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Where’s your Radio “Experience”?

So I'm in a lovely hotel in Portland OR when I hear through the window a familiar movie score.  That can't be, I thought to myself, it's the score to one of the original Universal Frankenstein movies.  The fact that I knew this was obscure enough (made doubly so by my knowledge that it's also the score to the original Mummy).  But what had me really mystified was that I was hearing it loud – and through my window.

Who in their right mind would be playing that?

A quick call to the front desk revealed that every Thursday this summer there's a weekly film screening on the roof of the parking structure next door, and tonight's film was – sure enough – Son of Frankenstein (which is one of the better ones in the series, by the way).

So my wife and I had to check it out.  How many folks could possibly be interested in this B movie from the 30's – little seen and even known nowadays?

Lo and behold, there must have been 150 or more people lined up in folding chairs on this chilly roof – most paying 8 dollars a ticket – for the chance to see under the stars what they can find on Netflix for almost nothing.

If ever there need be proof that consumers want experiences, here it was.  For this movie was hardly the type which could attract a crowd nowadays.  

But when you add this family-safe picture to the unique social experience of a group viewing, a live music intro, some culinary tidbits and refreshments – mostly provided by proud sponsors -  and the romance of a panoramic view, you have something much more than "content" – you have "content on steroids."

You have an experience.

In my opinion not nearly enough thought, effort, and investment goes into the "experience" of radio – so busy are we cutting costs and minimizing risk.

Experiences worth having generally come from the addition of creative inspiration.

If you want to compete with a torrent of creatively inspired distractions, consider whether you're creating "radio" or an authentic, eye-catching and ear-catching consumer "experience."

And now, back to our movie.

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