Archive for month: March, 2015
Adding in as characters the fun people you work with or know in life is a fun idea to add dimension to your program. Find the smartest person in the building (someone preferably at a Mensa level) and pit them against the listeners on occasion in a trivia contest your co-worker rarely, if ever, loses. Call the feature “No One Likes a Know-It-All” which acts as your hook phrase at the end of every installment.
Learning a lesson from Letterman, Fallon, and Kimmel, we know the value of marrying a pop culture topic with humor. This is one of the recipes that accentuate two very important images needed to win: being fun and being relevant. The best topics many days are those things going on in the world around all of us. Make it fun and the listeners will flock to it. Add in a dose of innovation and it makes the break truly cut through and be memorable. Several weeks ago when “50 Shades of Grey” was topic #1, Ryno and Tracy, KYGO, Denver decided to ask co-workers who the office Christian Grey was. They aired this audio one morning and had the guy chosen in the studio to hear it for the first time. They then had even more fun with him by having him read from the book. Three images earned here: relevance, innovation, and humor.
Ellen occasionally plays a game with her guests that is very viable for your show, too. It’s called “Never Have I Ever” where she asks personal questions which could prompt an “I haven’t” or “I have” response. Questions like: being part of the mile high club, stealing from work, thinking romantically of a co-worker. You can play this on your team for character development. The fun comes from those who can’t profess they haven’t to a question. Quizzing them is where the fun happens.
Newscasts are really content breaks for the listeners. Unless you’re on a news-talk station, the audience can get the day’s news items from sources dedicated to delivering them as well as mobile devices and TV stations when they wake up in the morning. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do news. But understand that what makes this break stand out is the perspective and/or humor you offer the news stories the team converses about and comments on. Here’s a great example from The Big Dave Show, B105, Cincinnati where they were talking about a new Barbie that many people find creepy. The show does something with it at the end which creates a moment of emotion (laughter) which makes it sticky.
For a break to stand out, it must not only have a relatability factor, it must also, on some level, be creative and innovative. Stacey K & Jonah, Hot 101.7, Santa Rosa, CA put together a feature called “The Censored Song”. They put a beep inside a song hook and it instantly made the lyric dirty, eliciting laughter from the audience. While Santa Rosa isn’t a PPM market, one item learned is that music-based features are loved by the audience. This is totally silly, fits both the station and morning show brand images, and is very memorable for those listening. It’s the kind of idea many fans will hear and talk about with their friends later in the day serving the dual role entertaining those tuning in while causing talk for the show.
There are big initiatives at most broadcast companies for web hits. This one does it for you yet still sells the silly nature of your show. Talking to a program last week, one of the cast members said she was wearing Mickey Mouse socks that day at work. I had them send me a picture and it lived up to expectations (the socks were a total reflection of this cast member’s personality). We then developed an idea called “Can We See Your Socks?” Listeners will send us a picture of their quirky socks, which we’ll describe on-air then post to the web for all to see.
There are sounds all around us every single day. We hear some so often that, in many respects, they don’t even register any longer. From beeps of a garbage truck backing up, to your chosen notification for a text message, there’s a new game to play when you have something to give out called “What Did That Sounds Mean?” Play the sound, and the first listener to identify what it meant wins. Bonus points if the sound you play has something to do with your life, so it builds your on-air character.