This month’s Q It Up is a fun one! It comes with audio for every response. Although the question garnered limited response, probably due to the rare nature of promos and commercials that get listener requests, we received a nice collection of some extraordinary audio, which is featured on this month’s RAP CD. Enjoy!
Q It Up: Have you ever produced a commercial or promo that actually received requests from listeners to be played again? Tell us about it. What made it so special? If you still have a copy of it, attach an mp3 with your reply and we’ll put it on the RAP CD!
Cooper Fox [cooper[at]conwaymagic .com], Magic 104 WVMJ-FM, Conway, NH: In November of 2001, I was working at Clear Channel CHR B97-1 (WWBX, Bangor, ME). The night guy there at the time was Paul Brown (now in Vancouver, BC). At that time I was just starting to get into doing production from home and had most recently purchased Hip Hop E-Jay. I wanted to find a practical use for E-Jay so... I collected Paul’s phoner clips and stuff from our voice guy. I made a bed with EJay and used Cool Edit Pro to toss the parts together. One of the elements of the B97-1 night show was the new music challenge — ya know, the whole battle of the bands-esque type deal where two new songs are played and then votes are taken. I emailed this song/promo/whatever to Paul, and he ended up using it as the challenger. It won that night... and for the next 3 nights! One night about 6 weeks later, while I was filling in for Paul, someone called and requested it. Honestly, I was thoroughly surprised at the response.
Johnny George [jgeorge[at]indyradio .com], Susquehanna Indianapolis, Indiana: Over the years we have done a promotion called, Throwback Thursday, where we have brought in child stars of the ‘60s — sitcoms, game show hosts, etc. We promo them for a week, and they come in and chat that morning with our morning show and do a personal appearance that evening at a client’s store to generate traffic. It’s been very successful over the years. This has included the likes of Jerry Mathers (The Beaver), Dawn Wells (Gilligan’s Island), Barry Williams (Brady Bunch), Peter Marshall (Hollywood Squares) Gordon Jump (WKRP), Donna Douglas (Beverly Hillbillies) and others... (you get the idea).
We produced a promo for the week Cindy Brady of the Brady Bunch graced our studios, using the episode from the show where Cindy had a secret admirer. We interlaced our announcer, Doug Paul with Cindy on the phone with our morning man Bruce Elscott. As soon as it started running, so did the phones. The dry wit of Bruce, mixed with Cindy’s dialog was enough to start the buzz.
Now there are some things that we have laughed about even harder that never made the air......
Rich VanSlyke [richvs[at]bellsouth .net], Rich VanSlyke Productions, Suwanee, Georgia: Yes. A Bud “Real Men of Genius” parody promo. This promo actually gets requests on WKQZ Saginaw, Z93. It was written by Jerry Tarrants, PD at Z93. I made the bed. I think it’s special because of the humor and the excellent singing by my friend Mark Coughlin!
Ryan Stockert [rstockert[at]cjay92 .com], CJAY92/VIBE98-5: Just recently we produced a commercial for a client called Big Swell (a surf-shop). The idea for the ad came up when our sales rep, Jesse, was finalizing the contract for the remote. The shop’s owner said to him, “This better quadruple my business or I’ll punch you in the face”! Jesse told our Creative Director, Angie about the incident, and she thought it was funny enough to turn into a sale idea. The spot was very simple and maybe a little cheesy, but it was the sale name that was the clincher; “The Punch Jesse in The Face Sale.”
There was a ton of talk on “the street” about the sale, and a lot of listeners called asking if Jesse was real, etc. The commercial even came up in a listener focus group for the station over a month later.
In the end, it was the most profitable weekend Big Swell has ever seen (They doubled the money brought in on Boxing Day), and every surf shop in Calgary wants Jesse as their rep.
PS: As a side note, the commercial almost didn’t air because station management thought the idea was stupid!
Tim McKee [Tim.McKee[at]cox.com], 99.5 KISS-FM, 105.3 KSMG, San Antonio, Texas: Yes, sort of. We created a campaign for a local video store to promote their adult titles using a timeless template, Alistair Cook. Remember him from PBS? My character is called Banister Cook, a snobby guy with a fake British accent who obviously is a fan of the porn industry. Our goal was to accomplish this with some redeeming value, humor, and at all cost, reasonably good taste.
Since we wanted to make the most of current movies, we made up adult titles using the names of blockbuster movies or popular movies for that month. For example, “Welcome To Boobsport,” “ Finding Nympho,” “Old Mountain,” “Sperminator 3,” and one of my favorites, “Semen Biscuit.” Well, you get the idea right?
The video store constantly had customers coming in wanting to rent the video we were reviewing.
Staff members here at the station were also involved with their suggestions for movies titles. In fact, it became a game around here to see who would come up with the next title.
I have included a couple of samples of the campaign. With so many video stores and men’s clubs advertising these days, it’s so hard to get original ideas to sell this centuries old topic. It is after all, what it is.
Zack Lowe [zackl[at]zrgmail.com]: I have submitted two of our “most requested”: 1) Freeman Urgent Care, and 2) The Kitchen Warehouse.