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Red FM readies for times ahead, goes through a complete revamp

01-September-2005
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Red FM readies for times ahead, goes through a complete revamp

Red FM is managing to generate more than its share of news of late. After putting its communication partners in place and signing exclusive deals with entities like T-Series, the station is on a complete revamp mode – from baseline to content to association with on-ground activities, marketing of the station itself and the target – all are set to see a change.

Abraham Thomas, COO, Red FM explained that in the new phase, competition between radio stations would intensify and there was need to get into a higher gear.

Speaking on the rationale behind revamping the station, Thomas said, “Red FM has set itself an objective to be a leader in the FM space. Close to 70 per cent of the content on FM stations is music, which is perceived to be undifferentiated, and the rest comprises RJ talk, the packaging and promos, and most importantly, the attitude and tone of the station. We have embarked on a series of changes that creates a differentiation both in the music and in the attitude of the station.”

He explained that the objective now was to rope in the new target, which was mainstream India – the ‘aam aadmi’. “India is yet to shine for most Indians. Red FM will connect with this audience by giving them a voice. It is not about solving their problems, but about giving them a voice and doing it in an entertaining manner,” he added.

The action plan for the station includes a new baseline – ‘bajaate Raho’, which according to station officials, captured the attitude of the station. Radio is still a segment, which sees little differentiation between the various players. Red FM proposes to bring in differentiation through its music.

“A special tie-up with T-Series gives a huge competitive advantage. In addition, we use the world’s top technology – DMT (Digital Music Test) – to gauge what music our listeners want to hear. This is an exclusive technique to Red FM, which actually gives a live feedback,” informed Thomas.

As far as programming changes that the station is set to see, Vehrnon Ibrahim, National Head, Programming, divulged, “The most obvious change anyone can hear is the way we speak to our listeners now. Before, we were a classic ‘Adult Contemporary Station’, but now we aggressively target the younger audience with an attitude we call ‘Bajaate Raho’. This is visible in what the RJ says and the individual way they handle issues.”

The other changes will be seen in the shows, roping in of new RJs – Suresh Menon, Malishka and Simran. There will be changes in music scheduling as well. Also, the station promos and packaging have changed.

“Station interstitials like Angry Ganeshan and Junior Post Office obviously are aimed at the young at heart, while Red FM classics like Sharmaji Se Poocho still rule,” said Ibrahim.

Elaborating on the marketing of the show, Thomas said, “We have an aggressive multimedia plan to communicate the new Red FM. We are a challenger brand, you will either love us or hate us, but you just can’t ignore us.”

Two of the ground promotions recently seen were the ‘Kajara Re’ promotion, when an Amitabh Bachchan look-alike and an attractive lady visited agencies and clients. The second one was the “Red FM – Haldi Kum Kum Express”, where the station celebrated Haldi Kum Kum with the women on the Ladies special train from Virar to Churchgate. Haldi Kum Kum was applied on their foreheads and gift was given to ladies on the train. “The whole thing was live on the air on RedD FM, Mumbai,” said Thomas, adding, “Wait till you see our marketing campaign as it unfolds next week.”

The station is clear that the strategy for growth is based on growing the existing three stations as well growing through increasing the number of stations, “And we will be aggressive in both areas,” asserted Thomas.

With the revenue sharing regime in place, the competition is set to intensify between radio stations. Red FM is just marking the beginning of various changes that are set to take place in the domain.

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