afaqs!

Big FM acts local in Punjab

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | April 14, 2009
Big spenders on local radio stations are agriculture, wellness, automobile and retail

Radio is a local medium and thus best suited for communicating a product or service message to the local audience. Big 92.7 FM is using this fact to its greatest advantage, raking in revenue by adding local advertisers to its kitty in Tier II cities.

Over the past six months, Big FM has registered a healthy increase in the number of traditional and first time advertisers coming on board to advertise on its stations falling under the brand's Punjab cluster.

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Big FM claims that both the number of local advertisers and the number of local brands advertising through its stations has increased in Chandigarh, Jalandhar and Amritsar. Speaking to afaqs!, Himanshu Shekhar, regional head, North and West, Big FM, says, "In these places, we have reached a stage where local advertising is higher than national mass advertising."

Currently, national advertisers account for 45-50 per cent of advertising on these stations. The share of local advertisers varies between 50-55 per cent. Big spenders in Punjab are agriculture, automobile and wellness industries.

For instance, the Jalandhar station of Big FM has got tractor and pesticide companies such as New Holland and United Phosphorous as its clients. Similarly, the Amritsar station gets local advertisers such as Homeopathy Medical Care and Wellness Spa Centres.

Big FM focuses on activations and educational programmes to impress its potential and existing clientele about the effectiveness of radio as a local medium. During festivals such as Baisakhi, Lohri and Sankranti, it organises various competitions such as tractor races and 100 metre races for farmers.

The Punjab cluster of Big FM attracts both traditional as well as first time advertisers. Shekhar says, "The traditional players have realised the reach of radio as a medium and are gradually moving from other media to radio. There are also some new players who want to directly reach the rural masses, in this case the farmers, who are high on radio consumption. The players, whether traditional or new, have acknowledged radio's rural reach, along with mass localisation."

Advertising spends depend on the stations which are being used by the advertisers as the rates vary according to stations and packages. Also, typically, the advertisements are often seasonal, attempting to attract farmers especially in the harvest season, which usually runs for 2-3 months.

Without sharing the exact cost for a 10 second spot, Shekhar says that the brand follows the rate card called AQUA and the cost of advertising depends on the number and the duration of spots.

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