Paige Nienaber’s Midweek Idea Dump: Ice Ice Disney


(By Paige Nienaber) I’ve had a couple of Learning Moments in my Radio Life. As a promo kid at WLOL in Minneapolis, part of my job was driving DJs in vans to stuff. In 1986, the Twins were NOT having their best year. In fact, and I’d need to check the stats, I think they had the worst record in baseball.

So it came to be that Schmidt Beer gave us 800 tickets to a game, the plan that was decided on was that we would give them away to entire workplaces. “How many will you need so that everyone on the Sales team at Alpine Motors can go?” They needed 27 tickets? They got 27 tickets.

There was a great talent named Dave Thompson and I was tasked with driving him out to some glass box office building in Minnetonka to deliver their winnings.

We got there and they were BOUNCING. I can remember this like it was yesterday. One of the co-workers was talking about how she’d worked there for twenty years and this was the first time she and the people she worked with had ever gone out together. They were planning on Happy Hour at a place on Highway 12 and then all going to the game.

In the terms of Alcoholics Anonymous, we were an enabler. Without our help, they would never have gone out for the night. And we would be remembered as the people who pulled it off.

Hubbard in Cincinnati has done Field Trips and sent entire workplaces out for days at theme parks, the Zoo, river cruises, and even spelunking in Kentucky.

So if you do have the opportunity, it’s great Marketing to the Nesters.

As a footnote, the Twins went 71-91 in ‘86 and finished at the bottom of the AL Central. WLOL was in a cool old warehouse on the edge of downtown called The Itasca and there was a guy my age named John who was the building supervisor and did maintenance and stuff. For Christmas 1986 he went to Las Vegas with some buddies, hit a hot streak at craps, got hammered and when he woke up found that he’d bet $100 on the 250-1 odds Minnesota Twins to win the 1987 World Series… which they did.

I’ll allow you to do the math on that as we move on to the dumpage.

(Insert Location) Karaoke

I’m really kind of surprised that more stations haven’t taken stabs at this. It’s so “Radio”. It could be done in an elevator with a visiting artist and a bunch of strangers. TSM in Boise did it with artists in golf carts backstage at a festival. You could do it DURING the fireworks on the 4th. You could do it with gopros while skiing. You could do it on whatever your local mass transit is. You could do it at White Castle after the bars let out. So many places. So much time.

Fake News Friday

One of the print media nods towards being wacky™ is to occasionally hide a fake ad in the classifieds. Find it and win.

Drew Carey once did a “mistake show” episode of his TV sitcom. ID and enter all of the mistakes and maybe win a trip to see a taping.

In January 2024, it would be relevant if the morning show worked a fake news story somewhere into the show and took callers at the end of the show to find the first person who caught that Vanguard Airlines is debuting non-stop service from MSP to Pyongyang.

Or as the producer for Terry, Bill & Steve up in Edmonton will regularly do, the 8:58 Fact Check where he points out all of the factual errors that the show made that morning. 

Elope To The Slope

Or beach or Vegas or golf course.

We’re a month away from Valentine’s and whatever you’re going to do might need to happen on Friday the 12th.

Marriages bring a LOT of family stress which is one of the reasons people just run off and do it. My brother gave everyone 24 hours’ notice and they did it in a park to ensure there was not too much “involvement” from her family, who would have micro-managed it to death.

One of the things we’ve seen during COVID is that it seems to be easy-ish to get weekends at places like resorts that are within driving distance. And as prizes, they’ve been VERY well-received.

So find a couple leading up to the 14th, name them the  Future Does, post their photos but blacked out, have their voices digitized when they explain why they’re skipping all the hoopla, bring them in/somewhere on Friday, have a minister, announce them and their real names, Facebook Live it and then have them flee for the weekend. Because their family is going to be pissed.

Based On A Real Story

So the morning guy at Power 96 in Miami had his car stolen back circa 1995 and got on the air and was obviously pissed. At the end of his show, he got a call from the RIDICULOUSLY apologetic thief who said he’d left the car in the parking lot with the keys on top of the tire.

In the World of Radio Theater, what could your talent have stolen and returned? Credit card left on a gas pump, their phone, tablet, bike, or gym bag.

For Those Of You With Electronic Boards

Y94 has a three-year track record of taking one listener’s Valentine’s message and sticking it on a board for a day. Seriously? Simple and very cool. One was from a kid whose mom had died and it was an “I love you” message to his step-mom.

Disney On Ice

There are three variations of that show on tour right now. And these are great prizes, so what could you do?

Hidden Mickeys – Phil Becker and Dan Seeman know what those are: Mickey Mouse silhouettes that are hidden around the theme parks. The true Disney geeks are always on the search for them and will excitedly post a pic when they find one that they haven’t spotted on one of their previous 300 visits to the park. So hide some on the site. Find. Click. Register for a draw.

Disney In Ice – When Joey Tack was at Hot in Knoxville, that station was a monster. They were topical, funny, and never ever missed a thing. And then they did. But anywho, they had some Disney On Ice tickets to giveaway and Joey wanted to save a pair for something exciting and a little more compelling than people entering their emails. So I suggested “Disney In Ice.”

They took a little Mickey Mouse, froze it in a block of ice, cammed it under a heat lamp and people had to guess to the second when it would melt out and topple to the ground. Closest without going over got the tickets.

When it was done the Disney rep declared it, “The best Radio contest I’ve seen in a long time.”

So, here’s how you do it.

  1. You’re going to need tap water. That is generally available without having to call a client and ask for it.
  2. A plastic storage bin that you might use for packing your kid off to college. I’m going to guess that either you or someone on staff probably has one they will sacrifice.
  3. A little Mickey Mouse figurine. Again, someone has a kid in college who isn’t going to miss their toy from when they were 7.
  4. Access to one of those big freezers with a lifting top. The kind you might store your deer or a homicide victim in. Or, find a client that has a walk-in freezer.
  5. Fill it up halfway and then freeze it.
  6. Take it out, place your Mickey on it, and pour in just a smidge of water so that it covers his feet or base. You might have problems with him floating so you will need to McGyver a way to hold him in place.
  7. Return to the freezer.
  8. Remove and pour in a little bit more. Maybe an inch.
  9. Freeze.
  10. Remove and pour in the rest of the water.
  11. Freeze.
  12. Remove (you’ll need two people)
  13. Transport to where you plan to do this and then cut/break away the plastic.
  14. Hang a heat lamp and go live.
  15. It will take hours but when you, the judge, have decided that Mickey has fallen over on his side, it’s done. Go through the guesses and find the person who picked that time.
  16. And never ask me how I know how to do this. I have a lot of time on my hands.

A version of this was done by Hubbard in the Twin Cities to award a giant inflatable lake toy, using a sheet of ice outside Greg Strassell’s window and a Barbie jeep.

And remember, no one will ever remember or recall the stations that just do the normal stuff. They’ll remember the brands that dare to be a little foolish occasionally.

Paige Nienaber insults/consults more than 100 radio stations on Fun ‘N Games (Marketing & Promotions). Find him at CPR Promotions. Read Paige’s Radio Ink archives here.


  1. Be especially careful with news hoaxes as the FCC can get really cranky about on air hoaxes no matter what the subject.

    • Agreed. Some idiot is going to do something that scares people. My favorite fake airline thing was done by Hubbard in Cincy for April Fools where they worked with an actual regional carrier and they covered the inaugural flight to Ludington…which was 13 minutes away.


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