Wednesday, April 25, 2012


With the recent story of the "Prize Pig" in Canada who won over 500 prizes on the radio (yes, his story is an extreme case), I thought it would be good to re-visit one of my earlier blogs on this topic.

I’ve never liked the term “prize pig.” Yeah, they like to win prizes and can really be an annoyance to the airstaff and promotions department, but a majority of these people are Super P1’s and would most likely take part in an Arbitron survey if asked. So why do we take our most loyal (and I’ll admit sometimes the most annoying listeners) and refer to them as “pigs?”

There’s a hardware store in my neighborhood I love and I’m very loyal to. I spend a lot of money and time with them. If I ever found out the owner referred to me as a “pig” behind my back, hello Big Box Store.

I’ve also never been a fan of the “you can only win once every 30 day” rule. I have no idea where it came from, but it never made any sense to me. If you have a winner win a prize and you say “you can only win once every 30 days,” guess what? They are gone for the next 30 days. They are going to your competition to listen and try to win from them. It’s our job to keep them listening to us as much as possible. So why would we tell our most loyal listeners “go somewhere else for 30 days?” Why not let your most loyal listeners win as much as they want?

Now, if you are giving away a huge prize like cash or trips, then yes, one winner every 30 days, but smaller prizes, who cares? Not one listener would ever call and say “man, John Doe sure does win a lot.” Listeners don’t listen that close and if they ever did call and question your contest philosophy, you could reply with “you too are eligible to win as much as you’d like. Unlike other stations in town, we don’t limit your winnings to once every 30 days.” I bet they’d understand and be excited to keep listening and trying to win.

Another contest pet peeve of mine is when a personality is airing the winning call and asks “have you won anything in the last 30 days?” Why air that? It’s a bunch of extra words you don’t need, people don’t care and it’s a negative. Even if that’s your policy, personalities should edit that out and tell the winner that off the air.

I know this is a polarizing topic and I’ve had many heated debates about this with nearly every promotions department I’ve ever worked with. But logically, it makes total sense to “thank” our P1’s and reward them for listening as much as we can. I challenge you to convince your promotion department, GM or company to look at the “30 day rule” and saying the phrase “prize pig” and stop doing them both.

They do more harm than good.


  1. Scott Schuler KRKTApril 25, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Interesting point on the 30 day policy, I hadn't thought of it that way. I don't mind the super winners and we are very lenient on our 30 day policy with some smaller prizes we throw it out the window

  2. Couldn't agree more John!

    I heard a station once that played pig sounds in the back of the payoff call when a 'prize pig' won.

    I flew over 30,000 miles last year and couldn't imagine Delta saying "Hey Kenny, you're a great customer, but you just got a first class upgrade 21 days ago. Wait 9 more days until your next upgrade."