Friday, July 05, 2013

How Your Station Celebrates Holidays; Or, Once You Get Past “God Bless the USA..."

Not surprisingly the most played gold titles on Country Radio yesterday (from Mediabase, July 4, 2013) were Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” and “American Soldier,” Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” and Brooks & Dunn’s “Only in America.”

While there are generally a handful of songs that can make up a limited hit category for most holidays – these are good examples – your time might be better spent creating quality, original imaging pieces to compliment these few songs rather than scouring for more musical square pegs to put into round holes.

The best holiday imaging is more localized, "personal," and "in the moment" than a library title no matter how well it may fit or how good it might (or might not) be. Imagine how different and powerful Independence Day imaging might be this year vs. years past in Oklahoma or along the New Jersey shore.

Start working on your next holiday imaging by writing how you and your community celebrate - from your market’s iconic events and places to your listeners’ voices sharing personal experiences and emotions. Localize data (like this and this).  Or create a holiday theme or spin, again with a local camera angle.

(And while you're writing fresh material please, on your website, post obviously local and not a stock photos of fireworks or whatever is the appropriate celebratory expression. And use unique shots for each station. Yes, some New York City stations should be embarrassed).

For future holidays, consider how inspired imaging  - even more than your specialty song category - can make your station stand out and engage more by reflecting the local spirit and emotions of the moment.

The A&O&B team remind you that a holiday isn't a good reason to play a bad song, but it's always an excellent opportunity to create unique, engaging, brand-boosting imaging.


Chuck Geiger said...

Chuck Geiger Lived my life by this creed. Holidays are not time off for the staff, but time too induce quality programming that isn't expected and draws in the listener. I have a playbook for every holiday and the creative spin to put on the holidays. Not just a dead pan imaging voice into a holiday themed song, but local camera angle like MOM touts. For example, July 4th promo for our parade and fireworks had Joe Dirt fireworks stand drop and yes on a HOT AC Independence Day/Martina hook, the parade theme was LET FREEDOM RING. It's way more than a song. Labor Day coming, I would try this programming if you have never done it before. Talk to Jaye and MOM fora jump start, but for heaven's sake, do it.

John Windus said...

Had fun making this 4th of July video back in the day for A&O client station KKRV in Wenatchee:

Happy weekend.

Mike O'Malley said...

Thanks, Chuck for commenting and for sharing the playbook idea. That's excellent! mom

Mike O'Malley said...

John - thanks for sharing the link. Dozens of possibilities for quick videos. Especially love those that let you 'peek behind the curtain." mom