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.
On a female-targeted radio station, you can never go wrong with kids. Listen as Michael from the B101, Philadelphia morning show quizzes kids at his son’s school bus stop about the big “event” which was coming up that weekend (the Super Bowl). The kids are cute, create great laughter, and strategically position Michael as the “father” on the program!
With the Olympics all over television now, J and Julian at B96, Chicago did a simple, yet quirky phone topic asking listeners, “If you could win Olympic gold in the one thing in life you do really well, what would you medal in?” These are fun, simple stories listeners tell. So much of great radio is creating humor from real life experiences. This one nails it.
At MIX 104.1, Boston we did “Wedding in a Week” for Valentine’s Day. Considering the economy, we found couples who wanted to be married but were putting it off because they couldn’t afford it. We built this from the ground up, first finding the couple, then getting listeners to donate all the items one would need for a wedding. Once we found the minister to perform the service, we felt like we needed to check him out. So the show called a couple he’d married previously to make sure the minister had the “golden touch” for happy marriages. Here’s the very tongue-in-cheek (and fun) conversation with a guy who’s been happily married for five years by the man who performed our service.
Great breaks are always fun and strategic. They reflect a purpose of communicating the show’s characters and/or are a reflection of listener interests (usually pop culture). At Radio Now, Indianapolis, McKinzie is pregnant. Which is why Scotty (who has no kids) decided to “sample” the baby food McKinzie was buying in anticipation of the little one coming. Mix in some laughter and you have a break of pure character definition!
We love it when shows do something innovative and mischievous. Anyone could go to a local wine show and come on the air to talk about it (snooze city!). Or, gather audio of the locals commenting on the wine (boring!). But Karson and Kennedy at MIX 104.1, Boston did something different. They set up a wine booth, substituted their wine with Welch’s Grape Juice, and then recorded the locals commenting as they sampled it. With the listeners in on the joke, listen as folks try to be kind. Being innovative makes you memorable. This is a great example of that.
Nick Cannon, new morning guy at 92.3, NOW, New York was chatting with listeners about using porn in their relationships when he gets a call from “Debbie from Long Island”, who’s all for it, even claiming that she and her husband use it to make the relationship better. Great content breaks are strategic – they’re fun, relevant, and build the host’s character by communicating something. What happened strategically here really is revealed at the end of the call. The listener is actually Mariah Carey, Nick’s wife, who called to prank him!
When shows work hard, they almost always score. Take this interview with listener Lori, as done by MOJO in the Morning on Channel 95.5, Detroit. Mojo, based in Detroit, scanned local Facebook pages and not only found out this woman was a fan of the show, but that she sat seven rows behind the terrorist who tried to blow up the Delta flight on Christmas Day as it was landing. The interview might be two weeks removed from the actual event (which doesn’t matter), but getting a first hand account of what happened is riveting. No one else had her on in Detroit radio. Score one for Mojo!
Every show has its regular, quirky callers. For Karlson & McKenzie at WZLX, Boston, his name is Kenny, who calls almost daily. Considering it’s Christmas time, Kenny phoned because he wanted to talk to Mrs. Claus. The show happily obliged in this fun and unpredictable conversation.
With the biggest stories of the day, people want to be brought inside. They can get the facts anywhere on the internet, but inside stuff is intriguing and entertaining. Scotty Davis from The Scotty Show at Radio Now, Indianapolis is a golf freak. He knows lots of golfers who know lots about Tiger Woods. Here’s a member of the LPGA telling her story (voice disguised to protect her identity) about what she knows about how bad a boy Tiger actually is!
Here’s a terrific interview Karson & Kennedy at MIX 104.1, Boston did with Suze Orman. It’s great because the opening question (“what’s the one mistake people make when spending money at the holidays”) sets Suze up to be…Suze! She is a great story-teller, very authentic, and captures you with her honesty and perspective. One great twist was when Karson asked Suze about a letter he’d received in the mail from a past creditor asking for money. In this shift, Suze taught us something we didn’t know, the content stayed very relevant, and we learned about the talent, too.