Many of you reading this weren’t even alive in 1972, but most of you have heard of one of the greatest radio contests in radio history. The Last Contest is a legendary promotion that featured larger-than-life production, imaginative staging and incredible interaction.

Reg Johns later reprised this major promotion as The Great Prize Catalog.

It worked on so many levels, but was grounded in the mechanics of a great contest. It really had it all:

  • Entertainment value. Each prize was a story and was promoted with brilliant theater of the mind.
  • Larger-than-life offers. It sounded BIG, yet was affordable for the station.
  • Longevity. The promotion was sustainable, adding brand value over time.
  • Sponsor-friendly. It wasn’t as big a factor in 1972, but this campaign is full of sponsor potential.
  • Call to Action. There were multiple daily tune-in occasions, each built with the drama of a potential winner.
  • Cume Magnet. The promotion attracted players far beyond the station’s fans via massive direct mail.
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Contests work, when executed properly. When they also entertain, they are a sure fire way of attracting and keeping listeners.

What made it work? Here’s an examination of The Last Contest.

The Last Contest


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