My neighbor had been complaining for weeks that his golf game kept getting worse. Shank to the left, shank to the right. Chip from the rough. Putt, putt, putt. Then one morning, when I stopped over for coffee, he announced “I had a great game yesterday, with my new clubs. . .” His old clubs were perfectly good. And, the set before that as well. But, sometimes golf clubs just stop working. The whole set. No good. Enter the new and improved clubs. Bam! Straight down the middle. Chip to the green. One putt. Much better! The same friend, who is a former bowler, told me he used to do the same thing at the bowling alley. Game gets bad, get a new ball. Helps every time. In the gutter, in the gutter. Switch balls. Strike!
Last March, I turned on the Michigan State vs. Maryland basketball game. The Spartans were wearing super bright, flourescent, lime green uniforms. Shoes and all. And almost all the fans were wearing tee shirts of the same color. Could it be? Coach Izzo’s team had lost their last three games. Yes, that’s it. The coach had pulled the “get new uniforms” strategy. Michigan State won the game 74-65.
Now, what does this have to do with radio? When I was program director at radio station KSTT, and later at WISM, we would play “jingles” three or four times an hour. They were on tape cartridges, with labels on the front. The label described the tempo and style of the jingle. Like “upbeat,” or “fast to slow,” or “hot.” Once a month, I would design brand new, bright, colorful, labels for each of the carts. replacing the dog-eared, coffee stained labels. Result? The jocks sounded better. Brighter and tighter. Happier. Hitting the jingle button was like bowling a strike or sinking a putt.
This philosophy can be applied to a number of things. Wearing nice clothes assures confidence in a job interview. And, ever notice how your car drives so much better right after it comes out of the car wash? Especially if you paid extra for wax.
Originally published 1/25/16