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.
One of the things listeners love is when Kevin Karlson puts his mother-in-law, Patsy, on the show. He has a very unique relationship with her. In a terrific example of character development, Karlson & McKenzie on WZLX, Boston, decided to do the “Inappropriate Question of the Day.” Kevin followed Patsy around at home while visiting her with a recorder and kept asking highly inappropriate questions just to see how she’d respond.
Here’s a new feature we’ve recently added to Mojo in the Morning on Channel 95.5, Detroit. It’s called “Five Lies to Tell Your Mom”. We concoct a story with five lies in it, then have the listener call their mother to offer up the story as true. It’s rife with conflict, especially when the mom reacts to some of the crazier elements of the story we make up. This bit is like an updated version of the typical prank call. It’s lots of work (reach out and I will tell you how it’s done), but well worth it.
With last week’s President’s Day holiday, Eddie and JoBo, KHITS, Chicago, decided to see how many presidents an average kid could name. You always need a conflicting category to make something like this funny to express your point. That’s where beer comes in! See how many presidents this kid can name, and then how many beer brands come to mind!
One very efficient way to do character development is to put a relative on your show. Recently, Jobo, from Eddie & Jobo, KHITS, Chicago, gave his mom a car for Christmas. He was beside himself when one of his brothers drove the car (against orders!) and smoked in it. Jobo wasn’t too pleased. Being too emotional about it, Jobo asked his partner, Eddie (who knows his mom very well), to call her to get things right. What you have here is a break, grounded in real life, that’s quite fun to listen in on.
Nothing humanizes a radio talent more than when you put a fun relative on the show. It’s terrific character development as the talent shifts from being an entertainer to someone’s kid, spouse, or parent. In these segments from WBMX, Boston’s Karson and Kennedy, Karson’s 93-year old grandmother calls the show to see if Karson knows that that town’s famed Fenway Park is turning 100 years old. Real life is funny…and these two segments with his grandma are.
The Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts was recently in a car accident where it was discovered, via the car’s black box, that he was traveling over 100-mph. That lead Karson & Kennedy, at MIX 104.1, Boston, to wonder what the black boxes in their cars might say. This is not only innovative, it’s terrific character development.
There is no doubt that relationships topics always work on female-targeted radio shows. Jim and Kim, Fresh 102.7 New York’s morning team, saw a multiple page letter a Wall Street broker wrote a gal he had one date with that was way over the line. They could have just read the letter (or parts of it) on their show. Instead, they found someone fun in the building and had them read it to the listeners, thus shifting into a position to react, which made it much more fun because of this added dimension.
Reality shows have conditioned listeners to want to be entertained by real life. One place real life happens for some people is in courthouses. Eddie & Jobo, on KHITS, Chicago head to their local courthouse once a week to talk to people about why they’re there that day. What ensues are fun conversations that really entertain those listening.
Sometimes breaks go completely sideways. That’s what happens when performing. How you handle it is what turns it into lemonade. John and Tammy, KSON, San Diego, came up with a fun game called “Golden Globes or Golden Girls”, with our entering the awards show season. They gave a fact about one show or the show and the listener had to figure it out. Really simple and very easy to follow, right? The listener got completely confused with how to play and here’s the audio. Listen as John and Tammy just back up, letting this take on a life of its own, making it even funnier.
Two breaks from two shows dealing with the same issue – what to do with Hollywood reports to make them more entertaining and memorable.
I have never been a big fan of Hollywood reports because they tend to be nothing more than the regurgitation of things listeners can find on Perez Hilton’s website or TMZ. In order for it to be great, you must do something with it. Here are two examples of this. In the first segment, with the pending Kim Kardashian-Kris Humphries divorce, Eddie and Jobo, KHITS, Chicago, talked tp a divorce attorney who offered her prospective on why Kris asked for an annulment. It’s very efficient, but more importantly, it engages the listeners emotionally.
In the second segment, when Jerry Sandusky’s attorney suggested that detractors call 1-800-Reality to get a grip on life, Kyle and Rachel, Radio Now, Indianapolis’s morning team did just that and found it to be a gay sex line. They could have just told listeners that’s what you got, but instead, they let me feel it by actually airing the audio.