Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Closing the deal? Ryan Seacrest kiises it off

Media outlets are desperate for quality content. If you can provide quality content to a media outlet, they will wine you and dine you (well, if you're Mormon or Muslim, they'll dine you) and do whatever it takes to get you to commit to provide the quality content to the outlet.

In the description below, note that "quality content" means "content that gets a lot of people to hear our advertisements."

In his spare time, Ryan Seacrest hosts a morning radio show in Los Angeles on radio station KIIS-FM. One of the features is something called "Ryan's Roses," in which a cheating boyfriend is exposed. The way it works is as follows:
  • A woman calls Ryan on the radio and voices her suspicion that her boyfriend is cheating on her with someone else. Ryan listens intently, sympathizing with the woman, because HE CARES. Commercial break.
  • Ryan gets the woman to consent to what is about to happen, and then the boyfriend gets a phone call (broadcast on the air) from a flower delivery service, offering a free bouquet. The boyfriend is asked to say who should get these free flowers. In the ideal situation, the boyfriend then gives a name other than that of the girlfriend, the girlfriend confronts him and cries and yells, and we all listen intently. Commercial break.
  • The phone call ends, and everyoone calls in with their opinions.
Hillary, you're better off dumping that boy Bill, 'cause he's a cheater and he's cheating on you and you don't need no one like that. And Monica, you're a TRAMP for going out with Bill, because you're ... well, you're a tramp.

The power of this episode is that it spans several segments, causing people to continue to listen to the station - and to all of the commercials that air before and after "Ryan's Roses" makes its call.

I was flipping stations during my morning commute on Monday, and I happened to run across a Ryan's Roses segment in progress. They were just setting it up, with the girlfriend saying what was going on, or what was not going on. And Ryan was listening intently, sympathizing with the woman, because HE CARES.

Then (after a commercial break), Ryan was ready to make the call, and just needed the girlfriend to give her on-air consent for Ryan to call the boyfriend. However, the girlfriend ended up saying "I can't do this," mumbled something else, and hung up. Attempts by KIIS to call her back went unanswered.

And all of a sudden, Ryan Seacrest didn't care so much any more. In fact, he was mad, asking what she just did, or what she just said at the end? "Did she say she had to talk to herself? Why does she have to talk to herself?"

From the perspective of the radio station, the girlfriend had just wasted valuable air time. The station had invested a lot in the girlfriend, but had no return on their investment.

From the perspective of the girlfriend, she had second thoughts about the whole thing. No contract had been signed, and upon further reflection, she felt that she was better off not pursuing the opportunity.

Should KIIS have obtained its consent several minutes earlier? But what if they got the girlfriend's consent, and then discovered that the girlfriend's story wasn't so riveting?

This is a classic seller-buyer situation, in which both parties check each other out, and then - and only then - get down to the business of closing the sale. And if either of the parties has serious doubts, the sale won't happen, despite all of the preparatory work that took place beforehand.
blog comments powered by Disqus