Tired, exhausted, and frustrated with all the political ads you’re seeing on TV? See if any politician will take you up on “The Friendly Four”. If they consent to come on your show and start the break profusely apologizing for their part in all those horrible, ugly, negative ads, you’ll give them a friendly, four-minute interiew without any tough questions.
With Halloween a few weeks away, if you have an elevator in your building, someone from the show can come in one morning that week in costume. Hide close to the elevator and as co-workers arrive at work, scare them, recording all. Then air the best audio on your Halloween show and put the video up on social media.
An intriguing character-building idea would be to make one day on your show “Opposite Day” where each cast member does something which is the total opposite of who they really are. Talent are defined several ways – by the stories you tell about your life which position you as just like the audience or have a relatable component the audience identifies with. Or you could do the opposite of who you actually are, which, if explained to the audience, does the same thing.
Fitz in the Morning, The Wolf, Seattle, does a fun character-building bit on Mondays called “The Peak and the Pit” where the cast shares the best and worst moments of their weekends (peaks/pits) and asks listeners to do the same. What is great about this is they’re short stories centered around highs and lows of real life over the weekend for all.
A terrific character building feature heard last week on The Bert Show is called “Let’s Be Honest”. Each cast member puts a highly personal question into a hat (think: “Which cast member on our team is the most irritating to be around off-air and why?”). Then, each cast member pulls out a question and must answer it for the audience. Conceivably, you could pull your own question! You score points with the listeners when you reveal yourself and you’re honest. This does that.
New features can magically appear if you listen to how people say things. On a listener call a few weeks ago on an unrelated topic, the caller was heard to say that they were a teacher’s kid. When the host asked him to repeat himself, what the listener actually said was that he was a preacher’s kid. Bam, a feature is born. A listener who is either a Teacher’s Kid or Preacher’s Kid calls to tell you about a wild thing they did once when there were young. Running through a few follow-up questions, you then guess if they are a teacher’s kid or a preacher’s kid. This works because it’s alliterative, what you hear is story-based, and the audience is playing right along emotionally.
Listeners always like to play along – if you do things that are vicarious, they’ll lean in, you will emotionally engage them, and you have them hooked for that break. Slacker and Steve, Alice 105.9, Denver, play a fun game with listeners. It’s called “Drunk or a Kid”. Listeners call and tell the show a story about something they did when they were either a drunk or a kid. The show then has to guess. The listeners will do that, too.
Some of the best ideas happen when you marry opposites. Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” video is now up to 60-million views on YouTube. It’s racy, over-the-top, and being talked about. This week’s Free Idea comes compliments of Kyle of Kyle and Rachel, Radio NOW, Indianapolis, who suggests you show the video to polite, courtly grandmothers to get their aural reaction as they watch it.
Sometimes the really fun ideas come out of a simple statement someone makes. My neighbor, talking about her three kids returning to school in the next week, said, “Kids go dumber over the summer.” So we have something for the show! Talk to moms with kids in the car headed off to a new school year. The kid comes on and tells you the grade they’re going into. Find out if the kid went dumber over the summer by asking them questions from the grade they graduated from a few months ago.
With county fairs about to start, Rob and Joss, Froggy 92.9, Santa Rosa, CA played a fun game with listeners. They went to their fair and talked with kids, just as they left a ride, and asked them to describe it for the audience, who then had to guess the name of the ride. What’s brilliant about this is that they got the kids at their emotional peak, just off a fun ride they went on, so you heard that in their voice.