Contests: Always Have A New Wrinkle
September 11, 2012
Radio contests are really getting boring.
They're either just lazy: "be the 9th caller right now" ... or they're just too complicated: "Jump off the floor of a 12-story building, wave to the clown in the 7th floor window, turn over onto your right side and try to land in the chalk outline we've drawn on the sidewalk; if you land with the most crushed body parts still inside the circle, your surviving family members will get into a drawing on October 14th to win a post-funeral trip to the Bahamas!"
Sheesh. If you want them to stand out and actually be noticed by the listener, you need to always have a new wrinkle in your contests.
For instance, when legendary morning man Ron Chapman was on KVIL in Dallas, they gave away a Mercedes one year. Nice prize. But what made it special was that if you won, you went to Germany to watch your car being made. Then you drove it to the port where it would be put on a ship to be taken to the U.S. Then you met the ship in the U.S.when it docked, and drove your car home! Now THAT'S a cool contest!
A Rock station I work with recently had a trip to New York to give away. And of course, they wanted to do the typical "Tell us why you'd love to go to New York" thing, and do a drawing to give it away. But when the PD asked me about it, I suggested taking the approach that a lot of people HATE New York and they'd never want to go there, so we'd convince them that it truly was the coolest city in the world by giving them the trip. So we had people tell us why they hated the whole idea of going to New York, with the winner being the one who hated it the most.
Another station in a different format had a Mother's Day giveaway they wanted to do with the normal "Tell us why your Mother's special" thing. I suggested than they do a little bit different wrinkle by asking listeners to talk about a mom that had heavily influenced them -- but it couldn't be THEIR mom; it had to be somebody else's mother. Both moms won a prize.
You breathe life into contests when you come up with a new wrinkle. Everybody's heard the old way. Come up with something different.