One of the buzz shows now is “The Marriage Ref”. So, shows are trying to figure out their version. At WZLX, Boston, Karlson and McKenzie are doing “Same Sex Marriage Ref”. Considering gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts, this classic rock morning show is finding same sex couples and assembling a group of fun, local celebrities who then try and counsel the same sex couple through a relationship issue.
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.
“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.
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.
With Valentine’s Day later this week, here’s one you can use, especially with the prevalence of Facebook: find the grammar school crushes of everyone on the show and surprise them with that person this week. You can even do this with local celebrities by inviting them on to talk about Valentine’s Day then coax them into a conversation about the one they had a crush on when they were in sixth grade. It’s memorable, intimate, uncomfortable, but will also bring back great memories for listeners as they think about theirs.
With the Super Bowl this weekend, do “The Super Bowl Seduction”. This bit is great because it marries two things: the Super Bowl and sex and has a component to move listeners from Friday’s show to Monday’s. Find a bunch of women who hate sports to call you this Friday morning. Convince them to try and seduce their guy during Sunday’s game to see which their guy chooses: the game or sex. Then, have the women back on next Monday (the day after the game) to see their “rate of success” and to get the story of how they did it.
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!
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.
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!