messagesonhold

How Do I Choose What Music To Play To My Customers?

Have you ever been placed on hold only to hear… absolutely nothing?

Not only is it off-putting and jarring, but silence on hold actually exacerbates a caller’s potential disappointment, and can even create it.

Back in the day, operators had to manually connect callers to one another, so there was usually a minute or so of silence to sit through while being connected. The thrill of communicating quickly outweighed the few minutes of silence, but in 1962 an anomaly happened: Alfred Levy – an inventor, factory owner and entrepreneur – discovered a loose phone wire touching the metal girder in his factory. This seemingly innocent loose wire turned his factory into a giant receiver, so when an audio signal was broadcasted from the next door radio station, it would transmit through the loose wire and callers could hear it when they were put on hold.

Now – fast forward to today and on hold audio productions reflect the professionalism of a company through original music, snappy advertising, and branded voices.

But when it comes to something as subjective as music, where do you start?

Do you opt for the local radio to entertain your callers? How about a classic Mozart or Vivaldi number? Maybe your son’s band is a good fit?

Who Cares?

If you’re thinking music doesn’t make a difference, think again!

In 1979, Rona Fried and Leonard Berkowitz conducted a study to find out if music influences helpfulness. A group of men and women were played either a soothing classical piece or nothing at all, and the results showed that those who listened to a pleasant piece of music were more willing to be helpful after the study, as opposed to those who listened to nothing.

More recently in 2014, The Journal of Applied Sociology published a study that sought to determine if on hold music with pro-social lyrics could reduce caller aggression. What they found, was callers who were played pro-social music, such as Michael Jackson’s Heal The World, were no less annoyed than those who had been played instrumental music or music with neutral lyrics.

So when it comes to your business, how do you want your callers to be feeling on the other end of the line? An angry or disappointed customer can be emotionally draining for your customer service team, so it’s in your absolute best interest to pick music that not only reflects your business, but also keeps your callers happily on hold.

Music and Your Brand

Think about your business and brand – are you creative and quirky? Professional and comforting? Soothing and uplifting? Whatever adjectives you use to describe your brand, they’ll help you to determine what kind of music will engage your callers.

Say you’re a health practice: put yourself in the shoes of your patients and think about what you’d expect from a health professional, something soothing, calming and minimal. Or, say you own a retail sporting shop: your choices would lean towards a faster-paced rhythm with uplifting melodies and lots of energy.

It’s all about how you want your callers to feel.

Luckily, when it comes to choice, The Groove Gallery makes it easy. With a massive library of genres and tracks to choose from, you’re bound to find the right tracks to keep your callers’ toes tapping.

Opt for Light and Easy to soothe… Dance-Club to get their attention… Rock to keep their head banging… Or World and Relaxation to send them into a state of pure tranquillity.

Get listening today, and keep your callers for longer!

Why is writing for marketing so gosh darn hard?

Short Answer:

Because English is hard!

Long Answer:

The bandage was wound around the wound.
The farm was used to produce produce.
The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

Let’s face it. English is a crazy language, the deeper you delve the stranger it seems.

So how does English, and its many hidden tricks and rules, make writing copy for marketing, or copywriting, so difficult?

First off, as a copywriter it’s essential to have exceptional English skills. We spend all day, every day writing, and my fellow copywriters and I would like to think we have somewhat mastered the English language. However, this is not actually as easy as it seems! If you’re someone who struggles with possessive nouns, isn’t familiar with the 12 tenses of English grammar, and mistakenly uses the word regime when it should be regimen (honest!), maybe you should consider forgoing the headaches caused by the past perfect tense, and hand over the copywriting responsibilities for your brand to trained experts.

‘Why is honing your English skills such an arduous task?’ I hear you ask.

Did you know that there are over 200,000 words in the English language? No wonder even native speakers find it to be such a tricky language! More mind-boggling than that however, is that the English language has over 1,000 different ways to spell its 44 separate sounds! What utter madness! Don’t believe me? Here’s an example:

The word Australia has three letter As in it. Each one of them is said differently.

Talk about over-kill!

To make matters even worse, we have some words that have two opposing meanings. Take the word ‘egregious’: it somehow means both outstandingly bad, and remarkably good! Also, the word ‘chuffed’ is an adjective meaning both pleased and displeased. Don’t believe me? Look it up. Words like these (with two opposing meanings) are called contronyms. Yes, we actually have a word for when a single word has two contradicting meanings.

Then you have all the English rules that as native speakers we know, but don’t know we know…

Hear me out. I bet you (an English speaker) didn’t know that there is a rule stating which order adjectives must go when preceding a noun. I know I didn’t! Anyway, in The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase, the correct order in which to use adjectives is purportedly ‘opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose-noun’, with the author stating that any change made in the order would make the speaker ‘sound like a maniac’.

So let’s test this theory.

You can have a small ginger cat, but can you have a ginger small cat? I mean, you can, but it definitely doesn’t sound right.

Now we’ve established that English is quite the minefield of rules and restrictions, it doesn’t bear thinking about how difficult writing copy for marketing must be!

The biggest copywriting no-no by far is having typos and mistakes in your copy. Having simple errors cheapens your image or your brand, and gives the impression of carelessness and a rushed job. Definitely not how you’d like your brand to be portrayed.

It’s also important to think about how your marketing may be interpreted by others. Even something as simple as a hashtag, can go so wrong. Who can forget Susan Boyle’s album launch or as her media team referred to it:

#susanalbumparty

Susan Album Party or Sus Anal Bum Party? You decide!

For more tips on how to write compelling copy, read our For All Your Marketing Needs & Requirements, Lessons in Language, or Avoid These Phrases blogs.

Yes, the English language can be weird and wonderful, but it can be understood through tough thorough thought though….

So when it comes to writing for your business, save yourself the headache, and consult Messages On Hold’s team of expert copywriters.

– Rebecca

How to Impress Callers with a Voicemail Message

How can you utilise your business’s voicemail message to create the right impression on a customer?

When someone calls your business— whether they’re a top client or a potential customer—they haven’t dialled your number by accident. They want to get in touch with you and try as you might, sometimes you’re just not available.

That’s exactly where your voicemail comes in.

Your voicemail is the automatic, backup face (or technically voice) of your organisation. But that doesn’t mean you can’t impress callers with your voicemail!

What’s the Point of Voicemail?

Your voicemail offers the customer service that you can’t, no matter the time of the day or night. The voicemail has to field the call, make the caller feel appreciated, and ensure that they’re given a plan of action to make contact with you in the near future.

And all of that while ensuring you make a lasting, fantastic impression!

Considering that at most you have between 20-30 seconds, surely we’re expecting a voicemail to do a heck of a lot!

Yes. Yes we are.

That’s why the careful crafting of your voicemail message is a necessity.

The Content of Your Voicemail

“Thanks for calling Jane Smith from Smell-Good Flowers. I’m unavailable at the moment. Please leave a message after the beep.”

This is a standard voicemail message and one that I’m sure you’ve heard a lot. It’s not offensively bad. But it’s also not going to rock the socks off any potential customers.

Whether you’re unavailable for good reason or not, your potential customer is still waiting for service. Your voicemail should both provide more information for the caller and redirect them to receiving further customer service.

“Thanks for calling Jane Smith from Smell-Good Flowers. I’m currently unable to take your call. If you’d like to place an order, or track a current delivery order, please visit our website – smellgood.com. Alternatively, please leave a message with your name, contact number and reason for calling, and I’ll call you back as soon as possible.”

See? Nothing flashy required. All you need to do is ensure that you’ve set up your voicemail to properly take care of your callers.

The Voice Behind Your Voicemail

My voice isn’t terrible, but it’s not going to make a particularly positive impression on a caller. So, when creating my own voicemail, I choose the best of the best voice over artists.

Who’s voicing your voicemail?

Remember: Your voicemail is the sole contact your caller will be having with your company at this time. The last thing you’d want is for them to hear a voice that’s anything less than enjoyable to listen to and easy to understand.

Voice over artists specialise in providing disembodied voices with character and appeal. Your voicemail simply must be voiced by a professional. The difference is extraordinary. Not only will it sound great and reflect well upon you, but clear diction and proper emphasis will ensure your caller doesn’t miss a single detail of your voicemail’s message.

Cartoon by Toons. (https://www.toonpool.com/cartoons/Voicemail_274914)

The Quality of Your Voicemail

So your voicemail reads well and is voiced perfectly… but it kind of sounds like you’ve recorded it onto a tape-recorder from the 80s.

I cannot overestimate how important the audio quality of your voicemail is. If a caller can’t hear your message through the crackling, or even if they simply find the voicemail taxing to listen to, you’ll have made a negative impression and potentially lost a sale.

Callers can tell the difference between studio-recorded audio and audio from your iPhone recorded in the break room. They want to know that the company they’re dealing with is polished in every shape and form. If you’re hoping to impress a caller simply with a bit of recorded audio, you should be throwing everything you’ve got into making it sound as good as possible.

That means professional equipment. A professional studio. And professional audio engineers to mix and produce the voicemail.

Make the Right Impression with Your Voicemail

Your voicemail is such a vital opportunity to make the right impression with your callers. The correctly written, voiced and produced voicemail will ensure that every single caller—whether their call is actually addressed by a real person or not—will hang up the phone undeniably impressed.

That positive impression will endear the business to the caller and undoubtedly soon cause them to become a customer/client.

Scammers Love On Hold Messages

“Come on, do on hold messages really work? Sounds too good to be true!” We hear this from prospects from time to time and when we do, we share this story with them.

About a decade ago, a male contacted us looking for an on hold production for his phone system. With no reason to suspect he wasn’t running a genuine business, we supplied him with our service after he’d paid for the first three months on his credit card. Then things went awry.

The bank declined the second credit card payment. Our original contact wouldn’t take our calls and requests for payment went unheeded. Then, a short time later, we realised we’d been scammed.

Of course, every business is at risk of falling victim to scammers e.g. Nigerian ink-marked banknotes, outstanding tax bills payable by iTunes cards etc. But this scammer merely wanted our tried and tested services to convince other potential patsies that he was running a legitimate business.

He had convinced a number of businesses (hotels, limousine hire companies, restaurants etc.) that he was going to use and market their services to his “clients”. He’d hit them up for free rooms/cars/meals under the guise of research but he realised that he needed to sound established and professional when those people called his fake “office” if he was to glean ongoing freebies from them.

That’s where we came into the equation. When he spoke to those business owners, they would often be placed on hold and would hear slick sounding messages (sometimes promoting their business) which impressed and reassured them. Immediately, the scammer instilled confidence in the poor businesses being taken for a ride—a level of confidence they wouldn’t have gained by listening to elevator music or FM radio.

Once we worked out what was going on, and realised we weren’t going to get our equipment back, we contacted all of the businesses mentioned in the production and gave them the heads-up. At first, they were hesitant to believe us. “No, he’s such a nice guy!” “He bought our office girls flowers.” But when they delved deeper, they realised they’d been duped, just like we had been.

Every year we still receive calls from a dozen or so no-gooders wanting Messages On Hold to give callers the impression they operate a reputable, sizeable, and legitimate business. Unfortunately for them, we’re awake to the ruse.

When it comes to reinforcing your brand values and assuring callers that you’re a strong, successful organisation, on hold messages are a no-brainer. Just ask the scammers!

Stand Out Marketing: Highlights from Advertising in 2017

Every business is dependent on successful marketing. Throughout 2017 we were treated to some of the most ingenious advertising and marketing campaigns yet, from which we should all take inspiration.

Unless you employ a staff of creative minds who are dedicated to marketing your brand, coming up with unique and effective advertising ideas can be a real challenge. What’s more: keeping these ideas straightforward and managing to not blow out your budget is key.

So here’s a list of simple but effective advertising campaigns released this year from all over the world that pack some real punch. See if they inspire you!

Radio Ad – KitKat (UK)

Getting your message across on the radio is tricky as you want listeners to engage and not switch over stations. This is why this radio ad from KitKat (UK) is so effective – you’re drawn in by the abstract content and the tone of voice, and you want to know where on earth it’s going…

TV Ad – Road Safety Commission (Aus)

Here in Australia, amongst our cringe-worthy government-sponsored public service announcements is the odd gem—like this one from the Road Safety Commission. The tagline itself is short, sharp and memorable, and the scenarios and characters created are relatable and humorous while reinforcing the serious point.

Print Campaign – Pride Month (US)

During the world celebration of Pride Month a group of art directors in New York created pamphlets that resembled official Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) posters, and distributed them throughout the New York subway.

National Billboard Campaign – Škoda (UK)

In the UK, Škoda Auto came up with a unique way to entice window shoppers to think about a Škoda vehicle. Across Rye, Wales, the Lake District and Norfolk, digital billboards showcased live journey times to local holiday hotspots, encouraging city dwellers to get off-road and rediscover nature.

Print Campaign – Royal Life Saving (Aus)

This Western Australian campaign proposes a powerful message from Royal Surf Life Saving Western Australia, whose lifeguards noticed a growing trend of poolside parents looking at their Smartphones instead of watching their children in the water.

Geico (US)

US auto insurance conglomerate Geico had an astounding $1.1 billion budget for their yearly advertising, but it seems to have paid off. Here we have Geico’s “Not Surprising” campaign which makes the brand stand out in its highly competitive industry, through pure goofiness and silliness.

The News Literacy Project (US)

As a response to a growing trend of readers only reading headlines before sharing articles, News Literacy Project teamed up with a New York agency to create a whole new typeface. This font is so difficult digest, the viewer is forced to slow down their reading pace, and take in every angle to get the whole picture.

At Messages On Hold, we understand that coming up with a clever advertising campaign isn’t as easy as simply getting out the old butcher’s paper and felt tips. Brainstorming can sometimes take weeks, which is why our creative team heavily research your brand and industry to consistently provide you with fresh new ideas.

No matter if your advertising sits on public billboards, is thriving through social media, played on TV, or primarily within an aural on hold production, placing your creative brainstorming in the hands of creative experts (such as Messages On Hold) saves you from a world of creative blocks and going with last-minute clichés.

Luckily, all it takes is a little left-of-centre brainstorming by the right creative team. Let’s put you at the forefront of your industry – request a demo today!

Do Messages On Hold Affect The Customer Experience?

When a caller contacts your business the customer service they experience will undoubtedly affect the likelihood of them using your services in the future.

Need some rock-solid proof?

Take a look at this: The Customer Experience Leaders in the Customer Experience Index at Forrester Research are the top ten rated public companies. At the end of the period between 2007 and 2013, the S&P 500 Index was up 14.5%. The performance of equity-weighted, annually readjusted stock portfolios of the Customer Experience Leaders was up 43%. The performance of the Customer Experience Laggards—the bottom ten rated public companies—was down 33.9%

What does that mean in plain English?

The stock price of a public company literally falls when customers are disappointed with their experience with that company. The stock price of a public company rises when customers are delighted with their experience.

A customer’s experience is made up of every interaction your company has with them: face to face, via email, and, of course, on the phone. If a caller experiences long wait periods on hold listening to bland music or—shudder—silence, isn’t directed to the right department, or isn’t given the information they need quickly, then they have not had a good customer experience.

On hold messages offer a hassle-free avenue to enhance your callers’ experiences. They provide the opportunity to use the time a caller is on hold for productive and entertaining purposes with fun marketing messages. They ensure your caller knows exactly what menu options to choose or how best to reach you if you’re currently unavailable. They can even be used to provide answers to commonly asked questions. All of this genuinely enriches the customer’s experience and leaves them with a positive impression of your company.

Imagine this hypothetical example:

1) Tom Johnson calls your company (let’s say a financial firm) and is greeted by a polished welcome message which includes a run-down of an upcoming seminar he didn’t know about but would be delighted to attend.
2) He then hears clear, concise menu options and knows exactly what number to press if he wants to make a consultation appointment. (It’s option 4, for the record.)
3) He then speaks with a member of the consultation team who books his appointment without a fuss.
4) Now Tom wants to enquire about that amazing seminar he heard about, so the team member transfers him to the staff member organising the seminar.
5) While on hold, Tom hears an attention-grabbing on hold message that reminds him that the end of financial year is fast approaching and another message about life insurance—a service he didn’t know Finance “R” Us offers—before the phone is picked up again without him even realising he was waiting.
6) Tom hears about and registers for the seminar, puts down the phone and spends a good long while smiling about how successful a call that was.

Every phone call offers the opportunity to provide a positive or negative customer experience. And every customer experience offers the opportunity to enhance or detract from the reputation of your company.

So, the real question you should be asking is: how good are your on hold messages?

How to Write for the Ear Without Getting Lost in Language

If you consider yourself a bit of a wordsmith, you may be surprised to learn that writing for the ear and writing for the eye are two very, very different ball-parks.

When writing essays, stories, love letters, poems or emails, the writer understands that the reader will interpret the text through the reader’s own voice, tone and intonations. But what about when writing advertising copy for the ear?

How do you ensure your message is being translated from the page into sound waves just as you imagined it?

The English language is a complex and sometimes cruel mistress – here are some examples showing how easy it is for your words to be misinterpreted and muddled.

The weathered rock was given a mean rock, putting it at quite a handicap.

Presently, the Left left, leaving only the Right left.

At lunchtime, we seeded the lawns before seeding the tomatoes. We then stoned the peaches while the local police were stoned by stoned youths.

They couldn’t help but help their peers by puzzling the puzzle, with a discursive apology.

If those statements made you feel a little like this…

Tripping Homer Simpson GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Then you’re not alone.

Frustrations over the complexities of the English language have been baffling writers and readers for centuries, with William Shakespeare himself breaking all the grammar rules and inventing entirely new words, just to tell a story.

In English, you’ll find contronyms – words with contradictory meanings; homonyms – words that are said or spelled the same but have different meanings; and synonyms – which ironically has three different definitions, so let’s not go there.

When it comes to writing copy for your brand, you want to ensure that your message is not only clear and to the point but also engaging and memorable. After all, consumers are exposed to a multitude of advertising collateral every day, so it’s vital your brand stands out for the right reasons.

As a business owner, you likely have enough on your plate as it is, so you don’t want to get caught in the trap of using the right word in the wrong context. This is where the dutiful, good-looking bunch of copywriters at Messages On Hold come in…

Hilarious Kermit The Frog GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

We copywriters are all too familiar with the hair-pulling nature of our craft. So when clients come to us with no idea how to start their productions, we embrace the challenge!

We think outside the box to create unique, bespoke productions that perfectly reflect our clients’ brands. What’s more, our copy is short, sharp, and unforgettable – after all, you don’t want to place your callers on hold for too long, so the messages we write don’t mince words.

So keep your eyes on the prize of growing profit margins and delighted customers, and let the writing pros from Messages on Hold take the right words right out of your mouth.

Semi Final Preview: GWS v West Coast

WHERE: Spotless Stadium, Saturday, September 16, 5.25pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R22, 2017: GWS 12.9 (81) def West Coast 9.6 (60) at Spotless Stadium
R10, 2017: GWS 14.14 (98) def West Coast 14.6 (90) at Domain Stadium
R21, 2016: West Coast 14.13 (97) def GWS 14.12 (96) at Spotless Stadium
R5, 2015: West Coast 18.12 (120) def GWS 4.9 (33) at Domain Stadium
R8, 2014: West Coast 30.8 (188) def GWS 12.5 (77) at Domain Stadium

OVERVIEW

2017 has been a season of fantastic games and close finishes, with none more enthralling than West Coast’s extra-time, after-the-siren victory over Port Adelaide on Saturday night. If the Eagles aim to keep their finals dream alive, they’ll need to recover well before another big interstate trip. Will those 10 extra minutes hurt the Eagles’ chances?

Season-ending injuries for Shane Mumford and Jeremy Cameron will force Leon Cameron’s hand at the selection table this week. Dawson Simpson is the obvious replacement for Mumford, but what will the Giants go for up forward? GWS were one-dimensional against the Crows, and if there’s one player who’s anything but one-dimensional, it’s Steve Johnson. Stevie J simply must play this week.

A straight-sets exit would be a disaster for GWS, but their premiership window isn’t closing anytime soon. For the Eagles, a premiership in 2017 would mean four-straight interstate wins on the trot, including their last two at their bogey ground, the MCG.

TALKING POINTS

1. The Eagles faded late against the Giants back in round 22, managing just 1.1 to the Giants’ 4.3 in the fourth quarter. If Saturday night was any indication, the Eagles may have solved their fade-out issues. Adam Simpson will be looking for another big effort down the stretch.

2. Eric Mackenzie’s fourth-quarter heroics against Port Adelaide reminded West Coast fans why he’s such a crucial cog in the Eagles’ machine. While Big Easy may have saved the day for West Coast, he can’t allow Jonathon Patton to get on top of him like Charlie Dixon did on Saturday night.

3. Josh Kelly tore the Eagles apart back in round 22. The star midfielder finished with 43 touches and goal in a best-on-ground performance. Will Adam Simpson give Mark Hutchings a run-with role on this time around?

4. In his last three games, Matt Priddis has averaged 28 touches, one goal and 8.3 tackles. A few more big performances like that and the Brownlow Medallist might just play himself out of retirement.

5. If Luke Shuey was underrated heading into last weekend, he certainly isn’t anymore. Following 32 touches, 11 tackles and two goals against Port, Shuey now sits at a career-best 15th in the Schick AFL Player Ratings.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Elliot Yeo.

Elliott Yeo and Toby Greene went head to head in round 22. Yeo was superb, finishing with 30 touches and eight marks; however, Greene managed to get of the leash to snag three crucial goals. If Yeo can keep Greene off the scoreboard, West Coast will win this one comfortably.

TIP: West Coast by 13.

SECOND TIP: Mark Hutchings keeps Josh Kelly to under 20 touches.

First Elimination Final Preview: Port Adelaide v West Coast

WHERE: Adelaide Oval, Saturday, September 9, 5.50pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R16, 2017: Port Adelaide 18.12 (120) def West Coast 13.10 (88) at Domain Stadium
R7, 2017: West Coast 15.7 (97) def Port Adelaide 12.15 (87) at Adelaide Oval
R9, 2016: West Coast 14.10 (94) def Port Adelaide 13.8 (86) at Adelaide Oval
R6, 2015: West Coast 11.12 (78) def Port Adelaide 10.6 (68) at Adelaide Oval
R5, 2014: Port Adelaide 10.10 (70) def West Coast 7.14 (56) at Domain Stadium

OVERVIEW

It’s been two very different roads to September for Port Adelaide and West Coast. The Power finished the year strongly with three-straight wins to cement a home final in week one. On the other hand, West Coast narrowly edged out Melbourne to sneak into eight spot on percentage alone.

Port Adelaide hasn’t played finals football since 2014, so Ken Hinkley’s men will be eager to impress on the big stage. For West Coast, the memory of last year’s humiliating 47-point loss to the Western Bulldogs should be all the motivation they need.

The Eagles have struggled to get supply to their potent forwards this year. Which team have they struggled against the most? Port Adelaide. While the teams may have split their two games so far this year, Port Adelaide has smashed West Coast 128 to 81 in inside-50s. The Eagles’ midfield will need to be working overtime to overcome Paddy Ryder’s influence around the contest.

TALKING POINTS

1. Is Luke Shuey the most underrated player in the AFL? The reigning John Worsfold Medallist currently sits 16th in the Schick AFL Player Ratings, just seven places behind Port Adelaide’s Robbie Gray.

2. Paddy Ryder dominated West Coast back in round 16. The All-Australian ruckman finished with 17 touches, 39 hit-outs and two goals. Can Drew Petrie and Nathan Vardy make a contest this week?

3. West Coast has a fantastic record at Adelaide Oval, having won five of their six games at the venue. The Eagles were successful against Port in round seven at the venue, and they’ll need to be at their best in front of a hostile Adelaide Oval crowd to do it again.

4. While the Eagles may have an impressive record at Adelaide Oval, the city hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the big birds during finals time. West Coast has managed just one win from four finals in Adelaide, with their only victory a stunning come-from-behind win back in the 2006 Preliminary Final.

5. Jack Darling will play his 150th game in the blue and gold on Saturday night. While life membership is a fantastic achievement for the versatile forward, he’ll need to be at his dynamic best with Josh Kennedy destined to get some close attention from Port’s backline.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Brad Sheppard.

Brad Sheppard has flown under the radar once again for West Coast. For keen observers, however, the lively small defender has put together another fantastic year for West Coast. Sheppard was crucial in the Eagles’ victory back in round seven, holding Robbie Gray to just 15 touches and no goals. If Sheppard can stop Gray again, the Eagles might just steal this one.

TIP: West Coast by 8.

SECOND TIP: Jeremy McGovern takes 10 intercept marks.

Goodbye Subi Oval: Stories from Behind the Post By An MOH Hand Waver

This past Sunday, we had to wipe away a tear with our giant, yellow, foam hand as we bid au revoir to Subi Oval. For 25 years, West Coast Eagles’ spectators have slept soundly at night knowing that a) the Dockers have yet to win a premiership and b) the iconic Messages On Hold hand will be waving behind the goal posts every game.

Trevor Watson, a hand-waiver of MOH’s for 17 years, shares some behind the posts memories from his time at Subi.

Prime Positioning

Ever wondered how, no matter where the angle of the camera was pointed, or where the umpire stood, you could ALWAYS see the MOH hands? That’s because while the players were warming up, we’d spend ages checking how tall the goal umpires were, where they were standing, and where the cameras were placed in the stand. You’d be surprised what a big difference it made!

FYI: A big pet peeve of mine were the umpires who’d stand all over the place making me have to constantly shuffle trying to line up with the camera!

Sabotaging Security Guards

Every so often, a security guard (or even the spare-ball kids) would sit directly between the camera and me, and stand up every time a goal was scored! I was not happy with this arrangement! I asked, begged and pleaded, and sometimes even resorted to bribing them to move. This got—as you can imagine—mixed results.

Friend Goals Behind The Goals

While we weren’t always initially the best of friends with the rows behind us (something about a giant, yellow viewing obstacle may have contributed to that), soon we became fast friends. After some friendly chat and game analysis (somehow we all knew exactly what the Eagles were doing right/wrong), we became good friends. Maybe the spare ticket we once gave to their grandkid had something to do with it as well! Anyway, since then we’ve actually watched finals together at our house with some people from the row behind us!

The Great Flood

While some Eagles’ fans don’t love getting their wings a bit wet, nothing could ruffle my feathers. In 2003, the Eagles played North Melbourne and it rained so hard the goal umpire was ankle deep in water. It didn’t take too long before I found that I was the only person in the entirety of Block 116 that hadn’t run for cover! I sure hoped TV viewers could see the MOH hand through the downpour. The 20-minute walk back to the car was not fun that afternoon.

190 Games

I’ve enjoyed almost every game of the approximately 190 home games I’ve waved signs at. Even when I got sick, and spent the entire game with my head on the fence, I had my wife shout to me every time I needed to lift the sign. Luckily, I married an Eagles-nut like me!

Thanks Kym and Messages On Hold for the last 17 years at Subi. It’s been fun!

Trev

Trev’s last game at Subi Oval.