View Full Version : Radio airplay

08-25-2010, 08:12 PM
Can anyone who does alot of radio give me some help? I to maximize the bang for my buck. Some of my questions are how many stations should i advertise with,
is there certain formats to stay away from. How many spots a day is effective. My first year i used about 5 different stations with a good variation of formats. And it did ok for us . Last year we took the station that we had best responce from that first year and gave them the majority of are ad budget for last year.
It just so happens that it was the top 40 station. This did not go so well for us
we actually did less last year. Any feed back would be greatly appriected.

08-27-2010, 09:24 AM
I don't think there is a single formula like X placements + Y Stations = Z income that is going to work for every attraction. It's more of a fine tuning issue. The area you are in, they type of haunt you have, and who attends your attraction are factors to address.

There are some great consultants out there that have seminars at conventions to help you fine tune your marketing, and can even produce your ad instead of letting the morning DJ and their intern come up with what they think is a scary ad. We use voicefromhell.com for the past couple years.

Just scratching the surface, sounds like you put a lot of eggs in one basket and the message did not come across. Top 40 stations have good reach for numbers, but does it reach the decision makers who come to your attraction? Are the people in your que line wearing Justin Beiber shirts and Katty Perry ringtones on their phones? Or are you seeing more people wearing Ozzy T shirts and caps for the local sports team? That can help you decide what stations to focus on. But there are a lot of factors most leading back to really putting thought into your ad copy and production.

Work with your ad rep, make sure they are organized and working to address your needs. If not they all have a supervisor you might need to turn to. Also remember you have tradeable assets in tickets and cross promotion that you can barter for additional placements. Hope that helps, good luck this season.

08-28-2010, 11:41 AM
I think the better question is, where do you even advertise anymore? Ask people under 25 and very few listen to the radio.

I am literally on the edge of having property in 2011 with a full year of build time. Marketing is by far my biggest unknown. My past experience with events tells me radio is costly with hard to quantify returns. To be honest I have always questioned if radio adds had any ROI with a haunt. The guerrilla marketing style is great for a college campus and some urban areas, but not for the over 30 crowd or rural markets.

So who is the industry expert that has a proven record of marketing and successfully gaining attendance in a down economy? Who knows how to take a haunt and build a brand with a reputation?


08-28-2010, 12:02 PM
This is all very good info!


chuck weber
08-28-2010, 12:49 PM
I had teen nightclubs (teenage dance parties) for years. Radio never worked for me. It is probably even worse now. I know everytime a radio station goes into a commercial break, I CHANGE THE STATION..... Since most PHILADELPHIA radio stations "cluster" the commercials, you're left hanging there for up to 15 minutes. No one listens to that crap.... (I've actually sat in traffic and timed it !) Middle school kids and high school kids talk alot. If you can get into their heads, YOU'RE GOLD !!!!! (no joke!) TRY TRY TRY to get into the schools and hang up posters in the lunch room, commons areas, hallways, etc.....( get permission first, or the janitors will just rip them down and trash them). It might be tough because it is an outside event. Schools are funny about outside events unless it's involved with a YMCA or some safe-haven youth group. If you have ANY connections with your area schools, USE THEM !!! (I know from experience!) Offer a special night for local middle and high schools. Make them feel special. Offer a super-discount on a certain night only. Try to let the school allow you to sell tickets for your event at lunchtime in their cafeteria. Hope these ideas help you..... For me, radio NEVER worked and it cost me a fortune.... Good Luck!!!!! ps- that age group HAS THE $$$$ ! Most disposable cash on hand ever! (parents give them the $$$) make that 12-18 age group your target. If your product is great, they will come once and come back again!!! trust me.....

chuck weber
08-28-2010, 01:00 PM
even if you do the sell tickets at the school lunch thing, (honoring that school at your haunt on their special night) and no one buys tickets then, you can still talk up the haunt, have some of your actors in costume there giving out swag and brochures at the ticket table, etc.... you gotta get into the schools! Have some students you know give out flyers to the kids in the school (and on the school bus) if you can't get in there yourself. Make friends and have a good working relationship with the area schools. It will prove to be many trips to the bank for you! (deposits!!!!) That's what worked for me with the Teen dance stuff. Happy to share! Good Luck!!!! keep us all posted...........

Jim Warfield
08-28-2010, 06:52 PM
Maybe the disappointing attendance last season was not really connected to the radio choices.
There are up and down and so-so years sometimes and everything from a national news story to an important sporting event to the weather can do it to you.
How many years have you been doing haunting in that location? Sometimes haunts see a down season about the 3rd or 4th year of operation ...just "because"?
I have informally tried to figure out the business I see here ever since "Day One". I seemed to do better at it if I ignored the so called "facts" from previous sources and just went with my own ESP feelings. I used to "know" certain things before they happened as far as how many and sometimes even which past customers were going to return on a given night, which is pretty amazing since most of the time I couldn't even tell you what day or month it was! (A little Too Busy Here!!!!)
Sometimes I could guess the "Year" right, best 2 out of 3 tries....

witch i woman
09-12-2010, 08:49 PM
One year I called around to local radio stations just asking if they needed freebies to give away. Believe it or not there was a radio station not sponsoring anyone that had the entire month of October free and offered to announce our haunt we were running over the radio every 15 minutes during peak airtime for an once an hour give away for a pair of tickets. We were on a tight budget, so this worked best for us and only cost us the cost of printing our comp tickets.

chuck weber
09-13-2010, 05:26 PM
LET US KNOW YOUR PROGRESS and what you're doing with your advertising $$$$ as far as radio goes. interested to see how it's going. good luck!