Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How The Kane Show Markets by Saying I Love You

On the Kane Show, which is on Hot 99.5 FM and one of Washington, DC's most popular morning shows, Kane has the usual radio line-up of 20-something cohorts, including Sarah, the perky, pretty one, who comments on everything without saying anything vaguely controversial, and Samy, the post-college boy who always seems to be hung over and sounding very About Last Night.

Kane and his team tell listeners they love them all the time, and those who call in to answer various questions do the same. It's like a great big love fest, and it works for branding and bonding listeners to the show.

A much milder Howard Stern

I don’t know Kane’s first name but he reminds me of Howard Stern when he was funny and silly, before he became a shock jock. I used to listen to him while driving around Manhattan early in the AM searching for on-street parking, and hating every car that managed to get into a space before me.

Now it's my middle school-aged daughter and I listening to Kane after we drop her brother at high school (he wouldn't be caught dead listening to the kind of music she does), and it's only for about 20 minutes. But at least, in the middle of traffic, speeding cars, morning crankiness and a lot of last minute hair brushing, it gives us something to smile about.

Kane does cross the decorum line often, and when he does we shut the radio off, and my daughter doesn't argue because it's so abundantly clear she shouldn't be listening. But we still listen every school day because Kane is like the annoying uncle at Thanksgiving that gives you too much information, but makes you laugh hysterically.

The show also has a strong morality streak, bathed in humiliation. On our favorite segment, called “War of the Roses,” half of a married or deeply involved couple asks the show to call their significant other and find out if they're cheating. Generally they are and a cat fight ensues.

The ruse to get the person they phone talking is that they will get a free bouquet of roses sent to the one they love. The "War" depends on who they decide to send them too.

But this blog isn't about the various antics of Kane and his gang, it's about building relationships with listeners or customers.

At the end of almost every call from a listener, Kane or Sarah or Samy say “I love you.” Listeners tell Kane and his sidekicks they love them too. The love flows so freely it seems natural - like we're all part of one big happy family. No wonder it's one of the most popular radio shows in our market.

I think telling people you love them is much more accepted now than it used to be. Today’s parents say I love you all the time to their kids. When they end a call. When they say goodbye. When they just feel like it.

My 15 year-old son tells his friends he loves them at the end of phone calls. “Love ya man,” is often the goodbye. It reinforces good feelings and in today’s screwed up world that’s a big plus.

Should marketers call to say I love you?

So it got me thinking. What would happen if marketers started telling customers they loved them? How much do we thank those who have helped us for their support?

If you’re in a service business you work for people that you love because they are a great fit with you and they are easy to work for. When you work for people that are jerks you immediately regret it. So why don’t we tell the business people who are good to us that we love them? What holds us back? Do we think they’ll be embarrassed? It’s better to tell them then not, don’t you think?

The Kane Show gets it. Kane shares the love. It's expressed many times during his show, out loud by the people who work with him and those who listen to him.

Better yet, in a lousy market, it sells a lot of advertising.

1 comment:

  1. Well, yeah...

    Millenials are all about the love, aren't they? Group hug! and Group Think! I admire that (and sometimes mock it) but as a grouchy Gen X'er I find it hard to emulate.

    Social scientists say Millenials were the most loved and protected kids EVER. Gen Xers, by contrast, were the least (and do we ever have a chip on our collective shoulders about THAT) Raised when divorce rates reached their all-time peak, culturally Gen X kids were seen as road bumps to success and just a pain in the rear. We were the first latch-key kids, we got our own breakfast, we were fiercely independent, surly, punk, misunderstood (Loved how they showed this in Super 8 this summer).

    We sneered at shiny-happy people.

    But 30 years later, do I ever long to be shiny-happy :) Yeah, I love you's good marketing, but the point is, they're actually sincere when they say it. Millenials have completely diff psyches from us. God love 'em.

    Hmmph. They had it so good as kids! No wonder they're all happy and lovey-dovey.

    Well, will strive to overcome my Gen-X-iness and be a little more Millenial :)