Are You Giving Away Four Million Dollars Per Year?

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It is impossible to over-image a morning show or a radio station. To get a new image or message out to 100% of your audience CUME in 30 days, the message needs to be repeated a lot. But it’s not enough to just run liners saying “We are the best morning show.” Prove it by letting listeners hear examples of why your show is so good.

When Do You Run Morning Show Imaging?

Morning show promos should run 24/7, including during the morning show. These promos help fringe CUME and listeners from other day-parts quickly identify with the hosts of the morning show.

Sell the Personalities

The most effective morning show promos sell the characters of the morning show. This type of promo is critical for new morning shows that are going up against established players.

The most effective promos and imaging highlight what the show and individual personalities are known for (what listeners would be able to tell their friends about the show and what is unique about the show (features, sharing their lives, celebrity interviews, etc.).

Over time, good character based imaging promos can even convert audience that has a problem with the host or hosts of your morning show, and they can go a long way in establishing your show’s brand identity and increasing your familiarity.

Many morning shows have priceless on-air moments that play only once and a small fraction of the stations’ audience ever hears it. Morning show promos can help expose these moments to a wider audience.

Other ideas on show promotion:

Listener testimonial promos:

Utilize listener drops that point out the idiosyncrasies, likes, dislikes and emotions of the personalities. Examples:

Announcer: So what is it about the Tone E Fly Show?
Listener 1: “I listen because that dude Tone E. is ****in’ nuts!”
Listener 2: “It’s a good show — Shannan could be my big sister!”
Listener 3: “JT should run for President.”

Sound Bite Character Imaging promos:

Here are two examples from the popular Daria, Mitch and Ted show on 105.1 The Buzz in Portland.

Basically, the function of this imaging is to connect the name of the talent with the sound of their voice and with a sense of who they are as a character. It’s especially helpful for new/casual listeners.

Announcer: The Tone E Fly Show, a morning show for Austin:
Tone E: “My wife will kill me if she hears I’m flirting with the new intern!”
Shannan: “I won’t even go out with guys who don’t like sports.”
JT: “My parents were hippies and I think I was conceived at Woodstock.”

Less effective morning show promos center on pop culture drops, features and giveaways. Gender Wars and free pizza isn’t as strong a reason to listen as a relatable personality going through a crisis, with a funny story or some hot scoop or interview. Only highlight huge benchmarks that create memorability or bring listeners to the show such as the War of the Roses, for example.

Best of Promos

Some of the easiest imaging to produce is the “best of moment” imaging. Frequently headlined with ‘here’s what you missed,” these promos recycle 20-40 seconds of great morning show audio to the entire morning show and station audience.

Get Ownership of the Content

Consistently well-branded morning shows cut through and get noticed by listeners in a relatively short period of time. Even average morning shows can score higher with listeners on the memorability scale by reinforcing the show name in an entertaining way.

Here are some additional support branding techniques:

  • Run brief “how to contact us” bumpers during the show: (“Jamie and Danny in the Morning, Star 98.7 contact Jamie and Danny now at 888-555-9877 or follow us on Instagram – star987.”)
  • Brand your show’s highlights with this type exit bumper to take ownership of your material or show high point which for many shows happens into a commercial. “This is Curtis and Hillary on Jack 102.3, email…” will generate much better brand awareness for you than, ending into a GOT JUNK ad.
  • Produce an open and/or close to benchmarks and features to aid recall and make the show easier to follow. (e.g. “Celebrity Sleaze with Leslie on the Morning X”)
  • Attach the name of the show to every feature. Make it “Ben and Brian’s Battle of the Sexes”, “The Joe Show’s Topless Trivia”, etc.
  • Use abbreviated familiar song parodies to sell the show name as sweepers or bumpers. It can be as simple as using the melody of a familiar song or music that sounds like the station, to sing, rap or shout out the show or station name.

Be inventive and imaginative but be careful to not obscure the message. Match the production and voicing to the essence of the show, then sit back and watch the recall and ratings go up. You’ve got free advertising available 24/7 – use it! It’s cheaper than spending a million dollars on a TV campaign.

Morning Show Imaging Run date guidelines:

  • Funny=short run dates
  • Character building= longer run dates
  • Endearing moments=longest run dates (save these and recycle)


Photo Credit: Money/Flickr

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