WVOE 97.7 FM

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Promotion and Branding

greytoasterWVOE brands itself as the little station that could; the underdog. As noted earlier, WVOE has a tiny signal and WVOE plays off this limitation. Many radio experts such as Randy Michaels, Mike McVay and Dan O’Day agree that a station’s signal is a key factor in its success as a radio station. The stronger signal, they say, wins. Those of us at WVOE do not argue this point, we simply embrace our position. We play the role of the little guy. It is what we are. We won’t compete with the other major market radio stations in the Twin Cities from a listenership standpoint. We are little David amongst the radio Goliaths. You may roll your eyes at that little cliché, but it's an apt metaphor. We are more like David practicing our radio slingshots for future use in the God’s great kingdom.  The WVOE focus is seeking Christ and preparing ourselves for a career in broadcasting. However, we also have this miniscule signal, this little mustard seed signal, and that can either be ignored or embraced.

So we choose to rejoice in our signal sufferings and, as Paul would say, by the grace of God be who we are. We have no signal!  We have the power of a toaster. WVOE broadcasts as far as we can throw you.  We are all around the world and halfway across campus.

This humble poke at ourselves reflects the hopes and prayers of our radio staff as well as our listeners. The staff, after all, is our audience. WVOE delivers an extensive campaign to expose the call letters to as many people on campus as possible. Exposure includes banners, letterhead, merchandising (T-shirts, stickers, etc), chapel announcements, and ads in the campus newspaper. The station also utilizes simple direct mail pieces in student mailboxes.

Promotions are a huge part of a radio station’s structure. Each promotion must be orchestrated effectively so the audience benefits. If the audience benefits, then so does the station ultimately.

altSome of the more popular promotions include:

  • Giving away a semester’s worth of books
  • Free tickets to on-campus concerts such as Newsboys, Thousand Foot Krutch, Shawn McDonald, Sara Groves, Brandon Heath, and many more.
  • Free tickets and promotional partnership with local Christian concert venue Club 3 Degrees
  • Alumni activities on-campus
  • Campus events such as homecoming, student orientation, student missions, and athletic events
  • Operation Christmas Child
  • 97.7 Hours of Christmas (Partnership with Christmas with Dignity)
  • Feed My Starving Children
  • Gospel Music Association broadcasts
  • National Religious Broadcasters broadcast

What’s Your Slice?

The WVOE brand has been growing in each of the last several years. Our logo has our call letters, and is accompanied by a chrome toaster. Our main slogan is “broadcasting with the power of a toaster”, a tongue-in-cheek reference to our relatively small broadcast strength. We feel that this slogan is very likeable and approachable, and puts WVOE in a position that is not intimidating or overbearing, but instead it provides us with the “underdog” feel. Everyone loves an underdog. It communicates that we are indeed the “little guy”, but that does not mean that we do not have something important to say. In fact, we have been charged with carrying WVOE-Bluescale-TextInside-noBG2the most important news of all—the Gospel of Jesus Christ—to the men and women who will be the leaders of the next generation: college students.

We also think of our music coming out of the toaster, and what comes out of a toaster but SLICES of toast? So we brand our music as slices and ask students on campus, “what’s your slice?” as a way branding the music with our image.

This past year, through many events, we tried to really develop our WVOE brand and Toaster logo. We put up new flyers around campus almost every month, and with the help of our promotions director, we sought to present our brand in a new light each month. The two biggest events that we put the WVOE brand behind were Octoasterfest and the 97.7 Hours of Christmas. Both of these events went a long way as far as getting deeper into the community we serve, and not only getting to know them better, but taking the opportunity to let them know what we are about—besides good music and programming.

Promotional Events


WVOE actively participates in homecoming activities including the great NWC parade.  Students throw toast from our giant toaster and play the station at top volume! In the past, the WVOE General Manager covered his entire car in Toast—the “Toast-Mobile” was a huge hit in the parade.


Now an annual event, Oktoasterfest has become the big fall promotion for WVOE as a station.  Minnesota starts getting cold in later October, so the entire event was moved into the Student Center.  This allowed us greater freedom for the event, and a more enjoyable, warmer climate for all those who attended.  Last year's event featured a concert by Satellites & Sirens.  There was also, as always, a toast-toss.

The 97.7 Hours of Christmas

altThe last two years, WVOE has teamed up with Christmas with Dignity, a local organization that collects Christmas gifts from around the area and then sells them at huge discounts to under privileged families in the area. Christmas with Dignity allows families to have a Merry Christmas, without feeling like they're just getting a hand out. Christmas with Dignity has a long history with Northwestern College and WVOE is more than pleased for the chance to join in and support the ministry.  WVOE holds a continuous live broadcast for 97.7 consecutive hours, collecting boxes of gifts and monetary donations for Christmas with Dignity.

Branding and Postitioning Statements

  • Broadcasting all around the world…and halfway across campus
  • At WVOE we care about our listener….the only one we have
  • Broadcasting with the Power of Toaster
  • Mix around the letters and you get a little bit of WOVE
  • Broadcasting as far as Dr. Aaron can throw your theology paper
  • Broadcasting as far as Dr. Ailing can hurl cafeteria Jell-O
  • Broadcasting as far as Dr. Kowalik can pogo stick to chapel