by Jay Tilles (Lightning)
About a year ago I walked into Mr. Weatherby’s office, KROQ’s Program Director, and ran an idea by him.
“What do you think about adding a KROQ monster truck to our fleet street team vehicles? Not the kind that you see jumping cars in Anaheim Stadium, but one that could cruise the streets and be seen all over SoCal—a truck that would fit right in at all the motorsports events that the station attends. And oh yeah, I want to debut it at SEMA, the most important automotive convention in America.”
I slid a rough rendering across his desk, assuming he’d slide it right back with a chuckle of dismissal.
But when he picked up the paper and looked back with a smirk saying, “sure,” I was floored. Of course he followed with, “What’s it going to cost us?” We all know KROQ’s had shallow pockets since it’s earliest days in Pasadena.
“Zero,” I told him. “What I couldn’t get sponsored, I’d pay for. KROQ needs only allow me to use the logo.” It would however be the first time KROQ would be allowing a non-station owned vehicle to adorn its logo. This was a big deal.
So, my next step was to get approvals from the market manager and most importantly, the station attorney. The project was approved at every level, which amazed me, seriously.
But there was one caveat. I would have to carry commercial insurance for the truck. [gulp]
After a call to AIS, I found this insurance would cost me several thousand dollars per year. Ouch. There was no way I could afford that kind of money, especially since there as no way for me to make it back. After all, I wasn’t planning to use it as an Uber car, although it would be pretty funny.
I sent a note to our sales department to see if anyone was interested in sponsoring the project but figured nothing would come of it.
I thought I’d hit an impassable roadblock.
A few weeks went by and I received a call from George our salesman who works closely with AIS. He informed me that AIS was interested in sponsoring the project. What the heck? This could be a marriage made in heaven. Sure, I’d been doing commercials for AIS since Richard Blade left the account in my hands in the late 90s but this was truly unexpected.
After a few more weeks AIS had come on board and made it possible for me to purchase the commercial insurance needed to wrap the truck with the KROQ artwork.
Here’s the thing. Every advertiser on KROQ hopes to create a bond between themselves, the DJ who voices their commercials, and station’s audience. But it’s not always possible. Maybe it’s just a one-time campaign to promote a big weekend sale, or the product isn’t perfectly suited to the audience. It takes a tremendous amount of time and dedication to earn respect from the KROQ audience and DJs.
AIS seriously make it easy for me to promote them. I’ve never had to go looking for people to sing their praises. Whether it’s saving time, money or simply providing better coverage, thousands of KROQ listeners have switched to AIS. That’s not me blowing smoke. That’s a fact.
And more importantly, the team at AIS has stood by KROQ through thick and thin; Good financial times and bad, ratings roller coasters, controversies and the like. They’ve had plenty of opportunities to pull the plug. But they’ve always believed in KROQ.
Not only do they believe in KROQ but they put their money were mouth is and proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt. And for this I am so grateful.
Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for believing in me. Without AIS, this vehicle would not exist. I solute you with two toots of the train horn.
Yes, of course it has a train horn.