We can overthink prizing and get caught up such exciting and needle-freezing contests as The $1000 Free Money Text.
The Wolf in Greensboro gave out Twinkies when there was a Twinkie shortage and The Phones Melted™. Ditto with Power in Atlanta with Patti Labelle’s sweet potato pies and The Phones Melted™. KLUC in Las Vegas with turkeys the day before Thanksgiving? The Phones Melted™. Townsquare Media in Boise did haircuts and The Phones Melted™. B-103.9 in Ft. Myers decided to give out ten packs of $1 scratch off lottery tickets and The Phones Melted™.
And then you have movie tickets.
I got desensitized to free movies by the mid-1980’s. It seemed like we were doing a screening every few weeks. A decade later my neighbor asked if I could get a pair of tickets to some Harrison Ford movie from my client here in the Twin Cities. They sent four tickets and 19 years after the fact Kent still mentions the time he and his wife and another couple went to Mall Of America to see a movie for free.
Movies are the Entertainment Universal. Some people like watching golf on TV and some people don’t. But if you went out and randomly asked 1000 people if they enjoy going to see a movie, all but one agoraphobe would respond in the affirmative. They just might not agree on what kind of movies they like to go see.
For instance, Hot 89.9 in Ottawa did MILFs or, Mom’s Into Love Flicks and sent women and their friends to see “chick flicks” that their men would never be able to stomach.
Power 96 in Miami has single-handedly created some of the best contest methodologies in Radio in their 40+ years but one promotion that nearly broke the phones was Food And A Flick: win two movie tickets and a gift card to a restaurant. That’s a date night and the audience went nuts trying to win.
Movies can also trend, be iconic and/or be a social phenomenon. There are going to be one or two films a year that everyone is talking about, anticipating and even camping out for. These have then become a Position that you need to own.
One such film was “Days Of Thunder” when I worked in Charlotte. It was film in Charlotte, it was NASCAR….every station wanted a piece of it. To the point that the studio just decided to kibosh any station-exclusive screenings or ticket give aways. So we just got on the air and gave away $10 bills and declared them to be “The only free tickets in town to ‘Days Of Thunder.!” The studio loved it. Our competitor’s heads exploded.
What can you do to make your screenings or ticket giveaways, if not special, at least better than the other stations in town?
Have fun with them. People love movies. They’re the Entertainment Universal so these will always great prizes.
Conversely, hooking up people with free Netflix? Try it with some kind of web contest. Match the movie murderer to the movie victim. Finish the movie line. Match the songs to their movies. Just anything other than click-and-register.