January 23, 2007

Ask me what I want

You know when something comes out of leftfield? A hard decision, pregnancy, a car accident, restructuring announcements at work etc - mostly come as a shock to the unwitting. In radio, things like programming changes are part and parcel of the deal. You have performance reviews, listener feedback and most of the time, ratings.

Over in the states, a lot of marketers, musicians and creative houses are involving their target audiences to participate in the very campaigns, that are addressed to them. It's Consumer Generated Marketing (CGM). Jacob hits 'the dark side' of the issue, with many links across the structure of his point (an interesting read), which below I have pulled across:

There's a price to be paid for inviting everyone to participate in the station's programming and marketing.

1: Stations have to live up to the promise. If you ask the audience for input or to take your survey, be prepared to show them the results, followed up by our action plan.

2: You have to stay true to your plan to deal listeners in. Too often, stations start an "Ask The PD" or help-us-create-something process, but then the entire campaign runs out of gas. If you ask for input and ideas, there needs to be a logical follow-up and payoff.

3: Your product has to be in place before you start asking for input. If the morning show is fledgling - or just plain mediocre - save the time, money, and aggravation. Preston & Steve or Mark & Brian can ask for creative ideas. But not all morning shows and personalities should be playing the CGM game.

4: Don't be afraid to air some laundry, even the dirty stuff. Not all comments are going to be positive, and your CGM campaign will have more credibility if listeners hear kudos and complaints. Address the addressables and let your audience know that you'll fix things that are broken. Chevy learned this the hard way during a recent campaign for their Tahoes. The anti-SUV crowd came out in force.

Finally, be careful what you wish for. If you're asking for ideas and help, there's a certain entertainment value in "Gong Show" type amateur entries. That's what the early "American Idol" shows are about - exposing some of the worst submissions and auditioners. But you also have to have a conclusion, and it's even more credible when the winner is something that listeners actually choose.

Woah! Not too close!

Are there billboards up for this Walrus where you drive?
What!??! Do TV1 want to cause accidents?!?!

January 19, 2007

2-4 Grooves

2-4 Grooves are from Ostwestfalen, Germany.

With a growing back library of stuff, its exciting to find they've redone a lot of my favourite retro cuts, including "Easy Lover", "Son Of A Preacher Man" and "Like The Way I Do" (their current release). Although the singing is by Kate Cameron, she sounds pretty damn close to Melissa Etheridge - in fact I'd expect many clubbers not to even notice!

Take a listen, and enjoy.

2-4 Grooves [Myspace][Official German]

2-4 Grooves - The Way I Do

January 18, 2007

What the?

Are they listening to Australian Radio or something? Shizzle...

GM vs Microsoft

Lashes of comment... har de har har har!

At a recent computer expo, Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics (and I just love this part):

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally, your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive -- but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask, "Are you sure?" before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lift the door handle, turned the key, and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

Computer Sings - Fools Gold

January 12, 2007

Flicks dot co dot nizz

Found this site recently. Synopsis, ratings, trailers, release dates, schedules and stuff to win! Just click the image to go there :)

"Weird Al" Yankovic - Polkarama! (extract)

January 9, 2007

Happy 2007!

Where were you at New Years Eve?


Also, let's hope the word verification of when I published this very post has no meaning whatsoever?!??! (below). Blogger - are you trying to scare me?

Black Smoke

If there are things to experience in 2007 that I've not experienced before, I have already come face to face with my first two scares.

I got my spine shaken over the holidays. I was making dinner - my "fish-a-la-phelps", and watching a bit of a movie that was on TV in the next room. My younger sister then said to me calmly "there's a fire in the kitchen".

"FUCK!" I yelled. Ran in there and the frying pan with the 'good oil' had turned evil and was bellowing a very large flame into the black smoke that had gathered a good 30cm of thickness throughout the kitchen ceiling - almost down to the doorways. I had no idea what to do. I took the fry pan off the element and noticed the element knob was charred black and slightly melted. The flames persisted, so I dumped it into the sink and just as I turned on the cold water to try and cool the plate, I had the sinking feeling that I was about to do the wrong thing. Too late - it turned into a fireball and melted the side of the dishtray, various utensils and pot handles that were on the bench. The flame came very close to my face and had I been closer, probably would have burnt my nose, eyes and hair.

Luckily, the pan wasn't too hot so the flames died out with the water that was on the pan. It wasn't until then (only 10 or so seconds later) that I realised that I was breathing in black smoke and I started to cough. I proceeded to open the windows and realised that my partner and my sister were proceeding outside. Then the smoke alarm went off. Great load of help that thing was. I thought to myself - I need to move that alarm into the kitchen out of the hallway. I turned the oven off and went outside onto the grass to breath in some clean air, and deeply breathe out the smoke.

Then the shock hit me - calmly and with much shame. This was a close call. It could have been worse. I could have burn't the house down - because I was distracted watching a dumb movie while preparing dinner!

When you think it won't happen to you.. When you think that this close-call won't happen to you, it probably won't. But it will likely happen when you least expect it, when its not in the forefront of your mind. Some way, somehow you will slip up and you will kick yourself in shame, whatever the consequence.

Last night, my mother fell asleep with a candle on. She woke up smelling smoke and the candle had taken light to a photo on the wall 10cm up from it. She jumped up, ran to the bathroom just as the smoke alarm went off (which was still in the hallway thankfully) and dumped a glass of water onto the candle.

I hope there isn't a strike three still to come.

My new mantra for 2007: Be Aware. Make it yours as well. Please :)

Level 42 - Fire (unreleased demo)