CPR Promotional Check-Up - May 18, 2015
May 18, 2015
Two "Must Have" Budget Items
Thank you to lovely and lithe™ Phil Becker at Alpha Radio for sharing a Selfie Booth Dealie Thing.
If they can make fish, they can probably make whatever you need. Outdoors these would be useless but at malls and indoor shows, they'd be great. http://www.tvnewscheck.com/marketshare/2014/04/15/flying-fish-why-not-flying-news-vans/
The Art & Joy Of Concert Ownership
This is topical because everyone seemingly has tours lined up to roll through and KRNK just kicked the snot out of their competition at a Rock show.
There are still plenty of stations that get it. That know even if you only have two employees, then, well, recruit the sales people and their kids and their kids' friends. Which is why one of the two employee C company stations regularly showed up with sixty bodies.
With concerts, not just the big tours, but also your own station-sponsored shows, this is a nice checklist to insure that you make the most of these opportunities. There are so many levels to this; you want to own it in the listener's minds before the band even hits town. You want to own the show on-site and you want to own it in the listener's minds as they fight traffic to leave the venue.
Leading Up To the Show
Contesting. Designated caller to win tickets generally sucks, topped only by "click and register" on the website. Especially when it is an act like Taylor Swift or One Direction that allows you to make people passionate. "Torture for Tickets", "Tantrums for Tickets" etc. are all weekend themes that give you a really hyped up vibe. I've heard stations do "Free Concert Ticket Weekends" and the listeners were scoring tickets to big shows…and they sounded about as enthused as if they were winning a case of motor oil. Hit them with a series of weekend contests that pump up their frenzy.
Fly-a-Ways Clearly it's huge to send a series of contest winners off to see the tour before it hits your city. This just re-affirms ownership on the air and is a great position to own. But most concert jet-a-ways are over the moment the morning show announces the winner on Monday. I've always coached my winners on how to do call-ins; they're no longer winners…they're our entertainment reporters. Give them a phone and the warm line number. I've gotten some unbelievable breaks from my winners in the past. One of them got onto Bon Jovi's floor at the hotel and interviewed the room service waitress. Another snagged an interview with an NKOTB limo driver. One called in from a cross-countryflight and talked to the flight attendant who told the jock that the 107 winners were too "wild" and all our listeners were forever banned from the airline. This stretches out your promotion for a few extra days and increases your bang for the buck. Power 96 in Miami did this with having a listener be their reporter at the MTV Spring Break event in Cancun.
How about making them an administrator to FB and post away their entire trip. If anything, it might be good hype for your next trip giveaway. KDWB and B-96 are among the bevy© of stations that have gotten a listener down into the pit with a photo pass.
Sleep With… Wild in San Francisco is one of the station's that's pulled this off. Basically your listeners can't sleep with Lady gaga so we'll give you the next best thing; the beds from her hotel room. Or her sheets. Or her pillowcase. This really isn't that hard to pull off and it sounds massive. You just have to ask.
Eat With… Jo Jo Wright once snagged a Dominos pizza box from a dressing room after an NKOTB show and gave it away as "Joey's pizza box". Phones exploded like nothing I've ever seen before. You should always, always be looking for stuff to steal, if even to just position it as being from the artist. Dave Ryan once got had Jessica Simpson burp into a water bottle and quickly cap it. He auctioned it off on eBay. You're only limited by your own lack of creativity.
Poop with… Chris Taylor, when he was at Mix in Kansas City, gave away the toilet seat from an artists' dressing room.
Stars' Cars Power 99 in Philly did this with Boyz II Men show that happened to coincide with a car giveaway they had on the calendar. They got the group to pose in the car and autograph it before they awarded it to a listener. Jammin' in Portland did Nelly's Navigator.
There's a million that you can and should do. But the best are artist specific. You either:
- Play off the name of the artist, ie: Kanye Quest in Albany where they lost a pair of tickets and gave GPS-like directions (north, west, north again, now south…) to find them.
- Play off the name of their hit. We did "Living La Vida Naked" once for Ricky Martin tickets: you had to jog naked across a bridge to win the tickets.
- Identify something specific about the artist or the era they came from. Like the "Big Hair For Bon Jovi" bit. One of the stations sent listeners to see Madonna in New York City for some listening party. I worked Madonna concerts in the early/mid 80's. Girls dressed in lace and wedding dresses. Really awful stuff. So they had listeners submit photos of their 80's Madonna concert attire and let the audience vote on-line for the winner.
- Obviously play off any of the Hallmark Holidays. You have a concert the second week of May? Then "mom" is your comic foil.
The Day Of The Show
On the Air Most concert broadcasts are off the "lame scale". If the show starts at 7 pm, the van will be out in front of the arena at 5. WEAK! Get a jock with a phone into the venue at 11 am. People will be thinking and anticipating the show from the moment they wake up. Feed off that. You work at a radio station for God's sake. Your listeners assume your backstage hanging with the band anyway, so paint that kind of picture. Starting at 11 am and every 45 minutes until show time be broadcasting from inside the arena. Talk about the stage set up. Find people that are cool to talk to. In San Francisco we were standing in the mezzanine at the Oakland Coliseum at 2 in the afternoon when some women with laminates and walking a dog on a leash went by. On a hunch I had Jo Jo go over and say hi. She was Janet's personal dog walker. That's her gig. She traveled all over the world as the dog's nanny. We got her on the air and it sounded amazing.
Can't get into the arena? Fake it. Say that you're backstage. Paint a picture all day long of wandering the bowels of the arena. Talk with "roadies" (sales people). Sneak into the dressing room and steal a towel. I've done this over and over and it kills all the while seriously pissing off the competition in the process.
In the Community Is there a street or road in town that you can get re-named "Katy Perry Blvd." for the day. Mayoral proclamations can be huge. If you think the band is coming in by plane, pull strings with people at the airport and find out when they're getting in. They won't be at the main terminal. They'll be at one of the flight service operations elsewhere on the field. Host a rally to greet them. KDWB actually did an acoustic show by the Jo Bros at Signature Flight Services when they got in.
Bannering. This needs to be approached like a military operation Several stations have gone down and done schematic maps of their arenas, all the streets around it and all the roads and highways leading into it. They've physically mapped out where every single one of the 100+ banners are going to go. No last-minute scrambling. (And once you do this, you'll always have it on file.) If you need to bribe the owner of the parking garage across the street to hang giant mega-banners, then do it now. If it's an outdoor show, then order a banner tow. Not as expensive as you'd think. Especially when you factor in the number of impressions you're getting.
I was at Hot in Ottawa for a Rihanna show in the summer of '11. It was mapped out strategically with vehicular re-placing during the show. It was one of the ugliest buttkickings I've ever seen.
In the Parking Lot Can you turn this into a sticker stop and buy a chunk of 500 parking spots in advance just for people who will allow you to sticker their cars? You need an overwhelming presence of bodies in shirts out there. I know a Promo Director who has one of those motorized skate boards for getting around at his sticker stops. Can you rent ten of these things, get jocks and promo staff on them, and have them cruise the lot welcoming people? How many entrances to the arena are there? Have a vehicle parked at each one. You should try to "impact" as many of the people walking into the show as possible.
Think Outside The Plaza I went to a concert this Winter where the cab driver dropped me off three blocks away, about 60 minutes before the doors opened. It was one of those big party shows with all the bars packed and lots of tailgating. My feet had barely hit the pavement and two young women dashed up in competition t-shirts, welcomed me to "our (artist) concert" and handed me a coozie.
In the Venue You want to see a sea of logos inside. There are a lot of ways to do this. One very effective method is to offer a Front Row Upgrade for one person who you catch wearing your call letters. Have spotters in the crowd pulling people out of their nosebleed seats and putting them down front. I did this for a show in Phoenix and there must have been 5000 shirts in the crowd. It was awe-inspiring. If they hadn't won shirts on the air or at event, they made their own.
The logoed beach ball concept is always great. Sneak 'em in uninflated and blow them up and bounce them around. Especially effective when the lights are up and there's nothing to do but wait between acts. A lesson learned: don't hand these out outside and expect people to do your job for you. They won't. They'll take them home as souvenirs. Give five to each staff member and send them to various corners of the stadium with the instruction to space them out and don't do them all at once. You can get latex balls, about 50% bigger then a beach ball, from your specialty item person. Logoed they run about $1.50 each. This is one of the best ways to own a show that I know.
The Wolf in Denver took it to the next level and slipped light sticks into the balls before bouncing them out into the crowd. Wired in Philly tied light sticks onto balled up t-shirts that they launched with air cannons from a boat on the river, into Q-102's outdoor show.
At N'Sync girls used bring teddy bears to throw on stage. So stations got logoed teddy bears and passed them out. Is this an act where girls will through their underwear on stage? Then get some logoed panties and distribute them to the girls to replace the ones they throw on stage. With Sisqo opening KYLD did loads and loads of logoed thongs.
Xyalume light sticks were used by XtremeRadio in Hawaii when they had N'Sync on New Years Eve. You can get these logoed and Scott MacKenzie says it looked great when there were 10,000 of these things all lit up at once. Body patches and temporary tattoos are also huge. KUBE has done the body patches and had them numbered for contesting the day after the show.
How about a Quiet Room? This is a place in the basement of the arena for the parents to hang while the show's going on. You can get your free ticket to the Quiet Room from the station and the parents love this because they don't have to drive home, wait for the call and then drive back and try to find their kid in a sea of teenage girls. Wild 94.9 in San Francisco has done this with a giant tent in the parking lot for another event and reprised this for some of the boy bands that were hot six or seven years ago..
Got a bat light? KSFM in Sacramento is one of two stations that have successfully snuck these suckers into concerts. In Sacramento they hid it in a luxury box at Arco the night of an NBA game and hit the Backstreet Boys from the suite three nights later. Party Radio once snuck their bat light into the arena as part of a "television crew" and hit the stage with the logo at a Puff Daddy (pre-Diddy) concert…while the other station was introducing the show. Crowd went nuts. So did the jocks on stage. But not in a Good Nuts kind of way.
After The Show
So your listeners had a blast and are heading home. You need to permanently ingrain your station as part of this fabulous concert memory. When they think of N'Sync (or whatever show) your station needs to be part of that thought. You need to be the last thing they see as they leave. Bat lighting a tall building across the street and towards which all cars are going to have to exit is great. Most stations fold up and leave as soon as the show starts. BUT NOT YOU. Have your staff at the exits thanking everyone for coming and passing out Cume Cards. These are business cards that have songs that'll be played the next day. The only way to know to call when you hear these songs is to get these Cume Cards. Power 96 in Miami does this all the time (and usually with a special mix of the act's music for people to listen to in their cars on the way home.) Power 102 in El Paso did this at Tax Night and KUBE did these at Opening Day in Seattle. Wild in
San Francisco has rented those mobile highway construction signs that you can pre-program your message into, and positioned them at the off-ramp to the Oakland Coliseum. As people arrive at the show, they're greeted by a flashing "Wild 94.9 Welcomes You To Kanye West!". As soon as everyone is in the concert, the signs are moved and the message changed to "Wild 94.9 Thanks You For Coming To Our Kanye Show!" They position them so they're facing all the exits of the parking lot…it's the last thing people see as they leave.
Hot in Ottawa does "You've Been Snapped!" cards. They take thousands of photos and hand out cards that direct people to log on the next day and download their pic from the show.
Is there one exit that everyone flows past as they drive out? Stick your vehicle with all the staff there, waving and thanking everyone for coming to the show.
The last impression is always the most important.