"Damn, It's Hot in Here"

by John Dodge

Happy New Year, gang! Back from the holidays, still groggy I bet, eight pounds heavier and deeper in debt. I get ties and my daughter gets Math Blaster. Hey, no fair!

Up here in the Great White North, New Englanders cope with winter by treating it like one long work week. The weather is guaranteed top of mind -- and anything that far forward in awareness is a ripe target for promotion, eh? So how do you appeal to someone whose nagging preoccupation is 90 days of cold hands and feet? With heat! Or a Hot Fantasy at least. Until they work the bugs out of Virtual Reality, we can't just don the helmet and glove and "be" in Tahiti, so for now let's pretend. January's Steal This Script should be retitled "Cop This Concept" because you are going to totally remodel this station/club promotion for "July in January," "Tropical Night," or "Summer Fantasy," whatever name you've got as long as it's hot....

You, your Promotions Director, and your favorite salesperson should meet off campus for a few mai tais and strategies on which "hot" club in the market would go for this promotion. Here's the picture: Club X turns up the heat to 95 degrees. It absolutely has to be sweaty hot to be great. Tropicana supplies the juice, Ron Rico the rum, Panama Jack the oil, your favorite retailer supplies the skimpy swimwear, your travel client provides Two Tickets to Paradise for the winners of the Limbo Contest, the local theatrical supply joint provides the tropical props -- you know, palm trees, chimpanzees, bananas, coconuts and surf boards. And if you really want to go for it, go snag six tons of sand. You've got your Most Excellent Hawaiian Shirt Contest, your Teeniest Weenie Bikini, your Doctor of Bunzology Award. You've got volleyball playoffs, your Beach Boys Cover Band, your honorary degrees from Kamonawannalei U.

Remember: one damn down parka blows the whole fantasy, so be sure to enforce the mood -- no shoes allowed except flip flops, no long sleeves or pants, mandatory sunscreen, cheap shades all around, nobody in the pool until 30 minutes after lunch, etc.. For music you've got that Buster thing, Hot Hot Hot, Two Tickets to Paradise, anything by Jimmy Buffett, Coconut Grove (throw a dart at a Beach Boys CD, for that matter), Ukelele with slow and slinky Hawaiian slide guitar -- you get the picture. Just as long as you completely overdo it, you'll be okay. Save subtlety for some other day.

Now has this kind of thing ever been done before? What, are you kidding? Of course it's been done...somehow, somewhere...but not this January and not nearly as hot as you and your station are gonna do it. So Kowabunga dude, get jammin'!!

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