From time to time, a pop culture phenomenon takes over the internet. We've seen it with the ice bucket challenge, the gold-or-blue dress, and the so-hilarious-it-never-gets-old rickrolling gag. Unfortunately, many of these viral sensations rely on a visual component, making them hard for radio DJs to turn them into compelling on-air material. As a result, in the past, radio stations have often failed to fully embrace them. After all, if you can't turn it into ratings, why bother?
So when I solicited radio stations to see if any of them had a created a video for the latest meme du jour, the #BottleCapChallenge, I wasn't sure what kind of response I would get. The #BottleCapChallenge is so simple it's silly: numerous celebrities, from Kylie Jenner to to Ryan Reynolds to Jason Statham, have posted videos of themselves removing a bottle cap with a roundhouse kick. The catch is that you can't kick over the bottle in the process.
Radio DJs have always been good at tapping into the pop culture zeitgeist, but with the rise of viral videos, that became more challenging. While kicking bottles can make for entertaining video footage, it doesn't really translate to radio. So would DJs across the country embrace this movement, or would they ignore it?
To my surprise, I received an overwhelming number of videos from radio personalities. These videos came from stations across America, as well as international destinations like Canada and the Cayman Islands. I even received videos from NRJ in Paris, where the station enlisted some of the biggest French singers in their country, including RIDSA, to take the challenge:
Aujourd’hui, nous sommes au NRJ IN THE PARK Trélazé ! @Ridsa_Officiel a relevé le défi #NRJBottleCapChallenge ! 🤣
➡️ Réussi ou pas ? Votez 👍 ou 👎 ! #NIPTrélazé #BottleCapChallenge pic.twitter.com/MxEL5Nypd2
— NRJ (@NRJhitmusiconly) July 5, 2019
I attend a lot of radio industry conferences, and over the last few years I have noticed a shift in the messaging espoused by the leaders on stage. Several years ago, there was a focus on using digital channels to drive people back to their station's airwaves. Today, that has evolved to “meeting listeners wherever they want to consume our content.” In other words, while the airwaves may be of primary importance, radio broadcasters are recognizing that it's important to engage with listeners online even when there is no on-air component.
But it's one thing for managers to issue these edicts; it's another for the staffers on the ground to put those ideas into practice. What does it look like when the rubber meets the road? Or, in this case, when the sole meets the plastic?
I'm happy to report that it looks hilarious. Kudos to all of these radio personalities for recognizing and embracing this ridiculous but ubiquitous phenomenon, even if there is little on-air value. In the past, radio might have let this pitch sail by; now, we're knocking it out of the park.
The Preston & Steve Show on 93.3 WMMR in Philadelphia
BJ and Migs on 99.9 KISW in Seattle, WA
— The Rock of Seattle (@999KISW) July 3, 2019
Gregr of 107.7 The End in Seattle, WA
J Will of 96.1 KISS FM in Poughkeepsie, NY
WQLZ-FM in Springfield, IL
Y’all are doing the #BottleCapChallenge wrong. Watch & learn from the masters!
Posted by 97.7 QLZ on Friday, July 5, 2019
Sean Kelly of Magic 107.7 in Topeka, KS
Sean's 🚫 Epic Fail #Bottlecapchallenge First time he tried it he kicked the wrong way…Angie told him "kick like the cool guys do it! " 🤣
Posted by Majic 107.7 on Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Jeff & Cara from the My Magic Morning Show on 104.1 KMGL in Oklahoma City, OK
Try not to LOL too much #bottlecapchallenge
Posted by My Magic Morning Show on Friday, July 12, 2019
Jenni of The Morning Hot Tub on The New Hot 89.9 in Ottawa, CA
Scott Clow of the K-105.3 Morning Show in Jackson, MI
Jack, Steve, and Traci of Sunny 101.5 in South Bend, IN
Jack, Steve and Traci are up for the #BottleCapChallange. -Steve #JSTsunny1015
Posted by The Jack, Steve & Traci Show on Sunny 101.5 on Thursday, July 11, 2019
Chris Scheetz from the CISN Country 103.9 Morning Show in Edmonton, CA
Chris Scheetz did the #BottleCapChallenge and our heads (and bottle caps) are still spinning 👌🏻
Posted by CISN Country 103.9 on Thursday, July 4, 2019
The Jeremiah Show on Q104 in Cleveland, OH
Thanks to John Mayer we tried the #bottlecapchallenge and succeeded! Well 2/3 of us (Jeremiah) did… 😂😂
Posted by The Jeremiah Show on Monday, July 1, 2019
Seaford Russell Jr. of 101.9 Country Music and Cayman 27 News of Grand Cayman
— ROOSTER 101.9 CAYMAN COUNTRY (@RoosterCayman) July 10, 2019
Jess Jackson and her husband of 100.3 The Bear in Edmonton, CA
So, my husband wanted to try the #BottleCapChallenge …his first mistake was asking me to hold the bottle. 😂😂 – Jess #fail #alcoholabuse
Posted by 100.3 The Bear on Thursday, July 4, 2019
Matt Malone of 97.5 Y Country in Benton Harbor, MI
#BottleCapChallenge #BottleCrapChallenge#ThisIsBetterMatt Malone
Posted by 97.5 Y-Country on Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Drew from the Morning After with Skippy on New Rock 104.1 in Fresno, CA
I’m just as surprised as you that Drew killed the #bottlecapchallenge Failiott not so much. #newrock1041 #themorningafter #shutupskippy
Posted by Skippy- Radio DJ on Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Prospector from Rock 107 in Scranton, PA
More from NRJ in Paris, France
— NRJ (@NRJhitmusiconly) July 4, 2019
— NRJ (@NRJhitmusiconly) July 5, 2019
Latest posts by Seth Resler (see all)
- How Radio Stations Embraced the #BottleCapChallenge - July 12, 2019
- Radio DJs Get Feedback, Podcasters Don't. Will That Change? - July 10, 2019
- For Many Radio Stations, the Digital Hurdles Are Human, Not Technical - July 5, 2019