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 my all-time favorite holiday bits is “Scared Straight Santa” as done by Karlson and McKenzie at WZLX, Boston. In this feature, Pete McKenzie calls a kid who’s been naughty as Santa Claus to call them out. It’s after the holdiays, but the execution of this is flawless. From the fun audio segments they use up front to set the tone to the call with the kid (who was obviously having a good time with all of it), this bit has just enough attitude and fun to make people talk. Hang on to it for next year (or for July when Santa has a lot of time on his hands!).
Family + The Holidays = Drama! Intern Adam Levine, who works each morning with Karson and Kennedy, MIX 104.1, Boston, had some drama with his family about the holidays. How best to maximize his story? Park his mother quietly on the hotline to surprise him as he told the story to see how the drama changes with both of them on the phone.
At MIX 104.1, Boston, we had a very unique prize – the chance to play football with Patriots quarterback and local hunk, Tom Brady. We did “Dress Like a Lady to Play With Tom Brady” where guys had to dress in drag to win. The goal of a show is to be real, tell stories, be innovative, and create fun. Here is a prime example on Karson & Kennedy of how we involved listeners in this very unique idea.
Just up the road in Baltimore, a school bus driver lost their temper with a student. This lead to a great phone topic about the time you lost it at work. Great phones are always stories. Here’s a break from Pablo and Free, WPGC, Washington, who talk to a listener who defines again the meaning of “going postal”.
Each Monday, “Gene and Julie” at KVIL, Dallas do a strategic feature called “The Relationship Report Card”. We look for every opportunity to build their characters and remind the audience they’re married. In this very fun Monday morning feature, each gives the other a letter grade on how they were as a spouse in the previous week. This is a highly relatable feature and gives both a chance to share their lives with listeners, thus bonding to build loyalty. In this particular installment, Gene gets an F-minus, leading to lots of laughter!
How did two Reynolds Group shows handle one of this week’s big topics, Powerball? Jim and Kim, Fresh 102.7, New York got several people from the same office on the line, bought them a ticket, then made them recite a pledge to their boss on the show to resign the next day when they won the money. Sean Henry, B103, Rockford, IL brought the sales guy in who put together the office pool together to figure out how the eleven people who pooled their money would split their winnings, which was eight dollars. Both approaches to the hot topic were novel, unique, and well executed.
One of the “it” girls right now is singer Katy Perry. Appearing on MIX 104.1, Boston’s “Karson & Kennedy” to promote her new CD, the show does anything but focus on the selling of her music. Instead, they know listeners are most interested in her marriage to comedian Russell Brand, which is what they have fun with for almost the entire interview. That’s a very smart strategy – play in areas listeners love instead of spend time selling them something.
What to do with the sultry, almost incomprehensible Chanel No. 5 commercial just done by Brad Pitt? Well, Karson and Kennedy, MIX 104.1, Boston transcribed the script and had people around the building (including some big local stars on their sports station) read (mock) it in their style. Very funny.
With “Iron Man 2” opening, syndicated country show Tony & Kris out of Nashville came up with a very simple game asking a listener to identify the super hero certain actors played in the movies. This is a simple, vicarious game that works. Sometimes, though, you have to make lemonade when things go south. Listen here as they guys make what could’ve been a tough game (the listener barely knew any answers) into something fun to listen to.
The most important thing you can do is personalize a topic. Doing this defines your character. Adding in other elements of personalization also gives you more to play with as a break evolves. Recently, Tiffany Hill from Tiffany and Michael, B101, Philadelphia, realized she never wore the correct bra size. So we decided to bring in a “bra expert” from a Philly department store who measured three of the most fun people in the building, to see if they wore the right bra size, too. Inside of this we have unpredictability and the typical male vs. female perspective of things. Here are the two breaks as they played out over the half hour topic.