CPR Promotional Check-Up - Apr 11, 2013
April 11, 2013
Promotions That Give You Gas
"Gas" is a Promotional Position. Like "Weekend Contests", "Streets", "Community Involvement", "Concert Ownership" and "High Schools" for the CHR's and Rhythms. One station in every market, when the prices spike, does something and takes ownership until the next round.
Promotions is all about being topical. And gas prices are topical.
Know the name of the previous winner and win gas.
Good To The Last Drop
Done with a pickup in Houston. Done with a jetski on Grand Cayman. Predict when it will clug a stop, bone dry, and win gas for a year. Speaking of which...
Gas For A Year
"The Last Contest" was the biggest radio contest in U.S. Radio history because it took $5000 and they created hundreds of sounds-like-a-million-dollars packages out of it. As Newcap in Edmonton did when they figured out the $3200 would buy someone gas for a year. They got a month, a HUGE MONTH out of it.
Adding Some Characters To It
When Kiss in Boise did a gas station siege last year, they had a dancing costumed Gas Man playing to the cameras. One of the TV guys actually thanked Keke Luv for coming up with the great visual. KSON in San Diego has Sir Tanks A Lot out in traffic to promote their gas giveaways. In Greensboro, The Wolf created a Texas oil man (Randall Bliss) to voice their gas giveaway imaging; he was outraged, I said OUTRAGED son!, that they were giving away gas. "Britney need's some botox damn it and it just don't grow on the trees you know."
Pumparazzi, Red Solo Can
In the past, wise stations like Jammin' in Portland and KZIA in Cedar Rapids have take current hits like "My Humps" and turned them into parody promos, like, My Pumps. (Ask and I'll send) You could have a generic 23 second promo that will sound indistinguishable from the promo for some app that corporate is making you run, or you could have Gaga or Toby market the contest for you. Though, there may be an even more topical song than either of these.
The Gift That Pays Off In Dividends
What could possibly be the best prize you could give a listener? Stock in an oil company. Go to www.oneshare.com (.net is my website, because I guarantee that you'll at least get a one share)
Gasp For Gas
Started by the very very strange minds at The Giant in Thunder Bay. You pump gas for as long as a listener can hold their breath. Finally, something visual BESIDES the long lines, for the TV crews to cover.
For The Long Shot
It's become a cliché joke in Radio about how TV will go out of the way to NOT cover us. Or at least not give us credit. About half the time you do one of these big gas giveaways, you get TV chopper coverage. From 500 feet, all those rollerbanners you so meticulously spent seven hours hanging are not going to show up. I think Wired in Philly was the first station I ever talked into sticking a massive banner on the roof of the gas station. Try editing around that.
For The Close Shot
Anyone? What is the camera angle, the shot, they ALWAYS get? The hand sticking the nozzle into the tank. Consequently, whoever you have pumping needs to have little logo'ed tats or stickers on their hands.
We've done artists' cars. Mix in KC did the toilet seat from Jesse McCartney's dressing room. And Kris Abrams, when he was in Phoenix, did the gas from Brad Paisley's tour bus. It was presented as the interns going out with a hose and gas cans while Brad was at the station for an interview, and draining the bus. They even got the artist to cut imaging that pondered the question of "Why does my bus always run out of gas after I visit KMLE?" The prize room and conference room were presented as being filled to the ceiling with red containers of gas. Call and win a few. Please. Because everyone is getting sick from the fumes and the smokers on staff are jonesing. (They gave away...wait for it...gas cards. But in creative way.)
Beat The Pump
What if you got your gas the old fashioned way: you stole it. Like what 95.7 Jamz in Birmingham (US) did when they "hired an intern named Rodney" who was straight out of juvie. In a theater-of-the-mind methodology, they sent him out with a length of rubber hose to suck fuel out of people's cars. He had a cell phone and called in as he lurked in the parking lot behind a movie theater (as an example) looking for a car that didn't have a locking gas cap. The caller got as much gas as he can siphon out before he gets busted. I wrote the imaging so that Rodney slowly went blind from the fumes.
Talk in terms of gallons and not dollars. Sounds bigger. And please, for the love of all that is good and decent in the world, this is a great great great prize: don't emasculate it by calling it a gas card. Meineke has gift cards.
Stick & Pump
Probably not the name you want to use on your Smooth Jazz station. But you should use your event to get stickers on cars. Or, to reward people who have stickers on cars with free gas.
We're Taking Over Another Station
Please don't do this. This is like "We're going to walk naked down the street": so transparent that anyone can see through it. If someone does this call me. We'll bust it and get your entire fleet gassed for free, like KDWB did to KS95 in '00. Nothing like showing up for a gas promotion at 5 am to start hanging banners and finding 17 radio station vehicles lined up. Yep. KDWB was nice enough to contact ALL the other broadcast groups in town to tip them to this budget-saving opportunity.
I've lobbed this out before. The resorts in Wisconsin, which live off the Chicago tourist crowd, started filling up their guests tanks before they went home in '09. Took a little sting out of the long drive for a summer weekend away. You're asking people to get in their car and drive to a remote and buy carpet? You might want to offer them something more then just pizza. One of the stations had a trip to a concert about 200 miles away and are throwing in "gas to get you there and back"". (Gas cards but without saying "gas cards")
Who You Should Target
I love Sales. They work their ass off. People say "no" to them all day. And they get no respect. But please don't rely on them to get your gas station. One of the CPR stations waited over 120 days for the client to make a decision...and they eventually said no. And their competition blew them out of the water with a great gas giveaway while they were waiting. Ya know who is best? Mom and pop gas stations. Because they can do anything they want. No one to tell them what to do. So the question is: what do you have that they'd want? Front row tickets to Taylor Swift with a meet and greet, for their niece and all her friends? A traded trip to the Bahamas? Ask. Cash doesn't have to be your only option.
We're Offering The Cheapest Gas Prices
This has been done many times. Open up a bidding war. The station that sells gas for the least amount of money gets trips or concert tickets or free spots. Ten years ago Dave Ryan did this at KDWB and got it down to negative ten cents a gallon. That's right. For every gallon they pumped, they had to pay you a dime. SHUT DOWN South St. Paul. Traffic for miles in all directions. They gave the owner a traded trip.
I've thrown this out before. Get a gas truck and drive it around. Set up in neighborhoods and pump gas. This can be done as witnessed by KGGI in Riverside where they prowled the streets with the morning guys sitting on the roof dressed as Arab sheiks.
Fear Factor Fill Up
A bit from The Morning After at KOB-FM where they had the listeners do something exciting like reach into a box of spiders to get the privilege of being pumped. Another terrific visual for TV.
In case "Free Gas Fridays" has been done in your locale. And I'm pretty sure it has.
...announce your location until it's almost time to start. A Mensa candidate PD at one of our old clients promoted their dial position amount and the location for 24 hours. Enough time for the competition to get the next gas station over and do free gas. Idiots. Life would be boring without them.