Integrated client solutions. This would normally imply helping clients solve business challenges by providing high-value, customised solutions. Ad agencies have stormed into the ‘360 degree’ world by offering a heady mix of public relations, rural marketing, below-the-line activities, sports, in-film placement and mobile marketing, hand in hand with traditional offerings--media and creative.
Similarly, television channels have fitted brand spots within serials, contests, promotion of brand-related events, and unique tie-ups with lead serial characters.
In case you think that radio was not on the bandwagon, it is time to recollect your thoughts. Nearly every station now offers specially designed packages which begin with ordinary commercials and extend to RJ mentions, shows named after brands, brand-related events, jingles, integration within radio shows, trivia, contests, etc.
Shariq Patel, Station Head, Go 92.5, explained: “The thrust is definitely on integrated client solutions. With Bacardi we created an entire show called ‘Bacardi Breezer Vivid Nights’ which plays on Fridays and Saturdays between 9 and 12. The deal also includes a presence for the show on our website, and in a segment called Page 3 which plays every weekday between 8.45 pm and 9 pm. Another example would be the ‘Parle Monaco Bollywood Badshah’ initiative which includes promos on air, outdoor support, ground events, etc. This initiative kicked off on May 21, 2004 and was cited as the largest quiz show targeted at the Bollywood junkie.”
Patel added, “Honestly, it would be difficult to encapsulate all of it since so much has been done on this front. For instance, College Radio for Colgate Fresh Energy Gel--held in August 2003--was a ground event and it spun around 12 colleges from Mumbai for the best of the best in terms of radio talent. The initiative revolved around outdoor activities, online promotion, on air promos, etc.”
Other initiatives on the part of Go 92.5 include the ‘Supercook Pril Dishwash Bar Challenge’ that scanned 20 housing societies in Mumbai to scout for some of the best cooking talent in Mumbai and was backed by outdoor support and print. Another was the ‘Pepsi Lift Karadey’ marketing promotion which included a big contest, accompanied by massive prizes.
In a similar vein, Sameer Soni, Station Head, Radio Mirchi Mumbai, said: “For a particular client who was looking for youth connect, we proposed an RJ hunt. This involved interactivity, ground presence as well as a touch and feel of the target audience. The association involved a multi-media campaign ranging from high on air presence to an extended on ground youth focused activity. With another client, we took on sampling at the ground level and the results and the feedback were aired on the station, thus making the entire promotion and sampling larger than life.”
Soni added, “Today the mindsets are changing as far as radio is concerned. Ninety five per cent of the clients who have used the medium have used it repeatedly. Radio Mirchi works as an extended arm for both the agency and the client, and functions best in the capacity of a solution provider. In many cases we are part of the creative brainstorming undertaken to position, reposition, or launch a brand. We advise clients on message complexity, message uniqueness, message wear and tear, etc. on a regular basis.”
From the client’s camp, there are those who firmly swear by the merits of the medium. J H Mehta of the Kwality Walls fame said, “Radio is no longer just a background medium, it is a personal one. And if you are a brand that is youth-centric and relies more on the personal touch, you would naturally devote much of your attention to it. Stations are taking significant efforts in order to furnish client requirements; innovative and thought-savvy solutions have gone a long way in adding to the advertiser interest.”
Innovation is clearly the name of the game. And stations are bending over backwards, trying to spin a web around it.