Thursday, December 23, 2010

Best of FTC 2010

How to write for your brand

Cat Country, The Wolf, Kiss, Kickin, Jake, The Bear and countless others are all the brand names of Country Music Radio stations. Most likely, the imaging and positioning for most of these stations involves simply using the brand name in the imaging. Scott Mahalick and Bob Glasco taught me years ago in Allentown, to write around the brand. I bought Cat Fancy magazine, The Cat In The Hat and more "cat" related books and magazines to write imaging. I also created my own "catisms" and we made a index/glossary of the representations of Cat Country 96.

We never used the phone tones, cue to call and other phrases for contests. We made up a character that was really funny. The Cat grabber. He lived in a trailer park and fumbled for coins in a Mason jar to use the pay phone to be caller 9. It was an inside pun and poke at contest players. He yelled "Gimme my free Cat Pack Now". Cat Packs were the name for the prizes we gave away. Sounded way cooler and brand building, than to say: "Win a free turkey from IGA". Building brand means using audio and visual representations of the stations brand. So many programmers feel that using the name is enough. If we would have just called the station Cat Country 96 and did nothing else, the station wouldn't continuously been #1 and with double digits.

107.1 The Wolf, playing today's New Country!

Showing our teeth and pounding the beat - One Wolf and tons of New Country - 107.1 The Wolf!

For example, last night we were coming home from dinner and were listening to one of tons of Fresno stations playing Holiday Music. One foreground station didn't even bother to brand the fact they were playing Christmas songs. Just jingles and a legal ID that was calls, city, slogan. This entails a little extra effort people. This is show business and marketing. I ask my wife, why are these radio stations so simplistic in their presentations. She of course said. "People just want to keep their jobs, it's extra work for people to think and be creative and they don't want to do it." I have always been an over-achiever and feel it's my job to make a radio station come alive with shizzle. 

Make it a New Year's Resolution to write around your brand. One programmer told me, "I don't want to use all those cat growls." That is the biggest mistake you could ever make. These are sonic representations of your brand and station. That's like Intel not using their tones in their advertising. It's you job as a programmer to put piss and vinegar into your imaging and brand building. 

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