On the advice of my counsel, the best darn lawyer with the kiosk at the Walmart in Forest Lake, I’m going to add that mileage may vary, and that this does not include tax, dealer fees, plates and undercoating.
But, using rudimentary math, it would figure that if we can get more than 4% of people to play our contests and maybe even get that number up to, say, 8%, then we’ll be doing pretty well.
There’s a reason we can’t get that number over 4% and that’s because most of the contests that we clutter the airways with are really just wallpaper. I would categorize most group contests that way. They’re just….there. They’re not compelling, they don’t play to anybody other than the 4% of people we have hyper focused on and they rarely accentuate or build your stationality.
So how could you possibly get that number above 4%?
You could do that by playing to the 96%. The people who are sitting in their cars waiting for their favorite song to come on the radio. And you’re not going to engage them with text codes.
A great example would be Power 96 in Miami, where they’ve come up with half of the methodologies currently used in radio. They were a promotions factory for decades. When CBS took over, my number one suggestion to them was that they should go and binge watch Telemundo game shows for a weekend, because Power 96 contests were big and loud and noisy just like a Spanish-language TV game show. There would be screaming and yelling and cheerleaders bouncing around and maybe, maybe even a guy in a bee suit. So their first decisive action as the new owners of the number one station in the format was to drop the Bomb and replace it with the PPM contest from a rock station in Minneapolis. The attrition in the audience numbers was frightening, which shows that we can drive people away with more than just bad music.
Beat the bomb is the best example of a contest that plays to the 96%. It offers, Losers. It’s almost life-affirming. Knowing that no matter how bad my life possibly is right now at least. I just didn’t blow $3000 by being greedy on a radio station contest.,
Be that the bomb has been done in many variations like beat the bank or even beat the tank as done by KNIX in Phoenix. Instead of, say, “A gas station gift card, Debby!”, they used gallons. Gallons sound bigger. There was a character to it, the young man sent out with the rubber hose to steal the gas, and when he got busted you lost it all if you had not yelled “stop” up to that point.
Another great methodology that we seem to have rediscovered and embraced the way we should, is any variation of the secret sound. It’s a contest that goes back to the era of Marconi and it killed then and it kills now. A perfect example of, well, “Inn a PPM world, how is this going to affect our quarter hour?” Stop over-thinking things. It sucks people in. I’m sitting in my car with a full bladder and traffic listening as the DJ for the umpteenth time plays a clip of a sound and I know that somewhere I have heard tha. I just can’t can’t remember where. It’s going to be stuck in my brain all day.
It’s been done as the Sounds Of The Season where sounds from various Christmas toys and other Christmas elements like sleigh bells or gift wrapping being ripped open, are played. ID and win a free tree. Pretty simple. Or take it and acknowledge our love for pop culture and do the 10 Secret Superstars, and play a clip of 10 celebrities each contributing one word to a phrase, a 10 word phrase. Identify, each of the 10 celebrities in the clip and win the cash.
The black box is secret sound, but with a killer visual. A box hung from a crane with a logo and a question mark painted on it. “Inside the box” (it’s theater: there’s nothing in it) are seven or eight items that need to be ID’ed based on their SFX to win a cash prize.
Trivia, if it’s not polluted with client dictates like questions about how much Niacin is in a sports drink, can play to the people in the cars. The best example of that is the Canadian standard, The Thousand Dollar Minute. 10 questions asked in 60 seconds. Get all 10 and win $1000., Or at least $10 for each one that you got right. If you have an idiot consultant sitting in Vancouver screaming answers at the cheap little clock radio in the hotel room, you’re doing pretty well.
So think big. Think beyond the tiny number of people with their land lines and broaden your horizons; try to suck in the whole audience to stop and become engaged. If it doesn’t double your audience, it’s still not going to drag the numbers down like a wallpaper contest can.