Emvies 2009: The radio ga-ga factor

By Devina Joshi , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media | August 21, 2009
In the Radio category, Vodafone and Parle G made presentations on how brands can go beyond the radio spot and the occasional RJ mentions to gain prominence on 'the theatre of the mind'

The Best Media Innovation - Radio category at the Emvies 2009 case study presentations round saw five brands compete for jury attention. afaqs! takes a look at what two of those - Vodafone and Parle G - were up to.


When it's a call conference service Vodafone is advertising, people ought to be 'listening', and how! To advertise this service, which wasn't too advertised in other media to begin with, Vodafone made use of radio in a communication that went beyond radio spots, roadblocks, RJ (radio jockey) mentions and station name changes.

At the Emvies 2009 case study round, Maxus presented its case for the brand in the Best Media Innovation - Radio category. As people don't want to be interrupted by brand messages while listening to music and RJs on radio, Vodafone's service had to be advertised in a manner that enhanced the listener's entertainment quotient, while the brand became the enabler for it. "It wasn't just reach but also scale and stickiness which we wanted," said the Maxus presenter.

The brand did a live simultaneous cast across three radio stations in Delhi Big 92.7 FM, Red 93.5 FM and Radio City 91.1 FM, wherein the respective show hosts talked to each other live via the Vodafone call conference facility. This led to more RJ talk, more songs and more entertainment for listeners. Furthermore, the brand got RJs from the Delhi stations to talk to their counterparts in Mumbai, while the brand benefitted with this innovation. The activity took place on August 15, 2008 (India's Independence Day).

As a result, the participating radio stations in Mumbai and Delhi had the stickiness factor going up by 60 per cent, which in turn rubbed off on the brand. This effort also won a metal at the Goafest this year.

Parle G

Another entry in the Radio category was presented by TME. The innovation was for biscuit brand Parle G, titled Genius versus Guinness, which was executed in Chennai, a market cluttered with celebrity endorsement.

However, Parle G was determined not to take the celeb route. Another challenge for the brand was its poor equity in a milk-deficient market.

An opportunity arrived in the form of the Beijing Olympics 2008, where every athlete was trying to break records on the basis of mental strength and stamina - two of Parle G's core attributes, and hence the fit.

The brand tied up with Big 92.7 FM and created the RJ Olympiad, where a popular RJ, Dheena, hosted a non-stop on-air show for 168 hours, thereby creating a world record for the longest duration of radio jockeying.

Extensive promos were launched to generate hype around the activity ('RJ Dheena's Big effort)', and the show had properties such as Parle G Energy Break and Parle G Energy Songs to create brand recall. Further, there was a 136 feet long banner unveiled in the city, informing people about the show going live in the month of August.

The immense PR ensured 50,000 people were reached on air, while 30,000 were reached through on-ground activities. There were 10,000 call-ins during the show proof of it capturing the imagination of the city, while the world record in itself was an achievement for the brand as well as the radio station.

The Emvies awards ceremony will be held in Mumbai on August 21.

© 2009 afaqs!