Bangalore’s AIR FM Rainbow, which had a rocky first few years, is all set for some smooth sail. With its focus on interactivity and increased visibility, the station is hoping to touch the Rs 1-crore mark this year.
Launched in 2001, FM Rainbow has gone through its fair share of teething trouble. While its returns in the first year was Rs 45 lakh, the entry of Radio City led to some drastic changes in its fortune. The next two years saw its returns plunge to Rs 30 lakh and further plummeting to Rs 18.5 lakh in ’03-’04.
But the station is all set to fight back. With a reinforced marketing team in place, it has decided to focus mainly on interactivity and thereby increased visibility to bring itself back into the game. While the current figures make its goal of Rs 1-crore seem a little too optimistic, Mahesh Joshi, Director Marketing, AIR and Doordarshan, is fairly confident. “With our product offering, we are practically a mobile guide to Bangalore,” he claims.
Over the past couple of months, the station has brought in a number of changes to its product line-up. “We realised that due to some similarity in programming, we were sharing some of our audience with the other AIR station,” said K Gunashekara, Manager – Marketing, AIR and Doordarshan. As a result, AIR FM changed the timings of some of its Kannada offerings to minimise any cannibalisation that might occur.
The biggest challenge the marketing team faces is not competition, but the attitude of the local advertiser. “Bangalore doesn’t have an inclination to advertise. Due to this, we need to first inculcate the desire and then market ourselves as the right vehicle,” says Gunashekara.
In a bid to attain greater visibility amongst the youth, the station has decided to organise a series of concerts and similar events. First amongst these will be a concert with Remo Fernandez. Says Joshi, “Mass events like concerts is what he youth of today identifies with and enjoys. By bringing to them a number of artists across genres, we gain a higher mindshare”. Other artists in the pipeline include the likes of Kannada matinee idol Rajkumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Sonu Nigam among others. Alongside these will be a number of small corporate concerts, which, according to Joshi, will offer a great opportunity to increase the station’s interactivity.
The station seems to have made a good start this year having notched up a “fairly substantial” bit of business in the election season. Whether or not the Rs 1-crore target will be reached is tough to say, but at this rate, the station should hopefully be singing a different tune soon.