Much like I penned in September (for October), we’re back with a few more ideas to get the creative juices going for the month of November.
I’ll be doing a series of posts like these over the course of a calendar year, giving some light tips and suggestions for on-air competitions and promotions that might be useful for the following month. They’ll be seasonal, some a little easier to integrate into your on-air offering than others while every now and again you might get something that will take an extra few weeks for planning and execution.
Either way, if you’re looking at some ideas for standalone promotions or show integrations in November 2023, you’ve come to the right place. Here are seven suggestions to get you thinking.
1. Thanksgiving recipe contest
I’ll drop this one in here for the visitors from across the Atlantic as the US gets set for Thanksgiving at the end of the month. That said, you’ll find a lot of Irish radio stations around Thursday 23 November (that’s the date this year) tapping into their book of American contacts and contributors to discuss Thanksgiving traditions. If you’re jumping on that bandwagon, then how about a Thanksgiving recipe contest?
Get listeners to put their best recipes forward, get them shared and get voting. Prizes could include cooking equipment, gift vouchers for local butchers or supermarkets, or go all out and offer a catered Thanksgiving dinner in a listener’s home (or even bring them into the station instead and get a few of the team around for food). If you’re considering commercial possibilities, target local food stores, kitchen appliance brands, or dealers.
2. The Winter Warmup song contest
In Ireland we love a good song contest so if you’re looking for a bit of craic this November, why not try out the Winter Warmup Song Contest? After all, there’s no point in waiting for the Eurovision to roll around in May when you can get stuck into the singing in just a few weeks.
With the cold weather likely to set in for November, invite listeners to submit their favourite ‘warmup’ songs, something that gets them moving or warms their spirits. It could be a classic hit, something hot or if you’re willing to play your Christmas music early, it could be something a little festive. Best song goes to the top of the class with your prize offerings the likes of gig tickets, wireless headphones and the likes. Get listeners to send in their songs and get your final list down to 10-15. If you’ve got the songs in your library, why not shape a clock from them or get them on a playlist, spinning them across the month with a vote at the end of the month on the ultimate Winter Warmup song.
3. Movember awareness campaign
Is your mo’ ready for November? It’s that time of year again where those with a penchant and ability for growing facial hair can go all out on the moustache or bear front across the month before trimming it all off in the name of charity. Movember has grown into a focus on mental health, suicide, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Grow a mo, move for mental health, host a mo-ment or just “mo your own way”. Read all about it here.
If you’re looking at a campaign to target male listeners, why not get involved with Movember? Encourage the moustache-growing movement, share progress and stories, get some WhatsApp or social interaction going. You could go the whole hog and open up a voting system, team up with some men’s grooming products suppliers, maybe a local health clinic or even a barbers, with prizes on the line including grooming kits, health checkups, a hot towel shave etc.
4. Black Friday scavenger hunt
Production departments around radio stations in Ireland (and presumably globally) will likely be chock full of Black Friday requests, ads, campaigns and the rest. What was very much “a thing” in the US market has certainly been adopted by Irish retailers in recent years as businesses look to make the most of pre-Christmas sales with the hope of tempting customers in with some day-only to week-only offers.
One option that’s primed for local radio stations or particular local/regional markets is a Black Friday scavenger hunt, with clues leading to local businesses offering Black Friday deals. Provide your clues on air, via social media or look to an outside broadcast for some live event participation. If single retail stores are out of reach for sponsors, look at shopping centres, town groups, maybe even e-commerce platforms or online shops. For prizes, think exclusive deals, vouchers or one-off Black Friday goodies.
5. Thankful thoughts
This is a little like point number one in that it has to do with giving thanks, but it could help generate some feel-good content for air. What are people thankful for? The clocks will have changed, the evenings are drawing in and November is a good month for reflection before planning ahead for Christmas and the new year. Did someone do a listener a good turn over the course of the year? Did a neighbour come to the rescue during the flood weather? Maybe you’ve got a listener who’s thankful to be alive, to have found work, found a home, got a promotion, started a new job, or taken up a new hobby?
Whatever the case is, make a spot for sharing thankful thoughts on air and look at how they could be rewarded – do something nice in return for someone. A prize for the story of the day, or one that tugs at the heartstrings of your audience?
6. Countdown to Christmas fitness challenge
This November, why not encourage listeners to get out, get healthy, and boost their fitness with an on-air challenge? Like it or loath it, there will be plenty of people hoping to shed a few pounds ahead of the festive social season, and plenty more who would like to get out and about, get moving and improve their health. While gyms and fitness centres will be the target of much hype for the January market, why not get ahead of the curve and link up with a local gym, sportswear brand or health food store?
You could offer online registration, work it in conjunction with a health/nutrition slot on-air or online, or offer up prizes like a gym membership, a fitness tracker, or an activewear wardrobe makeover. The cold and dark nights will be closing in so why not make the most of it!
7. Photo contest: “My November”
Years ago (and this may well be still a thing), you would have companies calling out for photos to make their annual calendar. Texaco or Top Oil may have been the front-runners in the Irish market but I stand to be corrected. How about running something similar online where you put the call out for listeners to capture what the month of November means to them in a photo – maybe it’s the turn of the leaves, their town at night, a frosty morning. Instead of a calendar, why not make the winning photograph (because you’ll need to pick a winner) your Facebook / Twitter cover photo for the month of December and show it some love on your website.
Got something to add?
If you’ve got something to add yourself or have a competition or promotion that you keep returning to in November and fancy sharing it with the rest of the class, drop a note in the comments area below.