Observations: SMS and Radio

Here are a couple of observations I’ve made in the last few days.

a)  The influence of SMS (text messaging) on promotions.

Case 1: I was at the aforementioned football game and they had a trivia question.  The stadium audience was asked to make their choice and text message it to a number, the first person with the correct answer would win a prize.
Case 2: We were watching a game show the other night and they asked the TV audience at home to participate by voting on a specific part of the TV show.  All you had to do was text message your response to a number. This applies to both voting and contests on TV shows.  It’s crazy how easy it is to become a participant on a TV show when all you have to do is text message a response to a trivia question or a guess on something.

How was this handled before the wide spread use of cell phones?  Was it even practically possible?

b) Radio and the Internet

We were listening to our local NPR station KRCC on the drive to work as we normally do.  The story we were listening to was about a scientist that studied caves and his whole job was to discover and document unknown cave species.  This seemed to me, to be hard to convey over the radio due to there needing to be some visuals for some of it (though they did do an excellent job with what they had).  But, at the end of the show they asked the audience to check out their website for pictures and more information on the story.

How was this handled before the wide spread use of the internet?  Was the audience asked to go somewhere (like the library or their station offices) or call a number and order something with more information?  Was there no recourse for obtaining more information or other supporting media types?

Just something I had on my mind.

Comments (1)

  1. I often wonder such things. I have a fetish for retro advertising. It always astonishes me to see how much they did things by mail in the olden days. I would expect the telephone to be used alot in ad gimmicks and such but it really isn’t used that much. Everything was, send a X to this address for X. In Shawshank Redemption Tim Robbins character puts it aptly: “It’s amazing what you can accomplish by mail these days”

    As for audience participation and “do this for more info” I think that before the internet people were used to not having instant say or more info. I think that largely people took what they got from the radio or tv and left it at that. They were fine knowing what the nice sounding announcer had to say and nothing more. It’s quite fascinating how technology has sped up the world and made way for so much cool stuff to happen.

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