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Ideas and technique to help you promote and image radio

Mrs Brown’s Boys and broad appeal

The discussion at a weekend party turned to television and it wasn’t long before the first mention of Mrs Brown’s Boys divided the room.

The BBC and RTE comedy show with Brendan O’Carroll and friends would appear to be loved and despised in equal measure. A ‘Marmite’ show if ever there was one. Yet the show is one of television’s biggest hit comedies for years, both in the UK and Ireland and audiences queue round the block in the rain to get tickets for its studio recordings in Glasgow.

There are lessons in that for radio promos producers. I think they’re this:

  1. Only try to broaden your appeal if you can still delight your core audience.
  2. It is far better to strongly divide opinion than to be universally forgettable.

I remember a time I had campaign scripts signed-off by a committee of nine. Nine! The panel included an operations manager and a departmental head of finance, all of whom wanted a say. The resulting work was finally deemed acceptable by everybody but had become so insipid that even I can’t remember the concept.

You only make that mistake once but every day creative work gets diluted in the name of spreading its appeal.

Let’s put a stop to that. This week, let’s set-out to truly delight the people we know best – our most loving listeners or what US radio friends will know as P1s. Evidence suggests we need to work harder to build their loyalty.