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THE 62WHEN RADIO BUMPER STICKER EVOLUTION
At the height of WHEN's popularity, one of the many marketing tools used to effectively promote the station were bumper stickers. During the late 70's and early 80's it was not uncommon to spot these highly recognizable and ubiquitous bumper stickers on cars far and near. The resounding success of this perpetual WHEN bumper sticker distribution was the envy of program and promotion directors everywhere. Surely such success was a source of great annoyance and much frustration to one competing Syracuse program director in particular. In 1983 this PD reportedly encouraged his air staff to regularly berate WHEN on his station at every opportunity as part of his new counter programming strategy. The following memo, issued by then General Manager Bob Carolin, would seemingly give some insight into the acrimony between the warring stations at the time.
While the mean-spirited rancor from some of WHEN's main competitor's continued, the station's bumper sticker evolution moved non-stop well into the late 1980's. While the display of 62 WHEN bumper stickers below is by no means complete, it does represent a fairly good sample of those that were commonplace throughout the late 1970's and into the late 1980's. One of the more memorable bumper stickers in this display is one which was distributed in the mid-1970's. The Classic... "I'm Cruisin' for The 62 Heavy Chevy". You'll see it here. It was about 12 to 15 inches wide. Standard for those days.
At the time these bumper stickers were being distributed, the station was still broadcasting from 980 James Street (WHEN AM & TV) and the line-up included the likes of Phil Markert, Jack Mindy, Jeff Laurence, Jim Shafer, Ray Diorio, Captain Gordon, and others. In photos of the iconic "62 Heavy Chevy" you'll spot this logo style duplicated on the rear quarter panels.
This sticker was about 2 series ahead of what would become the super successful "62 WHEN License Plate Logo" bumper sticker.
The evolution of the WHEN bumper sticker continues around 1978. Still the station had not hit on the idea of using a sticker resembling a New York license plate for their sticker design. That would soon change.
The mother of all license plate logo bumper stickers. The first 62 WHEN "license plate" bumper sticker. This sticker comes about as a result of a contest called "License to Win" in which listeners had to keep tabs of where each one of the 50 U.S. state license plates were "symbolically" hidden about Central New York. "License to Win" entry blanks were distributed at sponsor locations throughout Central New York
Circa - late 1980's
One of the bigger stickers (this was almost standard bumper sticker size) WHEN ever used was one that resembled New York's new license plate design that was implimented in the latter part of the 1980's. Prior to this, the "62 WHEN License Plate Logo" had essentially been used non-stop since 1979. Sometimes, however, with slight modifications such as one used in 1985 (not shown) that promoted anti-DWI. Client advertising on any WHEN bumper stickers up until this time had been verboten. It was during the late 1980's however, that Pepsi became the first WHEN client to share promotional space on a station bumper sticker. It may be the only advertiser to ever had this opportunity.
When easily removable "window" stickers became vogue toward the end of the 1980's, the WHEN "bumper" sticker was about to see its demise. A 62 WHEN "window sticker" marked the end of an era. Not only did it mark the end of a remarkably successful bumper sticker campaign over the years, it also marked the beginning of the end for what had been a once great...and successful, personality-driven adult contemporary radio station.
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