BBC rolls out its first ever campaign, promoting its FM content

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | September 10, 2008
BBC World Services, which has a content sharing tie-up with 13 radio stations in the country, aims to further strengthen its brand equity through the initiative


World Services is looking to spread the word about the availability of its content on Indian FM radio stations.

The broadcast company has radio partnership in 13 cities in the country, whereby it provides access to three of its shows -- BBC Ek Minute, BBC Ek Mulaqat and BBC Take One. BBC Ek Minute gives listeners hourly updates on happenings of the day; BBC Take One talks about movies and celebrities; and BBC Ek Mulaqat promises to bring famous people face to face with radio listeners.

The partnership is purely a content based association, with no commercial interests involved whatsoever.

For instance, in Mumbai, BBC has partnered with Radio One; and in Gwalior, it has chosen Radio Chaska to air its three shows. Similarly, Radio Tadka in Jaipur and Udaipur and Radio Misty in Siliguri air the three BBC shows.

Vaishali Sharma
BBC World Services has now rolled out a marketing campaign to promote these shows.

The 360-degree campaign comprises three radio jingles, print ads and a host of on-ground activities. The first phase has been kicked off by rolling out the integrated campaign in Mumbai and Gwalior.

In a conversation with afaqs!, Vaishali Sharma, head, Marcomms, BBC Global News, South Asia, shares the objective and details of the new marketing campaign. "The campaign is an endeavor to reach out to the ever expanding and increasing number of radio audience. We do have a loyal following amongst our dedicated radio listeners; but the new initiative will further help us hook in a new set of listeners, as the campaign informs people about the unique and entertaining BBC content that is available on radio. Last but not the least, enhanced visibility achieved through the campaign will further strengthen our brand equity amongst our listeners."

The new campaign, spread across print and radio, plays upon the fact that BBC expertise now extends to FM entertainment. Sharma explains, "One can say that the campaign works on two levels. The message communicates that the brand BBC is bringing attributes of truth, integrity and trust to the world of entertainment news (radio programming). Secondly, our creatives for print and three radio jingles are an effort to build and establish the identity of the three shows on air."

In print, the campaign will be spread across popular newspapers, such as Mid-Day, Mumbai Mirror and Maharashtra Times. In Gwalior, the choice of newspaper boils down to Dainik Bhaskar.

Besides advertising heavily in print media, a series of ground activities will be conducted in both places. These include activities conducted in malls on weekends, involving RJs who will engage the crowds in various games and activities.

In Mumbai, malls in areas such as South Mumbai, Andheri, Goregaon, Mulund, and Thane will be part of the initiative. In Gwalior, apart from malls, these activities will also be conducted in other prominent places that witness high crowd turn-outs.

Sharma is hopeful that the spread and intensity of the campaign will ensure that the message effectively reaches out to a large number of people consuming different mediums. Another plus point for BBC is that its radio partners are themselves strong brands, effectively advancing BBC's attempts to expand its reach.

The print and radio campaign for BBC has been done by OgilvyOne, Mumbai. Harshad Hardikar, business director, OgilvyOne, says, "We were briefed to create awareness about the fact that BBC is available on FM and promote its various programs - BBC Ek Minute, BBC Ek Mulaqat and BBC Take One. As per our understanding, while the youth have heard of BBC and have perceptions of the brand as being respected and credible, they do not identify with it. The environment of FM is light and fun, and very 'in'. The challenge was to capture the credibility and expertise of BBC, even when operating in the realm of FM entertainment."

He adds, "The communication aims to establish the 'difference in content' that the customer can expect from BBC. The generic ads convey this upfront, while each of the programme advertisements highlights an aspect to support this."

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