Does the station never have the budget to do bigger ideas? A recurring, quick feature you can do is called “We Win, We Go!” Once a morning, play a scratch and win lottery ticket. If you win money off the ticket, spend the winnings putting yourself right in the middle of whatever is happening in the news or pop culture right now. Dave and Jimmy at WNCI, Columbus did this. They hit for a $2500 lottery jackpot and went to the Olympics to broadcast for a few days. And all the days they won nothing, it was fun to listen to. Total cost each day is one dollar, and the bit literally takes under one minute! You can do this with whatever the big story of the day is.
Archive for month: February, 2010
Truly great radio, the kind that connects with the audience, is vulnerable. Listeners want to get to know the talent (the parts which position them as real). At Mojo in the Morning at Channel 95.5, Detroit, Shannon (the single 27-year old of the show) is considering getting a dog. Listen as the conversation evolves with Shannon admitting to the room how lonely she is being single, especially learning that her ex-fiance had a new girlfriend. Then, Shannon breaks down crying. This is brilliant radio because the wall between the talent and the listener is invisible. Think of how many other women identify and have empathy for this show character. The next break (right below on this page) was spent talking with listeners reacting to this.
Here is phone reaction from the break above with listeners identifying with Shannon’s admission on Channel 95.5, Detroit that she was lonely and wanted a dog.
“Olympic Athlete or Westminster Dog” is a simple game which plays off two pop culture topics. Gather names of athletes at the Winter Olympics and the names of dogs at last week’s Westminster Dog Show (both available on line). The listener has to get three of five right to win. Great on-air games can be vicariously played in cars and at home. This one is quirky and fun and can be played along with by everyone listening.
On a female-targeted radio station, you can never go wrong with kids. Listen as Michael from the B101, Philadelphia morning show quizzes kids at his son’s school bus stop about the big “event” which was coming up that weekend (the Super Bowl). The kids are cute, create great laughter, and strategically position Michael as the “father” on the program!
With the Olympics all over television now, J and Julian at B96, Chicago did a simple, yet quirky phone topic asking listeners, “If you could win Olympic gold in the one thing in life you do really well, what would you medal in?” These are fun, simple stories listeners tell. So much of great radio is creating humor from real life experiences. This one nails it.
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.
This is a new weekly Monday benchmark highlighting relationships called “Man Card Monday: How’d He Use It /How’d He Lose It?” Take calls from women who tell the show the manly thing their guy did over the weekend (i.e. he changed the oil, re-roofed the house) to demonstrate how he used his man card or the girlie thing he did (i.e. carried her purse through a department store, got a pedicure) to show how he would possibly lose it. Great phones are about telling stories – here you’ll have lots of them.
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!