Friday, October 27, 2006

Vancouver's Secret Sound = The Sound of Records Breaking

The press release from Eric Samuels, Operations Manager at Z95.3/650 CISL and Sr. VP Programming for Standard Radio:

Z95-3 Vancouver’s Z-FX, the radio contest which has listeners attempt to identify a mystery sound effect to win $100,000 culminated today with an on-line and in-office frenzy. The contest, which has been running since early September, having started at $500. Morning show hosts Nat and Drew will took phone calls non-stop from listeners until someone correctly guessed the “Z-Effect” was a A PROPANE TANK VALVE OPENING and wins $100,000. Remarkably enough, numerous on-line communities sprung up where the only thing the users have in common is the Z-FX contest. Included among them is the community forum where twenty four thousand, two hundred and fourteen messages have been posted which have been viewed 461,555 times. The effect the contest had is reflected by this posting from an online community:
“OMG the drive into work was funny!! I pulled up to an intersection when it was time to call and I looked over at the truck beside me and I saw this guy on his cell, his hand drop and then he brought his cell back to his ear and it dropped again....I was doing the same. We both got eye contact and we both knew what was going on. A sly smile came upon both our faces, and a glint in our eyes as our fingers reached for that redial button! It was a show down I tell you! I couldn't help driving the rest of the way to work with a goofy smile on my face. hahaa. We have all gone mad!”

1 comment:

Gord Eno said...

In response to the Z-FX press release on the Breakfast Blog here's something Chris wrote. Thought you should know what we did that same day Z 95 gave away 100 grand. It was a fun day on JRfm.

Zed gives away $100,000. Jack gives away $100,001. Lot's of coin. Hard to compete against when it's dollar for dollar. But that didn't stop us from competing. What did JRfm do? WE HAD FUN!

Forget the Secret Sound. JRfm rolled out What's That Noise? for a day, where JRfm air staff made their own sound effect, live on the air, then asked for a listener to id the sound for one hundred thou.....uh.....dollars a pop. There was a cat fight, a cat coughing up a furball, armpit farts, and even a Star Wars Wookie! We made it as easy as possible and had winners all day. (The Z95.3 was very difficult to identify having one winner over a period of weeks.)

What did JRfm listeners get out of it? The ones that played got $100 quick cash. The ones that didn't play, the vast majority of course, heard something you don't hear on the radio a lot anymore. PEOPLE HAVING FUN! Just big dumb fun...just people laughing at themselves. A silly gigglefest.

What did JRfm get out of it? Well, when the "magic" of a huge cash prize to one person is long forgotten, what won't be forgotten is JRfm knows how to have fun. We know not to take ourselves too seriously. We know the magic of radio isn't contained within unattainable lottery contests with no emotional impact. People, (listeners) rarely remember what you say. People, (listeners) remember how you make them feel. And for one crazy Friday, we made people feel silly, and goofy, and reminded them that fun is a verb, not a hypothetical concept.

Cue the Wookie!

- Chris Coburn, Assistant Program Director/Afternoon Drive, New Country 93.7 JRfm Vancouver