Radio Lessons From The Real World — #22 Mr. Magoo

Mr. Magoo wasn’t a lunatic; he was just nearsighted!

The cartoon character first appeared in 1949 and instantly became a classic. Magoo, an elderly, wealthy retiree, gets into all sorts of trouble on his adventures simply because he can’t see very well – a situation compounded by his refusal to wear glasses. Of course, being a cartoon, things always tend to work themselves out in the end.

This ‘happy ending’ notion from each episode went on to spark the colloquial verb to ‘Mr. Magoo’ something. It describes when a person succeeds, not through planning, intelligence or deliberate action, but rather because of sheer luck. And despite all of the odds, the person always emerges from the situation victorious, “Yeah, I admit I completely Mr. Magoo’d my way through that fight. I didn’t even know he hit the ground for a minute.”

Sadly in real life everything won’t always work out in the end. If your brand doesn’t have everything it needs to be successful you are in trouble. And worse, being blind to the fact that your product is not fitting a niche in the market or super-serving the needs of your audience is a more perilous situation. You may be doing ok (mid pack ratings, making some money) but the ceiling will be right above you and ranking up or growing will be near impossible. You may also be much more vulnerable to competitive forces and market influences.

The key is to develop and nurture your ‘unique concept’  – develop and deliver something of real meaning to the audience that differentiates your station or show. It alone can be the game changer accelerating you from moderate ratings success to genuine superstar performance. Know who you are and how you are different to everyone else.

Find your glasses and stop Magoo-ing!

About Ronnie Stanton

Aussie kid living in Canada. His office job is VP – National Brands and Programming for Corus Entertainment . Ronnie also consults radio stations and coaches morning shows all over the world. He can be reached at [email protected]

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