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Celebrities, why don't we use more of them?

The other day I was doing a job for an international client of Voodoo Sound. It was a radio promo for a Carlos Santa concert that was coming up. When the spot was finished, I listened back to what I had done, and it just didn't quite cut it. Sure, there was music, there was a voice over, some nice edits to hold it together, and it ebbed and flowed, but it just missed that special "something" that made a listener stop and take notice.

So I went to the archives of interview bits and pieces that I have accumulated over 30 odd years and re-discovered an old interview that contained a piece of gold. Carlos himself talking about his career and more importantly inviting people to come to his concert. Now, this audio was some 10 years old, but it worked perfectly, and it got me to thinking. Why don't we make more of the artists we play on our stations?

Corporates like Coke know the power of a celebrity sell, so do Nike, Tag watches, Chanel No. 5, Woolworths made millions through their partnership with Jamie Oliver, and so it goes on. These guys know the power that celebrity can wield, so why doesn't radio harness this power more often? The aforementioned brands spend thousands if not millions of dollars on these endorsements, yet we let the opportunity to get them for free slip through our fingers almost on a daily basis.

We all use artist id's in our sweepers, and Record company supplied "Power Intros" for new tracks, but how about next time a big name artist walks into your station for an interview, you slip a quick script under their nose and ask them to read it. Imagine if that script spoke to the content of your station, something like...

Hey, I'm Dave Grohl

(insert Foo Fighters)

In the 20 years that Foo Fighters have been rockin', (your station name here) has been right there with us. They broke the hits that made us a household name when we were just getting started, and play the stuff that inspires us now.

(Music Montage)

If you're listening to (Your Station Name Here) you're not just on the cutting edge of Rock n Roll in this town, you're on the only station that the Foo Fighters listen to when we're in (Your City) .

Talk about an endorsement!

They don't even have to be in the station, just record it down the phone line, if your production guy is up to the challenge he/she will make it work and you'll have your station being sold not just by you, but by the very acts your listeners tune in to hear each and every day.

So the next time you have the chance to harness some big name selling power for your station, don't just leave it to a 3-minute interview on the Breakfast show, use the power of celebrity that your advertisers can only dream of to it's full advantage.

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