• Alec Drake

The First Day of Summer Money Melt


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

One of my most memorable events in radio was my time as General Manager of two stations in Tyler, Texas. The hot summer months were just around the corner as we sat brainstorming ideas in our weekly promotions meeting. We had three goals on the whiteboard. What could we do to boost station sales, engage our audience, and build some buzz in the market?

The Money Melt Plan:

I do not remember the idea's origin, but we found a solution to all three goals. Since our KTYL FM dial position was 93.1, we were going to place 93 silver dollars inside a 100lb block of ice. Our listeners would guess how long the block of ice would take to melt on the first day of summer exposed in the parking lot of a title sponsor. Additional prizes would come from secondary sponsors to boost the prize package to $1000.


During the event, besides listeners checking on the "money melt" progress to compare their melt times, instant winners would be announced each hour from registrations. The sales strategy and station promotional support all looked good on paper, and the sales team was excited to hit the streets getting our sponsors lined up for the event.


The Day of the Melt!

The "Money Melt" sounded like a lot of fun and a perfect radio promotion as we pushed out the promos in the weeks leading up to the big day. As we set up our remote, the forecast was clear, with plenty of sunshine to melt our block of ice. Being on a busy commercial street and supported by the promotional push of the station, we saw a steady flow of visitors to check on the ice.


Image by Pexels from Pixabay

The concern of moving into evening hours, cooler temps, and darkness kicked in a few hours before sunset. As the sun set, our ice block was one-third the original size but not completely melted. Fortunately, we had our station van in the parking lot and our 18-foot Sea Ray ski boat on display. The annual summer boat patrol giveaway was in progress, so there were places to catch a few winks as a team member watched the ice slowly melt.


The final call of no more ice was officially proclaimed at 6:43 AM, almost 24 hours from the start of the promotion. And yes, you guessed it, there was not a big crowd to maximize the less than a climatic end to the 100lbs of ice. As much as you prepare for any promotion, there are always unexpected contingencies. In hindsight, we could have used a smaller block of ice or even tested timeframes with a trial melting. Regardless of the delay in the ice melting, we had an excited listener heard on the air win the $1000 prize package, and our event sponsors were all pleased with the promotional impact.


Every promotion is an opportunity to learn and grow as a team. I was proud of the staff, the station's impact, and the revenue boost for the month. The "Money Melt" was a fun, engaging promotion and did create the buzz we wanted. We need more street-level connections and tactile promotions in radio today to keep the buzz alive.

Loyd Ford and Alec Drake are excited to announce our next quarterly sales event, "Show Me The Money," on July 7th!


Join us with two tremendous leaders as our guests, Becky Domyan, SVP/ Market Manager at Audacy in St. Louis, and Donna Baker, Regional V.P. for Cumulus in Kansas City. Hear how they successfully drive vibrant media organizations to peak performance in highly competitive environments "live" on The Encouragers at Clubhouse on July 7th at 7 pm est. Mark your calendar and prepare for more valuable strategies to help your revenues and teams improve.

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About Alec Drake:

As President of Drake Media Group, a content creation and sales consulting company, Alec is on a mission to share his unique perspective on best practices to enhance sales performance and drive revenue. The company offers a range of consulting expertise, including sales operations, team and individual coaching, yield and revenue management strategies, event sponsorship formats, and sales marketing.

Drake Media Group, LLC retains exclusive rights to the original content in all articles written by Alec Drake, contained in any podcast appearances, or articles published on third-party platforms.

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