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.
With the concert season in full swing, tying into the music scene in your market, especially stuff in format, is always a smart move. Luke Bryant is a fun show – this, in fact, is Luke’s persona (or “character” if we put it in radio terms). Ryno and Tracy, KYGO, Denver, had tickets to the local Luke concert. One thing we’ve learned in PPM is that taking caller 10 for anything is almost worthless. To the non-contest players (99% of your listeners), that’s a lot of blah, blah, blah. Knowing the big win is in earning images with how you give something out, Ryno and Tracy did “Lick It For Luke” where if a cast member licked the randomly chosen item on-the-air, the caller won the tickets. This is innovative and very fun for those who really don’t care to win the tickets who just turn the show on to have a good time.
How honest can you be with the audience? Can you bare your soul and let them in your life? Can you share true emotion and the most intimate details of your life with them? There are two examples of talent who did this flawlessly in the last week. Ebro Darden of Ebro in the Morning, HOT 97, New York completely changed his show the morning after the horrific shootings in Charleston. He so connected with his audience and reflected back to the community their emotions that the New York Times took note. Read the article here. With Father’s Day upon them, Kyle, from Kyle and Rachel, Radio NOW, Indianapolis admitted to the audience for the first time that he’d never met his father and was going on a search this summer to meet him for the first time. He had never shared this, further developing his character with fans and new listeners of the show. Both are major connections points for the audience. These are two terrific examples of great talent being brutally authentic, deeply emotional, and letting the audience inside to a special place which moves listeners to care about them.
While we always endeavor to have fun and create humor in almost everything we do (humor is the biggest reason listeners turn on a show), it’s those very human moments that create sticky characters on a radio program. These are the times you become most memorable because you’re showing an immense humanity and giving listeners a peek inside your soul. Drex, from Drex, Cassiday, and Tingle, Star 94, Atlanta, decided to write a letter from his heart and read it to his father on-the-air in anticipation of Father’s Day. What we eavesdrop on is true emotion and authenticity which gives listeners a sense of who he is as a person. Note when his partner, Tingle, steps in with some humor to lighten things up, creating two great moments inside this very valuable break.
Our agenda is to always satisfy the reason listeners turn the morning show on each day – to entertain them. The audience comes to us as an escape from the realities of the world (there are rare exceptions to this rule) and want to have a good time. This is especially dicey when you interview a celebrity as they’re coming on to sell something. Jerry from Ben and Jerry’s wanted some airtime from The TJ Show, AMP 103.3, Boston, to promote an upcoming event in town. The cast instinctively knows they can’t sell Jerry’s event if they can’t first entertain the audience. Which is why the interview posted here was choreographed the way it was.
Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlyn Jenner has perplexed shows on how to create humor, given the sensitive nature of the topic. Enter Lisa and Ray, US 99.5, Chicago. One of their producers, Justyna, decided she wanted to “switch teams just like Bruce”! Predicated on the fact that she thought the Chicago Cubs players were cuter, Justyna decided to tell the audience she no longer was a White Sox fan and wanted to pledge a new allegiance to that city’s other baseball team. Here come the fun phones and great ideas on how she switches teams. It’s a great way to have fun with the Caitlyn Jenner story without every having to touch that sensitive rail of Jenner’s sex change.
The one elusive quality that drives near every element of success for an ensemble-driven personality show is chemistry. Little, if anything, can be faked when presenting real life to the audience, especially in a fun, playful way. With March Madness in their hometown, Kyle and Rachel, Radio NOW, Indianapolis, easily tapped into the vibe. Kentucky was in the Final Four and Rachel is a big fan. Which leads to this audio that communicates the team’s ability to reveal itself and how they play with each other through the break to create humor around the biggest topic in the market that week. Kyle and Bryan give Rachel the requisite grief, she responds in kind. This is the kind of vibe the audience wants to be around in the morning.
There might not be anything more endearing to gain female listeners than putting kids on your show. Sean and Michelle, B103, Rockford, IL are both family people and believe that part of the audience knowing them is also them getting to know their kids, too. Sean’s son, Declan, is a very big part of the show. Declan got a coupon in the mail from Toys R Us. Here’s a break where Declan talks with his dad about wanting to write them a thank you note for doing this. Women melt, they connect with the show, you gain very positive family images from a break like this, and listeners come back again to be around that, resulting in more occasions.
You can tell people about something that happened or you can figure out how to bring them there through first-person storytelling. Rob and Joss, Froggy 92.9, Santa Rosa, CA work very hard to find people who have in-person experiences with the big stories they’re talking about. Here is a terrific example of them transporting their audience to last year’s Indy 500. The listener shared observations and commentary on things she saw, which heightened the entertainment value of the conversation. Using social media helps make doing this around any topic you’re talking about that much easier.
With Mother’s Day just wrapping up, let’s celebrate dear old mom one more time! Ryan and Shannon, KS95, Minneapolis, got into the topic of moms and the perception of their kids when the offspring aren’t happy. How they mumble and are dismissive. Most mothers simply wade through the emotional reactions of their children. Not Shannon and hers. Nor the listeners. In this terrific phone topic, the team invites moms to call and imitate their kid when the kid is angry. Relatability is the audience understanding you’re just like them and is a critical image to connecting with them. This segment does exactly that.
Unbridled, silly fun. That’s what listeners want to have when they tune in. If you add in something local and an innovative approach to a passion of a cast member, you probably have the recipe for a successful break which cannot be duplicated elsewhere on the dial. Tammy, from John and Tammy, KSON, San Diego, admitted to the audience she is a huge Barry Manilow fan. Barry was scheduled to do a concert in San Diego, so John got Tammy to do “Tammy Fanilow” where she had to sing along with sixty seconds of Barry Manilow hooks to give out a prize to a listener on the phone. When you have a prize to give it, the true win comes in how much you entertain those not wishing to win it (that’s 99% of your audience). All the way around, this is a well designed break earning necessary images that remind listeners why they like this show and its cast.