Great 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.

WNOU Cheerleader Quiz on March Madness

Kyle & RachelThere might not be more fun than to quiz cheerleaders on things going on in the world.  With the stereotype that cheerleaders might not be completely in the loop on the news, Kyle and Rachel, Radio NOW, Indianapolis asked area cheerleaders about the recent March Madness tournament.  The only hitch was that the questions were very hard, and Kyle (obviously) gave them the answers so they came off as knowing more than the average sports fan.  The “conflict” inserted into this bit (planned, of course) made it very fun and very topical.

DAVE-FM Crash’s Dad on Thanksgiving

Jimmy & YvonneIt’s always a win when you put a family member on the show.  Crash, who’s on Jimmy and Yvonne on dave-fm, Atlanta, has a dad who was a big time chef at restaurants for most of his life.  No better person to check in with then, to ask some questions about preparing Thanksgiving dinner.  This one’s fun.  And strategic because everyone in the room is not only mischievous, they all turn into kids talking to him.

RSMS "Dancing with the Negros"

The Rickey Smiley Morning ShowAnyone who knows me know I hate the typical Hollywood report.  Everyone does it, very few are unique and fun and most can be replicated across the street.  It’s not the info listeners want, it’s the entertainment.  Hollywood news is everywhere – it’s how you do it that stands out. Here’s Gary with da Tea on the syndicated Rickey Smiley Morning Show.  He’s phenomenal, as is the show.  Listen to how they handle the news that Brandy has been eliminated from “Dancing with the Stars”.  No one else can do this but Rickey, Gary, and the rest of this team.  Which is why it works.

WQYK The Applebee’s Spot

Dave & VeronicaOne of the chief goals of any morning show is to make everything that they do entertaining. Talent get lots of endorsements.  While the wiggle room with a client can be narrow, Applebee’s lets Dave and Veronica on WQYK, Tampa have some fun.  By creating this humor, the commercial message is masked (making it more palatable for those who find commercial messages a tune out) and the client’s message comes screaming through more effectively. Not suggesting you handle live commercials this way as every client is different, but this one stands out.

Break if for Bieber Audio

Rollin' With Nick CannonHmmm…what to do with all those front row tickets to see Justin Bieber in concert didn’t pose a problem for Nick Cannon at 92.3 NOW in New York City.  Nick had listeners “Break it for Bieber”. Listeners who were willing to come on the air and break something of value got them. Listen here as a husband breaks his prized TV and his wife’s favorite Waterford crystal to get the Bieber tickets!

B96 The Awkward Compliment

The J ShowI always ask shows to tell me what they do that no one else has done.  The J Show, B96, Chicago, just added a new feature called “The Awkward Compliment” where J Niice walks up to people and compliments them on some small, quirky thing (I like your belt buckle, you’re very sexy when you use your computer mouse) just to see how they react.  Of course he’s secretly recording all of this for the show.  Odd, fun, silly completely works on a show because it captures listeners’ imagination, makes them laugh, and leaves them with something to talk with their friends about.

B101 Bill Tafrow’s Mom

Tiffany & MichaelOne of the easiest ways to do character development is to involve a family member in the show.  In this clip from Tiffany & Michael on B101, Philadelphia, news guy Bill Tafrow tells a story about not paying at a restaurant because the waitress wouldn’t show him any attention when he wanted to take care of his meal.  In this clip, the show calls Bill’s mom to ask her if he should go back to the restaurant to pay.

WNOU Happy Mother Fucker’s Day

Kyle & RachelUsually for Mother’s Day, shows will default (as they should) to the syrupy and sweet.  What stands out, though (if it fits the brand) is something with edge and attitude.  That’s why, for the holiday, Kyle and Rachel, Radio NOW, Indianapolis, did something this past week called “Happy Mother Fu%#er’s Day”.  They invited listeners to call and wish a Happy MF Day to the person who most recently did them wrong.  Yes, the did bleep the necessary word!  Below are the set up break and the subsequent break with listener calls.  This one cut through!

Refund Stories

J & JulianThe very best phones always come out personal stories.  Many shows lean on surveys or magazine articles to launch phones – that’s generic, boring, and impersonal.  When the show shares something that happened to them, and then open the phones to get similar stories, they’re even better because character development happens (the audience is connecting with the story).  In this audio segment from J & Julian on B96, Chicago, J tells a story about wanting a refund from a car wash that  messed up his car.  Listen after for the great stories they get from listeners as everyone kicks back to be entertained.  This is simple bread-and-butter stuff, but quite effective when launched from talent sharing a relatable experience they had.

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