Frost Advisory #191 – Groundhog Day and the Super Bowl

You’ll have to wait another year to read the Super Bowl programming tip I wrote for today. Seth Godin‘s blog is better.

“One way the tribe identifies is through the observance of a holiday, of a group custom, of the thing we all do together that proves we are in sync. People thrive on mass celebration, but as our culture has fragmented, these universal observances are harder to find. We used to watch the same TV shows at the same time, eat the same foods, drive the same car. Given a choice, though, many people take the choice – and so, as the culture fragments, we move away from the center and to the edges.

Halloween and the Super Bowl are the new secular holidays, the group-mania events that prove we’re able to stay in sync. Every year, signed up for it or not, each of us is expected to survive the relentless hype. We see almost a month’s worth of never-ending media about the Super Bowl – business articles, travel articles, legal articles, cooking articles – a huge onslaught of content-free noise…
And every year, the commercials disappoint, while the game includes eleven minutes of action over the course of four hours of not so much.

And yet we do it again and again. Because the corporate hoopla is beside the real point, which is a chance for all of us to talk about the same thing at the same time. This is part of what it means to belong.
While the Super Bowl is a large-scale example of this happening across a huge swath of people, these occurrences happen often in much smaller tribes as well…

Your customers and your employees want to feel what it feels to do what other people are doing. Not everyone, just the people they identify with.

It’s easy to be persuaded that this event is somehow about the game, or the coverage or the hype, but it’s not. Like Groundhog Day, it’s a pointless thing we do over and over again, because hanging out with people you care about (even if it’s just to eat junk food and talk about how bad the commercials are) is almost always worth doing.”

Considering that the Contemporary Christian music format has the potential to be tribal beyond that of any other, it seems ironic that “a chance for all of us to talk about the same thing at the same time” is one of the things most lacking. We all know situations where we have purposely avoided talking about what everyone is talking about.

More often than not someone tunes in and hears music they don’t know (therefore we can’t all love it together) and disc jockeys talking about things they can’t relate to (therefore we can’t all care about it together). (See Frost Advisory #116 – Frank Gifford’s 82nd Birthday, and that’s my point).

Simply…

A listener can think one of two things about your station.

“They are like me” (subconscious: “I want to be with them”)

“They are not like me.” (subconscious: “I don’t want to be with them”)

The people with whom you watched the Super Bowl were people you identify with. Think of the possibilities if your listeners could say the same thing about what’s on your station.

John Frost

About John Frost

John has been a successful major market DJ and PD for such companies as CBS, Gannett, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Multimedia, and Sandusky and publishes the Frost Advisory.

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