They’re out there, waiting to be romanced, courted, and reeled in.
I’ve seen this work over and over. A station will go out and do van runs and morning show broadcasts and have presence at community events in outlying areas…and in the next monthly, zing, they got a diary or two. Read more…
This of course elicits a “Duh”. If you do something that everyone is talking about, of course people will tune in. Just like if you talk too long about nothing, people will go away. We didn’t need 1980’s-style drug dealer pager dealies to tell us that.
But even with the tightening of what goes on the air, it’s still easy to find inexplicable promotions and they’re usually client-driven. We are truly the Crack Whore of All Media. Even though we know it’ll suck and be a turn out, if they’ll give us money, we’ll take it.
Here are some criteria that you should use as a litmus test when deciding what to do and how to adjust a promotional request. If even one these applies, you should probably be alright. Read more…
Wild 107.7/now-94.9 was a flailing enterprise as they tried to figure out their niche in the Bay Area. They couldn’t out-Urban KMEL and straight CHR was killing them, so Jerry Clifton and Rick Thomas looked at the million people in San Jose and thought maybe they should go down and talk to them. Every night they went out to bars and talked to the young Hispanics who said “You should be playing Old School!” Rick and Jerry actually had to ask what that meant.
They went back, started adding in some of this music and kablooey, the rest is history.
I was on a flight into a market where a C Company had just launched a CHR that morning with a really LAME switch. Literally into spots playing some God awful mix of Country and out with Top 40. Coincidentally on the flight was a VP for the company the new station was targeting, so I commented about how their weak launch had made his job a lot easier. Read more…