Kerala tunes into radio for Onam specials

Radio players have lined up a slew of off air and on ground activities to engage listeners during the festive season

e4m by Deepa Balasubramanian
Updated: Aug 27, 2014 8:07 AM
Kerala tunes into radio for Onam specials

It is not just the consumer durable companies that are wooing customers with Onam offers, Kerala is buzzing with elaborate and innovative festive specials played out by the radio channels. Here's looking at who's doing what, who are the biggest spenders on the medium, and how national players have leveraged the festival.

The action off-air, on ground

94.3 Club FM's on-ground action ‘Bhagyavan’ with a prize money of Rs 1 lakh will cover 100 locations over 15 days. Shreyams Kumar M V, Director- Marketing, Mathrubhumi said, “There is also a Lulu Shopping Mall-based activation for V Guard Power House mixer-grinder over 10 days and a photography contest will be held in campuses in association with Vodafone and Facebook.” Other activities include Mega ‘Pookalam’ (floral carpet) contests involving 100 campuses across the state in association with Cuticura. In its third year, ‘Family, Food and Fun’ contest sponsored by Double Horse food brand, will have families will use a customised Facebook app to upload pictures of them eating together and share a table with celebrity danseuse-actress Shobana. 

Radio Mango 91.9 FM has two major on-ground properties - a musical reality show and a campus outreach activity. They also have threads and mood setting for the festive season as part of their content. Sunoj George Abraham, Head, Business Operation, Radio Mango 91.9 said, “Onam is the biggest season for Kerala and Q2 fiscal is the most critical for all kinds of business. There are set advertising patterns for the season besides innovative communication.”

Sangeeta Nair, VP & Regional Programming Head- South, Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM remarked, “Our Trivandrum Radio Mirchi station is planning to celebrate Onam, showcasing its multiple flavours - style, colour and taste. We have planned to club two main elements of Onam- Sadya a festive food delicacy and songs, which is referred as ‘Mirchi Pattu Sadya’ to entertain the listeners with their favourite celebrity serving the show.”  The channel will also celebrate Super Star Mammootty’s birthday that coincides with the start of Onam. An interview with the star will be followed by his favourite songs through the day on Radio Mirchi.

93.5 Red FM has planned for both on-air and on-ground activities, which started on August 17.  In the first week of September, the radio channel will celebrate Onam with National Award winner Suresh Gopi, state award winners Dileep, Anoop Menon, Saikumar, actress Amala Paul among others. The show ‘Red Top 30’ will carry top 30 movie songs of Mammootty and share trivia about the super star on Sunday Classics. B Surendar, COO, Red FM/Suryan FM said, “The popular belief is that King Maveli visits Kerala during Onam. To reflect this sentiment, we are creating an on-air character ‘Maveli’ who will have a spicy interaction with listeners. Red FM’s ‘Comedy Twins- Season 2’ will be the main on-ground initiative. Since mimicry is very popular in Kerala, we will provide a platform for Keralites to showcase this special skill through a talent hunt.” The channel has also tied up with KAZCHA 2020, for a special drive for cataract-free Kerala that will be launched by Mammootty.  

Advertising spends and trends in Kerala during Onam

Virtually all brands across categories up their ad spends during Onam, just as they do in Diwali in North India. The major spenders include textile, jewellery, home appliances and consumer durable brands contributing 75 per cent of advertising spends. Surendar added, “Advertising during Onam contributes to at least 30-40 per cent of our annual revenue. We have increased our spends on marketing and various other initiatives by 20 per cent this year.”

The major difference that Radio Mango has noticed is that some of the international brands who never advertised or rather stayed away from this medium, are back.

Abraham added, “Compared to previous years, we have noticed spends on radio advertising are going up. The season contributes about 30 to 35 per cent of the budgets for the industry. We expect an increase of around 12 to 15 per cent in advertising spends this year as compared to last year.”

One of the leading media house from south said, “There is definitely a rise in the advertising spends, primarily because categories such as automobile and textile have started spending more. There is also a shift from television to radio due to the fall in FCT following the TRAI diktat. Radio as a medium is expected to grow by 20 to 25 per cent in Kerala by 2015.”

According to Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook Report 2014, radio grew by 17.6 per cent in 2013 and is projected to grow further with the total ad spends adding up to Rs 1262 crore, compared to Rs 1097crore in 2013.

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