Radio Lessons #74 – IT
It’s not good PR for the clown business. Probably won’t help the red balloon business either. But ‘It’ is going to be a huge hit for cinemas.
Stephen King’s masterpiece novel ‘It’ was first published in 1986 and then televised as a mini-series in 1990. Chillingly, just like the creature itself, ‘It’ has now resurfaced 27 years later on the big screen to tell the story again.
The movie plot and characters remain true to the novel. A demonic being of unknown origin is living in the sewers and terrorizing the small town of Derry causing a number of disappearances. It exploits fear in its victims and disguises itself primarily as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, attracting its preferred lunch of young children.
It’s the stuff nightmares are made of, but the characters and story made a huge impact immediately. The novel was King’s 22cnd but to this day one of his most noteworthy. ‘It” won a British Fantasy Award as well as a prestigious Locus and a World Fantasy Award. The author has sold in total approximately 350 million books, of which 40 million were ‘It’; and the new film adaptation is the most pre-sold Horror movie in cinema history.
Stephen King knows he is on to something and is sticking with it – if only radio did the same.
So many stations do great promotions only once, and too many morning shows generate a genius piece of content only to have it NOT heard but the majority of their fan base. Recycling content and ideas have somehow become frowned upon. Egos get in the way and we force ourselves to constantly create new material rather than allowing our best work to shine on more than one occasion. There is no argument that successful stations play the best songs the most often – but we rarely do that with promotional ideas and content.
Yes, there is a chance heavy listeners will be mildly disappointed to hear a replay of a promotional concept or a content piece but you are WAY more likely to have them pleased to hear it again or, even more likely, hear it for the first time.
Don’t be a clown. If recycling content is good enough for Hollywood, it’s good enough for you.