• Dan Mason says:

    Here in the radio world, we have spent a great deal of money doing focus groups on this particular subject. Believe it or not, $100 in cash ranks higher than plane tickets or $10,000 in cash when you ask listeners what they would like to win.
    For most of the people in our survey, $10,000 is such a large amount, that they automatically assume they’ll never win, so they won’t try. In the case of flyaways to see concerts, half of the listeners either hate to fly, or can’t get the time off work to go, so they don’t bother.
    We just did an on-air contest at my radio station where listeners had to accumulate as much cash as they could before the buzzer went off. Each contestant had the opportunity to win up to $1000. 80 Percent of them stopped once they got around $350. Nobody wanted to risk playing beyond that amount. Here in Cali, where the state is broke and people are struggling, $350 pays a couple of bills, buys some groceries, etc. It’s an amount that means a lot to people.
    One other contest that works well for us here is called “Pick Your Pampering”. Listeners sign up on the website and tell us what the one luxury item they would like to buy for themselves, but can’t afford. So the radio station buys it for them. Coach bags, Ipods, Ipads, smartphones, designer shoes— they are all the things listeners are asking for because they don’t have an extra $500 laying around to buy it themselves. It drives listening and the radio station gets “kindness” points for doing something nice for average people.

  • Rachel says:

    Give them what money can’t buy. Stars & backstage. Every in-the-know theatregoer knows that an autograph Playbill can be easily achieved by a visit to the stagedoor. Most theatre lovers would die to go backstage or onstage. Back when RENT was open, getting to sign the “Rent Wall” was seen as supreme royalty.
    It’s normally used as a BC/EFA (or other charity) bid/auction, but people would definitely pay to have *insert star’s name* give them a backstage tour after a show.

  • Peter E. says:

    Rachel’s idea is a good one. They can buy the tickets, but if they are fans of said show, getting a backstage pass or to go to dinner or a party is something they cannot buy. Free tickets is fine, especially for people who refuse to shell out $100 a pop for them. But I agree with your post – more ingenuity is needed today.

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