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…and I couldn’t figure out where they were. Don’t get me wrong, they had a nice platform and some fun stuff happening but there were no local references, so I went under Contacts hoping they’d have a mailing address. Nope. I finally found a phone number and Googled the area code and was able to narrow it down to a region of Southern California.
Nice. Ten minutes and a Google search and I was able to figure out where they were in an approximate 50 mile x 50 mile box.
Because of VTing and PPM Terrors, there are lots of generic irrelevant radio stations out there. Stations that will miss acknowledging a national story like a tornado or a Hallmark holiday or even something like a franchise going to the playoffs. Listen to them and they’ll miss all this stuff. People used to lose jobs for this kind of stupidity.
But there are still places we can use to acknowledge these events, and the most obvious is the station website. And it doesn’t have to be anything dramatic like creating a page for Fathers Day. Maybe it’s just taking the masthead and replacing the inevitable artist pics with famous dads. Cliff Huxtable, Homer Simpson, Michael Lohan and Al Bundy from “Married With Children”.
I introduce you to the concept of Googlizing.
Google, which is has been a marginally successful endeavor, will tweak their artwork for Edison’s birthday. So if it’s Christmas, gee, do ya think that maybe we should be able to add a little window dressing to the package?
* Image credit ibn live
When Barry Adams was with Beasley in Philly, their Christmas Googlizing was historic. On the top on opposite corners were Ralphie and “A Christmas Story” and the Abominable Snowman from “Rudolph”. There was a backwards ticking clock to Christmas morning and snowflakes cascaded down the screen.
A couple of years ago I went to a Top 5 market site the week before Christmas and there was NOTHING, so I suggested to their guy that they add a strategically placed wreath on their logo. You would have thought I’d advised a complete rework of the entire page.
I got a terse “It’s a lot of time and effort for very little payoff.”
So I snagged their logo, added the wreath and emailed it back five minutes later with the note, “You’re right. That was fucking arduous.”
He doesn’t like me.
It doesn’t have to be work intensive, but it could be.
By mid-October Halloween is puking on you. You can’t go anywhere without seeing “it”. So KZIA in Cedar Rapids made the default start page a scene of a hill with a scary house and trees with owls whose eyes opened and closed and there was a full moon and the sound of wind in the leaves and a creaking door. They nailed it. Knock on the front door of the house and get forwarded to the station page.
One of the smaller non-C Companies had a morning guy who, in an afternoon, created 2 templates for each of 32 holidays or occasions that he felt warranted some Googlizing. Consequently all of the stations can have a choice of two designs that are immediately logoable and can be swapped out for the standard design.
A static site is a boring site and if it’s February 14 and there’s no reference other than some obligatory pop culture crap about “Kim wants Kanye to pop the question this Valentines”, it’s just further evidence of our irrelevance.
Beyond Hallmark holidays there are going to be opportunities to mix it up a bit. When Swine Flu was the Fear Du Jour, Z-90 in San Diego put surgical masks on all of their jock bio photos. Why? Why not.
With so many stations having sites that aren’t that distinguishable from their competitors, some Googlizing will maybe make you stand out. And that’s kind of the whole Art of Promotions.