Celebration season for radio stations, like most other media outfits, began with the Ganpati festival but Dandia seems to have urged for more programming initiatives, more on-ground connect with listeners and consequently more advertisers for radio stations. The best part however, is that the season means full inventories for all stations – at least till the New Year.
Amongst the stations, larger initiatives are seen from Radio Mirchi stable this year. The channel has organised a full-fledged event to establish a brand connect with its audience. Sharing more on this, Prashant Panday, COO, Radio Mirchi, says, “We have organised one of the biggest Dandias in Mumbai. The idea is to get the young adults of the city and allow Radio Mirchi more on-ground visibility.”
As per the channel official, the station also managed its expected 20,000-plus audience for the two-day event. The channel indulged in various activities to support the on-ground event. Panday elucidates that apart from promotions on the station itself, Mirchi issued advertisements in the Mumbai edition of Gujarat Samachar. The station also tied up with as many as 160 outfits like Barista, Planet M and visited the major youth-centric areas for the event. “What it necessarily gave us was a good platform to make our presence stronger with our audience in various ways. And of course there is a whole lot of Dandia-related programming taking place,” Panday says.
Radio City too aims at reaching its audience through the on-ground route. Says Ambar Basu, Vice President – Finance, Music Broadcast Private Limited, “We have pioneered initiatives in local events. Our association with Dandia is on a local basis, where we, in association with Sankalp, are bringing the biggest Dandia fair to Mumbaikars for the last two years and this year also we are following the same tradition.”
Radio City has also indulged in substantial on-air programming around the festival. “We have a Navratri special programming block on air which entails a live Dandia programming segment from midnight to 2 am for the Navratri period,” Basu informs.
Go 92.5 and Red FM too have chalked out Dandia specials for their listeners. Shariq Patel, Station Head, Radio Mid-Day, shares that the channel has special programming planned for all nine days of Navratri. “We have nine days of 9 to 5 promotions,” says Patel. The channel has contests across all its programming which revolve around the digit nine, themed with the nine-day-long festival. “Even in the content, we have infused more about the festival by telling listeners of the various places where Dandia is happening, the must-haves for the festival and so on,” shares Patel.
Red FM too with its Dandia-related programming, completes with the specials that the channels have planned. Sharing on why investing such energies on Dandia, Panday explains, “Dandia is a strong international cosmopolitan function. Even the movies today vouch for that. It helps in building a very good brand connect with our relevant audience.”
“A radio station needs to connect with the local masses and it’s imperative to associate and link with events with a local flavour. Dandia is one of the more youthful and fun festivals and it makes sense to utilise that for creating the right connect with your listener,” reflects Basu.
As for the advertisers, initiatives like these mean more for the channels. For Go, the Navratri initiative is sponsored by Asian Paints and BPL. For the station, Dandia has only increased the upsurge in advertisers that has begun right from the festive season.
For Mirchi, the initiative means a whole lot of advertisers like Goa Pan Masala, Limca, Nokia, Tops Security, Pidilite, HLL, Seagram and various other corporate houses. Panday explains that for an event of this scale, what is important is the turnout, “It is great if we can recover costs and we are not just recovering costs but also making a profit.”
As per the players, the festive season means a boom. Dandia is only going to give way to Diwali in November and then to Christmas and New Year. Whether it is programming or advertisers, radio sure has its handful and a lot more to talk about in days to come.