Splash hits

The water splash ride today had three main feature splashes.

A forward-facing, medium-sized climb (see below) followed by fast descent and splash.

A backward-facing, slightly smaller climb followed by fast descent and splash.

Finally another forward-facing, higher climb followed by a faster descent and hence a bigger splash.

And while getting wet today, I was reminded of the huge 2003 hit from OutKast – Hey Ya – which initially failed to make any sort of splash at all.

Because while all indicators were that it had the necessary qualities to be a hit, it was just too different to anything that had gone before, too unfamiliar to listeners, and hence they failed to warm to it.

Until the record company decided on a new strategy. They asked radio DJs all over the US when playing it, to sandwich it between two established hits. The idea being to do this repeatedly until audiences had heard it in this context enough to unconsciously decide that it was familiar. And hence it became the biggest song of 2003.

Audiences generally prefer the familiar to the new. But too much of the familiar will lead to boredom. So gradually introducing new features and songs are essential to longevity.

But the manner in which the new is introduced is crucial. So whether it be a backwards water splash or a new genre of hit song, sandwich it between two established splash hits, and you’re giving it its best chance of success.