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.
Nothing is more powerful than when a talent reveals themselves. Listen here, on their first show back after Thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago, when a member of the Rickey Smiley Morning Show shares with the audience that his father passed away the morning of the holiday. This is so raw, so real, so touching, and so honest. It’s also the foundation for immense loyalty with the audience because it lets them in and makes them feel like they know you.
Girl Scout cookies are on sale and you have a confession to make. You hate the Thin Mints. The one cookie every else seems to love. What do you do? Well, Joss from Rob and Joss, Froggy 92.9, Santa Rosa, CA went around to admit it to co-workers, recording their reactions, which are classic. This is the kind of fun, quirky, character-building break that listeners will mention to Joss if they see her at a promotion or remote in the next few months.
This break is a tad old, but highlights how things come alive when you add other elements to breaks. Each year for Thanksgiving, Cledus, from Dave and Veronica, WQYK, Tampa, visits Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving. Pondering what Cracker Barrel is like for Thanksgiving, the team decided to call the restaurant Cledus actually visits every year with his daughter. The result is an inquisitive team having a fun conversation with the waitress who answers the phone. The team could’ve opted to just tell the story, but adding the call to the restaurant gave them stuff to work with in their effort to create a fun, memorable break.
There is always a strategic benefit to putting a relative on your show because you become a kid. Here’s 92.3 NOW, New York’s Nick Cannon calling his grandmother to talk about Christmas. Listen as Nick gets redefined from being a super-celebrity to just being someone’s grandson. It’s not only cute, fun radio, it serves a purpose to defining his regular-guy character, too.
Karlson & McKenzie at WZLX, Boston do a fun feature every Christmas called “Scared Straight Santa”. A distraight parent calls the guys to tell them about a misbehaving kid. Pete McKenzie then calls the kid as Santa to create a little mayhem and to have one of those honest conversations to get the kid to promsie to behave or there will be no presents this year. Here are a couple of calls. Normally this is to young kids for the “cute factor”, but one is to a 19-year old who wanted to do nothing but curse with Santa on the line):
What could be more fun during the holidays than calling the Butterball Turkey Hotline to ask some silly questions to see how they’ll react? That’s what J & Julian from B96, Chicago did!
What would you do if you felt your partner was cheating on you? Pablo, at WPGC, Washington, told his cast and audience of this fear, and then decided to step out and call his girlfriend on the air to ask if she was. There’s a curve ball in this narrative arc, so you’ll have to listen to the two breaks below. Pablo did a great job intriguing the audience and hooking them to lean in to see how this dilemma played out.
There 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.
It’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.
On a market visit a couple of weeks ago we came up with a fun game for John and Tammy, KSON, San Diego called “Trek or Trebek”. They played an altered audio clip from either the old Star Trek TV show or Alex Trebek from Jeopardy. The listener had to guess where it came from. With Star Trek a hot movie right now, this was just dumb, silly fun!