By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies
As a holiday, Thanksgiving always seems to get the short shrift. Sure, it lacks the sex appeal of Halloween, it’s not as lucrative as Christmas and it has a dubious origin story. But the spirit of this holiday is more important than ever during these tense times. There’s something to be said for gathering your loved ones together and taking a moment to express gratitude for the positive things in your life.
The Power of Crossovers
While radio stations can use this extended weekend to mock Black Friday shoppers or play four days of artist triple shots, these things don’t really tap into the spirit of the holiday. At the risk of veering into Hallmark territory, I believe there’s a way for even the most cynical radio airstaffs to give their listeners something special for Thanksgiving. Best of all, it costs very little.
I have always loved crossover television appearances — when a character from one show appears on another — whether it’s Archer appearing on Bob’s Burgers, ALF appearing on Mr. Robot or Detective Munch appearing on, well…everything! It’s a gimmick that television stations have been using since George Reeves appeared as Superman on I Love Lucy.
Yet outside of the break between airshifts, radio rarely takes advantage of crossover appearances. As listeners, we never get to hear our favorite night jock chitchat with our favorite morning show sidekick. With more and more radio shows being piped in from outside the market, there’s a huge opportunity for the stations that still employ homegrown talent to drive home that fact with a special “crossover episode.”
Which brings me back to Thanksgiving. This holiday presents the perfect opportunity for radio stations to give their die-hard fans a special treat: a “bonus crossover episode.” Gather your DJs in a room, provide them with microphones and beer, then have them take turns talking about the things they are thankful for this year. You can record this conversation and release it as on demand — perhaps as a bonus episode in the station’s podcast feed or a stand-alone Soundcloud upload. You can also turn this discussion into a video event by hosting it on a platform like Zoom or livestreaming it on Twitch or Facebook. Or you can do both — give away tickets to the event, then make the recording accessible to everyone afterwards.
As radio broadcasters, we are inclined to think that every promotion needs to be huge. But sometimes, the best promotions are intimate. Sure, this isn’t a grandiose cash giveaway or major concert event, but for your station’s superfans, it might strengthen their bond to the station far more than those other prizes ever could.
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