Sure, humans scare me a little. I’m a little bumble-y with the social interaction thing.
But I think actual humans are really good to have on the radio.
I’m talking about the flawed kind. Very human humans, even.
Persons with real personalities.
The downside to humans: They generate real reactions. Researcher Mark Ramsey says even good reactions can be threatening for radio management. (“What if they connect more than our logo does???”)
Plus, let’s face it, humans are much more difficult to manage than logos. Or, for that matter, music-scheduling software, imaging voices, packaged spots, or a Facebook feed featuring nothing but scripture graphics. You can’t go wrong with scripture graphics. Safe.
The upside to humans: Our target listener – at least for most of our stations – is also a human. And studies have shown that humans are very interested in other humans, and even forge emotional connections with them.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m an introvert who is particularly fond of robots. (This is why my personal mission statement includes the words “robot army.”) But even I am particularly drawn to persons with personalities.
Now, we humans may enjoy having a music source like Spotify or iHeartRadio or a radio station, but there’s something about putting humans in the mix. I’ve learned to never underestimate the unending human longing for connection.
I call it “relationship,” and apparently it’s powerful, because while branding is fun to talk about, the Big Brands, themselves, are desperately trying to find a personality.
They’re looking for a person. A face. A someone. A human.
They’ll spend millions to do it, too, because they know they’ll elicit no emotion, otherwise. They’ll employ Peyton Manning, or invent a Flo, a Colonel Sanders, a “Mayhem,” or even a human-like gecko to get the job done.
No personality? No connection.
Personalities create issues, and if we’re lazy, scared, or we want to hoard control, using real humans for anything is surely the wrong way to go.
But if I’m in a business that wants people to pay attention, emotionally jump on board, and actively invest… well, doggone it, I need real humans.
Brant Hansen is a resident of the U.S. and a guy who will totally let you buy him a coffee and some toast if you want sometime. Contact Brant at firstname.lastname@example.org.