Break free from the clutter with radio road blocks

Though expensive, radio road blocks have proved to be effective in today's competitive environment. We look at how marketers can get the best bang for the buck with this tool

e4m by Saloni Surti
Updated: Aug 16, 2013 9:10 AM
Break free from the clutter with radio road blocks

Standing out amidst the intense clutter in 18 minutes of advertisement (per hour) across radio has proved to be a challenging task. To create differentiation that generates brand recall, marketers and radio broadcasters now resort to ‘radio road blocks’ – which has emerged as an expensive, but effective option to put across the brand communication to the TG.

Is the investment worthwhile?
The trend of radio road blocks rose a few years ago. Initially the format of a road block was restricted to brand blocking the radio station with only its advertisement for a few hours or the entire day. Not a lot of brands have been referring to this form of advertisement due to the humongous expense incurred. Nonetheless, in the increasing drought of attention and stiff competition, the need to be different has only increased.

“With 100 per cent SOV on the channel, radio road blocks drive rapid reach. With impact and seamless content integration, the brand promise get highlighted and presented to the consumers,” said Ashwin Padmanabhan, Business Head, Big FM.

Road blocks can be of immense help to break clutter, build awareness for a product or service rapidly and deliver impactful branding. For newly launched brand or service, road blocks can work wonders as it offers perfect visibility, recall power and curiosity element.

Nokia in association with Big FM recently executed a road block as part of its innovation for Nokia Asha 501’s #Colorisin campaign. On Nokia’s brief of seeking out-of-the-box and distinctive innovations, Big FM created the road block wherein the entire radio station was re-branded, including the music stationality, the programming elements, contests and jock talk. Innovating further, Big FM re-christened itself to Rangeen FM.

“Our objective was to establish colours as the key brand proposition for Nokia Asha 501,” said Viral Oza, Director Marketing – Nokia India. Queries emerged in a jiffy from listeners across the nation, owing to the curiosity built by Nokia and Big FM jointly. People had in fact started thinking that their favourite station was on a revamp stage with this innovation before the message was revealed on the final day.”

Explaining the RoI perspective, Oza said that before investment, extensive evaluation is done to break-even the investment. “In the case of Rangeen FM, while we met our objectives, it’s the wide scale positive conversations that were generated additionally through social platforms that made the innovation unique and powerful.”

“Road blocks help purely from the revenue point of view and in creating buzz amongst clients,” expressed GG Jayanta, National Marketing Head, Radio Mirchi. “A wide range of clients from airlines to colas and education resort to radio road blocks,” added Jayanta.

How to get it right?
The need for different advertising means is undeniable and thus, road blocks are effective in terms of reach and recall factor. What marketers can do from their end is make sure they execute it right so as to get the best bang for the buck.

Evaluate investment: Make sure that you calculate the risk factor against the benefits so that the scope of losing out on investment reduces. Also, evaluating the situation right will help brands determine the duration on the road block (few hours, full day, few days) aptly.
Make it innovative: Go all out to approach the TG. Make it interesting, quirky and out-of-the-box to create strong recall value and exclusivity.
Make it multi-platform: Once the investment is done, brands should make sure that the road block is marketed well across platforms so as to reach out to the TG from all touch-points.
Use it for big initiatives: Making such a huge investment for small-term campaigns might not make sense. Road blocks should be used for bigger initiatives such as new product or service launch or rebranding.

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