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.
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.
Where does every show want to me? Right smack dab in the middle of pop culture and news. Nick Cannon at 92.3 NOW, New York talked to the street vendor who found the SUV in Time Square that almost became a bomb. Duane Jackson is being hailed as a hero for having seen something odd and then alerted authorities. Nick could have talked about Dwayne, but the show went the extra mile to get him on for this first person account of that city’s biggest news story!
There are a lot of marathons in Boston. Thousands of runners. Kennedy from Karson and Kennedy, MIX 104.1, Boston runs in most of them. Great breaks come from personal experiences and interesting angles. One of them is the weird people who run in these races around Kennedy. Here’s a break with a gal who runs and plays the ukulele at the same time. They had her on and it was engaging because it was from Kennedy’s personal experience and an interesting angle on the topic.
It’s not just the topic you choose, but what you do with the topic that makes it entertaining, sticky, and unique. Nick Cannon at NOW, New York City is all over American Idol. Here’s a guy he met in the lobby of the building who comes on each week to offer his perspective on the show. This is something that can’t be done across the street, which is why it works.
A true focus of the Jim and Kim Show on Fresh 102.7, New York is to be very local. That’s why when there was a big Italian festival in town, they were all over it. But not in a way that just promoted it. They did a fun thing called “Romantico or No Romantico”. With Italian being a romance language, they had someone from the festival on to talk Italian and they and the listeners had to guess if it was romance talk or if they were saying something much less touching. Here are a couple of breaks of its execution.
Great breaks are fun and relatable. They make you laugh. And when they really work, they communicate that the talent is just like you. Cliff and Brooks at KSON, San Diego were talking about how tough it is to get someone on the phone when you need customer service. So they’re taking calls and then Cliff decides to call his bank to see how hard it’d be to find an actual person. Listen to this short break – hasn’t it happened to you, too? That’s great radio!
John and Tammy at KSON, San Diego, reflecting on kids going back to school last month, decided to test the honesty of teachers by playing “Plead the Fifth Grade”. They got a fifth grade teacher on and then asked a series of questions escalating in their level of discomfort, to see how honest he’d be with them and the audience. The teacher got one shot to “plead the fifth” and not answer the question.
The very best content comes from the hosts’ real life experiences. Producer Kal on Kyle and Rachel, Radio NOW, Indianapolis, stiffed a waitress on her tip after ordering chicken fingers and not liking her attitude. The morning team called him out and put Kal in the most uncomfortable spot when they “found” the waitress and had her talk to Kal on the show about why he did it.