2018 was a year of change. We heard some new voices (Scooter, Jeff and Charis, etc.) and we lost some familiar ones (Meredith, Ruby and Alex Carr, etc.) Change is good, moving forward is good, shedding the old skin is good. And sometimes the old and familiar is comforting, like coming home for Christmas after being away to college. (Who would’ve thought I could make a holiday analogy with talk about radio contests!)
Let’s celebrate the good, shake our heads at the bad, and call a spade a spade. Here’s a look at the contests of the past year…
These old stand-bys are our tried and true contests. Like that old t-shirt you can’t get rid of because it’s so comfortable, some of them are starting to wear thin.
Money For Nothing (Rock 101)
Take The Money and Run (LG 104.3)
Beat Your Bills (Virgin)
These are my least favourite types of games. It’s rarely anyone I know, and there’s too much pressure to get to the person before time runs out. Blah.
Free Money Artist (Peak)
Santa’s Sack (Jack)
My second least favourite games. Such a crap shoot. Good if they actually call you though.
You have to know something to win this. I almost never know. Heh.
Viva Rock Vegas (Rock 101)
Feliz Navidad (Rock 101)
Christmas Song (Z95.3)
$10,000 Miracle (JRFM)
Triple Threat ($30,000 on JRFM)
I don’t mind these ones but my favourite is the Rock 101 games because they take the callers AFTER the song. Those who take the callers as soon as it starts are super stressful for me. The only listening game I like is JRFM’s Secret Word because at least I have a chance of winning it – sometimes they slip the word in so subtly that many people miss it. And I don’t have to listen aaaaaall day to play. Good prizes sometimes too!
Luck of the Draw:
Beat the Bank (QMFM)
Cash or Cars (Rock 101)
Bad Santa (CFOX)
Phrase That Pays (Virgin)
Splash or Cash (CFOX)
Trips to Mexico (Virgin and QMFM)
LOVE THESE! I just want a chance at being caller 9 or 10 or 25 or whatever. It’s like going fishing (which I also LOVE!) – sometimes you catch something, sometimes you don’t, but you enjoy the activity and the thrill of the possibilities. I also appreciate the regularity of them – knowing when it’s going to happen is such a relief!
These are the contests I don’t remember seeing before. Each ends with a grade, with A+ being the best and F being the worst.
Scratch Win or Bust
I can’t remember if this was the first year they played it. I think so? Anyway, I like it. It’s like Beat the Bank with a slight twist. Cool! B-
Remember this? GAWD I hated it when it started! But then I really got into it and was so sad when it ended. LOL! You had to find the link between the words, like “rain and people eater and nurple and Prince’s socks” would give you “purple”. But first you had to solve the clue, like “regal footwear” for Prince’s socks or “acid…” for rain. It was complicated at first but when we got into the swing of it, it was really fun. A+
This Kiss game had a list of 8 prizes each with a matching prize. If you chose the correct two out of the 16, you won that prize. Some of the prizes were amazing and there wasn’t a goocher in the bunch. Movies for a year, iPad, etc. If you kept track of the guesses you knew where the pairs were. But this was a text-in game, so I wasn’t a big fan. C+
This was CFOX’s version of Beat the Bank. The gas pump sound would go up and up and you won cash. It was funny and fun. A
Jewel Around the World
They gave out four million (okay, it was 35) clues to her whereabouts and the first caller on Monday to name it exactly won a trip there (or the cash equivalent. I wonder how many took the cash?) I was not a fan of this game, it was silly and dragged on for too long. It was an interesting concept though, so with some tweaking (like five clues and then a winner the next morning) it could’ve been an A game. As it was, it wasn’t great. D+
I don’t remember this being played before, do you? Three or four quick song clips, usually just music, and you had to guess the songs (artist not required.) It was a challenging game which made it much more interesting. If it had been easy, there would’ve been zero chance of getting through for it. I could get through almost every time if I tried. Most of the time I wasn’t the right caller, and when I got to play I never won. But I helped someone else win, so that’s nice. Then Clinton screwed with me and I stopped playing. Douche. I’m still mad about that… Regardless, I enjoyed the game. A
Jack got into the name game again and bribed people to listen to their station for at least four hours. I appreciate the effort. Not a fan of the name calling though. They could just as easily have taken caller 9 and put them on the payroll for four hours – we’re either listening for five minutes for the cue to call or we’re listening for five minutes for a name to be called. You catch more flies with honey than with shit. That said, the payout was better than with other name calling games so that bumps up its score. C+
Name That Helium Tune
Hahaha! This one was fun. They pumped helium into a song and you had to name the song and the artist correctly to win it. Unfortunately it was a text-in game, so that knocks it down a peg. B+
Red Solo Cup
Yes, I realize we’ve played this game before but this time it was a fresh take on it. The prize was cash, and it went up by $100 every time someone guessed the wrong cup. It was an incredibly easy and fun way to give out cash! This was absolutely one of my favourites this year. A+
Back in Black
This is another one I don’t remember ever being played before last May. Rock 101 called a person who had registered online with a request for money to pay something. It could be anything from lawyer fees to bail money to divorce decrees or dentist bills. They called a person twice per day, in the 8 o’clock hour and 4 o’clock hour. If they answered the phone, they won the money they had asked for. If they didn’t answer, caller 10 got the cash. Sometimes it was as little as $68, sometimes it was much more. It was a fun game and while they would never call me, I enjoyed listening to it. Plus there was a chance to win the money if the person didn’t answer their phone, so there was a good reason to tune in. A-
It’s sure nice to see some new games were introduced this past year. I hope to see a few more in 2019. Kudos to all the promo teams out there trying to come up with new contests – I couldn’t do it! But I’m happy to play them and then let you know what I think of them. Yes, I sit in judgement. But who cares what I think?! Just enjoy the creative process and take everything I say with a grain of salt. After all, opinions are like assholes: everyone’s got one but nobody wants to hear it.