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It's a Happy Diwali for Radio in the South as advertisers spend 20-25 per cent more this year

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 It's a Happy Diwali for Radio in the South as advertisers spend 20-25 per cent more this year

Second half of 2014 has been a year with positive signals for the radio industry which is witnessing a 20-25 per cent growth in advertising spends with almost all major brands advertising on the medium in a much bigger way than last year.

As the country gears up to celebrate the festival of light, radio players have also lit up their content lineup with specials and contests for their listeners.

Big FM has initiated the ‘BIG Family Game’. It’s a simple game format where two families are pitted against each other. The families are asked a question related to the city’s likes and dislikes – for example which is the most favourite AR Rahman song with Chennaites. The winning families get goodies like gold coins.

Across the five south markets, Radio City has planned a series of spikes to engage and entertain the listeners over the festive week. Dream Diwali showers gifts on its listeners in Chennai and Coimbatore. From fireworks to clothes, gold to electronics – listeners stand a chance to win any of these if they answer simple questions that the RJs ask. In addition to Dream Diwali, Radio City Coimbatore has a spike that brings a million -dollar smile across little ones who have no home of their own. Year after year, Radio City Coimbatore airs a special activity – Gift a Dress This Diwali. Listeners are invited to shop for just one extra dress this Diwali when they go shopping for their family. This new dress will be gifted to a child in an orphanage on behalf of the listener.
Radio City Bangalore celebrates Diwali with the Festive Lock and Key game. This game is an on-ground treat for listeners across Bangalore. Radio City OB vehicle will be stacked with gifts and parked at prominent locations across the City. Lucky listeners have to find the right key from a key bunch that will open the lucky door of the vehicle. The twist is that, the contestant has to open the lock in 91.1 seconds!

Radio City Hyderabad has a Tollywood treat in store this Diwali. Radio City Super Star Dhamaka is a weeklong special wherein the RJs chat up their favourite Tollywood stars. 

Red FM in Tamil Nadu has a month long umbrella activity titled ‘Ultimate Attagasam’ which involves on -ground initiatives like ‘Ready Steady Vedi’ –  lucky wheel concept across the city with attractive prizes; popular ‘Solomon Pappiah’s Pattimandram’ – a public debate on social topics packed with humour  and ‘Grand Golu’ celebrations during the Navrathri  period. The on -air offerings also include interviews with top film personalities, musical extravaganza involving 12 hours and 12 celebrities, specially created humour sparklers, etc

In Bengaluru, Red FM is organising a special music concert by popular Bollywood singer Shalmali Kholgade. They have also got a terrific response for the initiative asking corporates to celebrate this Diwali with Red FM & Disha, their morning jock in true ‘bajaate raho’ style. Also, they are executing a promotion-based on air activity giving away liberal prizes to listeners.

Although, Diwali is not as big in Kerala, this year the season has seen a spike during the season for Club FM in Kerala, complementing the Onam season that got over in September. Keeping with the spirit of the festival, Club FM has created a 90 -second audio clip related to the festival that would convey their greetings to their listeners and ask them to celebrate a safe Diwali. The song mix will also convey the spirit of the season. On site activities in all stations, supported by on air promos will take the spirit of the festival to the midst of listeners in the four stations that they are present in.

Who’s advertising on radio?

This year, advertisers are looking at innovative channels that reach deep and give bigger bang for the buck. Gaurav Bhargava, CMO, says, “Traditional mediums are getting cluttered and clients want to seek cheaper, more exclusive and deep reaching media options. That is why clients are exploring in- store audio channels in their marketing mix alongside Radio. The in-store audio channel content is owned by the retail chains. They look at specific music selection, imaging and promos. Thus we do not have a singled out programming strategy – rather customised content management for each client. However, the music is more upbeat and slightly higher tempo as retailers want to create the ambience of ‘happening’ and an urgency of decision making.”

Real estate has been very active this year with special offers, as have large organised retailers. Radio experts also feel that advertisers are learning from experience and have increased their spends. They feel once the threshold level spending takes place, radio is bound to give a superior response. Every month they find some new advertising categories trying the medium which is good for the industry’s long-term interests. Apart from the big retailers such as Nallis, Pothys, GRT, Joy Alukkas, Kalyan Jewellers, this year e-commerce sites such as flipkart and OLX have been extremely active. Consumer durables like Phillips, Samsung, LG and auto players have been very aggressive this season. Retail clients across various categories, white goods, automobiles, telecom and real estate are among the key advertising categories.

Ashwin Padmanabhan, National Business Head, Big FM said, “We have seen a jump of almost 25 per cent over last year, the sentiment has been good and brands across the board have see positive sales happening.”

Surendar B, COO, Red FM/ Suryan FM said, “Diwali is the mother of all festivals . There is a noticeable spike for many business categories across several states. Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are big on Diwali. The season involves predominantly tactical campaigns pushing sales for various products and services. Such campaigns require a strong local focus. There is no better value-for-money medium than radio to hit the bull’s eye. There is a definite 20-25 per cent increase in the advertising spends in key markets.”

Bhargava feels, “Diwali is big season for advertisers, especially when they are advertising on channels that have a strong presence at the point of sale. For Spot Radio the heaviest demand is from lifestyle product clients (watches, garments, jewellery, sarees, mobile handsets and consumer durables). Instore audio channel (Spot Radio has a 75 per cent market share) is getting significantly larger interest this year.”

Ashit Kukian- President and COO- Radio City 91.1 FM said, “Diwali is about celebration of life, love and giving. We at Radio City, have always reflected the ethos of each town in our programming which is reflected in each city’s programming. We are particularly proud of the fact that we have contributed to rebuilding the cyclone ravaged Vizag and our celebration therefore is Lighting up Vizag and helping the city regain its glory.”

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