AudioGreat breaks achieve a positive strategic goal back to the show. They communicate, both in content and presentation, something about the show plot. Breaks which score are real, relevant, and fun. They earn you valuable images. Here are some breaks by Reynolds Group shows which achieve this.
Doing fun things with the topics of the day creates a wonderful experience for listeners that compels them to laugh and return to the show. PPM is a measure of experiences and here’s one that sets the audience up for another occasion of listening. John and Tammy, KSON, San Diego, know putting cute kids on the show works in their efforts to attract adult women to their program. In “Name that Halloween Candy” they had a young girl read (struggle actually) the ingredients of a Halloween candy with a listener having to guess the candy. This works on multiple levels in their efforts to give the audience a good time and connect with their content.
To thrive, personality shows must affirm images. The four critical images are those of humor, authenticity, innovation, and relevance. Here’s a terrific break from Dave and Veronica, WQYK, Tampa, which tackles all four, and very successfully. Dave showed up at a town hall meeting with the mayor of St. Petersburg. Going last, he asked the mayor, unexpectedly, to read the Vincent Price poem at the end of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. This took both the mayor and the room (who were complaining about red lights and poor roads) totally by surprise. The mayor, seeing the opportunity, did it, with all having had a good time. There was danger involved in how Dave set this up, as he thought he’d get kicked out of the room. But the exact opposite happened and the show got a great break, loaded with the four images noted above, producing an experience for those listening that was exceptional satisfying.
Best breaks of the week go to Kyle and Rachel, Radio NOW, Indianapolis. This shows that from the smallest of comments, great ideas can emerge if you just listen for them. On a conference call last week, Bryan Lord (a cast member) said, in casual conversation, that one of the things he hates about hooking up for sex was what his butt looked like when he got out of bed, especially if the gal stared at him. He hates his ass. Seizing on that small comment, we came up with an idea for Bryan to take a selfie of his ass in the bathroom, which was texted to some female listeners in the moment, who came on to critique Bryan’s behind. We created intrigue, which then pushed listeners to the web to see what it looked like. That partial nudity was involved helped the bit. Here are the three breaks and how it evolved on-air. Quite entertaining for those just listening.
A major effort of morning radio is positioning each person on the show as though they’re just like those listening. Recently, Ryno, from Ryno and Tracy, KYGO, Denver, took a few days off to attend a high school reunion. He could’ve just talked about it on the air. Instead, Tracy surprised him by getting on some classmates Ryno hadn’t talked to in quite some time. What’s wonderful about this break is that he had no idea so his reaction was very spontaneous. This added to the entertainment quotient and energy of the break for the audience who were just eavesdropping and reminiscing about their school reunions.
This week’s post is all about seizing the moment. Having heard that a lost wedding ring was found at a Jason Aldean concert, John and Tammy, KSON, San Diego went into action to find the person who belonged to the ring. The most universal content topic for your show is relationships. John shared the story of losing his to provide character development and a connection point. Then, using the show, they found the guy who lost the ring and brought all the elements together. This is terrific because it’s real life and unique radio you won’t find in a prep service. Here are two breaks – one where they talked to the person who found the ring and the other a conversation with the guy who actually lost it.
This could be my favorite bit of the week. Producer Mike at Karson and Kennedy, MIX 104.1, Boston was feeling the new iPhone buzz this week so he married the Hot Topic with a fun, innovative idea. He showed various groups of people (young, old, kids) his iPad and claimed it was the iPhone 6 Plus. Their reactions were priceless. Our goal in developing entertaining content is to do things like this which are real, fun, and result in the audience pausing their life for a few moments to have a good time. This did that.
Tell me a story. And one with conflict. And throw in that it has to be relatable. In other words, there must be a fair chance listeners could see themselves in it. Sean and Michelle, B103, Rockford, IL lead the most normal of lives. Sean’s wife, Amy, said they would not buy a new lawnmower after theirs broke. Instead, Amy found an old push mower on the side of the road and did the lawn with it. Here’s a fun story, with Amy telling most of it (with commentary by Sean) which is really reflective of real life and laughter.
When you’re conceiving an idea, think opposites. In brainstorming sessions, ask “what is the opposite of this?” Going 180-degrees lends conflict to ideas, and instantly puts an emotional reaction into the presentation. Your topic choice is critical to the success of a break. The application you bring to the topic makes it cut through and be entertaining. Cindy and Jimmy, Star 94, Atlanta, recently wondered out loud if Peyton Manning was good looking. Playing opposites, instead of asking women this question, they sprung it on guys, knowing the reactions and answers would be even better.
We have a uber local show with Dave and Veronica, WQYK, Tampa. Being local is not the only reason they win, though. They beat the competition because they leverage that localness and are exceptionally entertaining around it. We got Dave and Veronica to throw out a first pitch at a Tampa Bay Rays game. Knowing that most of the audience won’t go to see them, it’s their job to bring enough audio back to air the next day so this group of people will feel like they’re there. Here are two breaks that do this perfectly. In one, they had a fan in the stands do play-by-play of their first pitches. In the second audio segment, you hear natural audio as they’re introduced, along with the chemistry of this team, as Dave ribs Veronica about what she did and how her family reacted. This chemistry, natural laughter, bold content choice, unique execution, and our being local all adds up to the show’s consistent wins in Nielsen.
Last Valentine’s Day, Karson and Kennedy, MIX 104.1, Boston, decided to find a listener-bride for their new co-host, Salt. Part of the drama was the fact that Salt has a girlfriend. And in the process of involving Salt’s girlfriend, the show met Toni. Great radio is finding the really funny people in life and figuring out how to get them on your show. That Toni is a firecracker is an understatement. Here’s a break where the show not only understands this, they step out of Toni’s way to let her radiate out of the speakers. Real life is funny. This shows that.