Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Creating Buzz can certainly backfire...or can it?

Two stories have captured my attention recently.

Summertime is a big season for radio.

People are out doing fun stuff outside...and in order to stay in front of listeners, many stations run billboard campaigns figuring people will be outside driving to the beach (or whatever), the sun will be shining, people will be happy, and what better ways to get your call letters in front of potential listeners.

But then, marketers want to be creative. Can't just put up the call letters on a billboard! Gotta come up with something that will create "buzz" to show how edgy we are.

Here's one example, for a morning show that is syndicated right in my backyard The Bob & Tom Show.

Women in Boise thought the billboard was exploitative. I like the Bob & Tom show...it makes me laugh...and they have certainly done some crazy boards before...ones that were equally in poor taste as this one. But, this one caused an uproar...and resulted in terrible PR, right? Right? Well, that's a tough call because the target market for a station like 96.9 The Eagle ,the station in Boise that posted the boards, may feel a sense of solidarity with the station as it weathers protests from the local community. Plus, the show does have PLENTY of sexual inuendo and the board fits right into that theme. Should it come down? Yes, and it has.

This next one, though, leaves me shaking my head.

Here's a board posted in Cincinnati by News/Sports Talker WLW

The station isn't a Spanish station. It's a news/talk station. A station that shoudl be striving to build credibility in the market. Puns? Ethnic Puns? Makes no sense to me at all.
And boy is it creating buzz.

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