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.
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.
The very best morning radio is personal and vulnerable. Which is why the feature “Truth or Pair” works. J and Julian, B96, Chicago’s number one show had tickets to give out to see Pink perform at the station. Instead of taking caller ten (ugh!) they challenged listeners to call them with a highly personal question. If they answered it (truth), the listener got nothing. But if the question was too personal, they could take a pass and the listener got the pair of tickets to see Pink.
One of the summer’s big hits was “Magic Mike”. One of the fun features on Fernando and Greg, NOW 99.7, San Francisco’s morning show is when they talk to Greg’s mom, a conservative woman who lives in Texas. They married the opposites of old school views on sex and a naked Channing Tatum. Here’s Greg’s mom “review” of the movie.
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!
The Indiana Pacers recently had auctions for new cheerleaders. Kyle from Kyle and Rachel, Radio NOW 100.9, Indianapolis, decided to interview some of the potential cheerleaders. What to do? In a brainstorm, I asked him what some of the stereotypes were for cheerleaders. Kyle said “they’re dumb”. So, he decided to ask them very hard science questions. The twist is he gave them the answers so they came off the opposite of dumb. The way this was done, it was quite obvious to listeners there was a set-up, which made it fun.
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.
Late August means it’s time for back to school. All over the country, parents are rejoicing that their kids are getting out of the house and going back to class. Which is why Rob and Joss, Froggy 92.9, Santa Rosa, CA, put together this excellent production piece of elated parents and the Christmas time classic, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
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!
The content plot for J and Julian, B96, Chicago is “multiculturalism”. Simply put, we have one of everything on this show, which is a direct reflection of P18-34 in a major city like Chicago. We leverage the ethnicity of the show to do different kind of content. So, the Olympics was an easy putt for us. Which is why we challenged each member of the team to learn the national anthem of the country of their heritage and sing it to the audience, as though they’d won gold. The audio below is a compilation of the breaks where we did it. Here is the cast of the show singing the national anthems of China, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Poland.
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!