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.
Archive for month: January, 2010
Want some Valentine’s Day fireworks (and create talk for the show in the process)? Invite a bunch of couples into the studio for a “mystery Valentine’s Day contest” (you never reveal on-air why as you screen for the couples). Once there, here’s the contest: “What Does Your Woman Weigh?” The guys try to guess what their wife/girlfriend weighs. She then steps on a scale. If he comes within five pounds, they get a nice Valentine’s Day dinner. If he doesn’t come within five pounds, you get tension. Either way, it’s radio listeners will be drawn to and talk about!
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!
With American Idol, America’s comfort food for television, back on the air, it’s time to ramp up ideas around it. A zillion parodies have been done, but the one we like the most is “Inmate Idol”. What do prisoners have lots of? Time! And your local prison or jail might just let them make collect calls from the phones. Let inmates in local jails call the request line collect while the morning show is on and have them, over the run of the TV show, sing for you (as individuals or groups), whenever they call (you don’t actually have to have a competition amongst them – just inmates singing is enough to justify doing this). You’ll also have stories to tell from those incarcerated, thus increasing the intrigue factor of the bit.
With Valentine’s Day about one month away, how about doing “Ghosts of Valentine’s Day Past”? Set up a special phone line for guys who’ve wronged a woman in the past and need to apologize. Air the compelling audio you get off the phone line and facilitate a few public apologies on the show from guys to their former girlfriends the week of the holiday. Then, award each of them Valentine’s Day dinners with their current partners.
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!
Relationships features and topics are the most universal you can do. Here’s a new feature called “Why Am I Single?” (a question lots of people ask about themselves). You put a listener on who runs down the list of their attributes (i.e. college grad, fluent in two languages, disease free, employed full time, 10th in the world in jujitsu). Then, open the phones for listeners to ask other questions about the caller (here’s where they pull the layers back on past relationships) and then they tell the listener why they might be single. It is very relatable and has a terrific vicarious aspect to it!
Do anything with cute sounding kids and you have yourself a feature. Kids are not immune to seeing and hearing almost everything about the biggest topics of the day. And it’s fun to hear them talk about it. In this new feature called “What Kids Know”, go find a bunch kids and just ask what they know about the biggest topic of the day. Between the internet, their parents, and friends, you’re bound to hear things that listeners will be engaged by, too. We heard this done around the topic of Tiger Woods and it was completely engaging to hear what those kids knew about the topic.