Red FM turns blue to drive in revamped WagonR

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | May 04, 2010
To launch the new and improved WagonR, Maruti Suzuki launched a three day campaign on the Red FM network, educating listeners about the enhanced features of the car

Maruti Suzuki re-launched its compact car, WagonR, last week. To create buzz and educate consumers about the enhanced features of the revamped model, the company hitched a ride on Red FM by rolling out an integrated on-ground and on-air campaign on the radio station.

As part of the campaign for the WagonR, Red FM turned blue for a day on April 23. For the whole day, Red FM network's 20 stations talked about the newly introduced features of WagonR, including its blue eye shaped headlights and taller body, amongst others.

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Turning blue, the new changes were incorporated by Red FM in its station jingle, bumpers and its RJ (radio jockey) sign offs. The whole campaign was divided into three phases and the campaign was executed over three days.

A teaser kick started the WagonR campaign on the Red FM network on April 23, as part of which the programming heads at each of the radio stations announced the presence of a blue eyed boy in town and urged the RJs to look out for the individual. RJs, in turn, started talking amongst themselves and asked listeners to send in clues, if any, related to the missing blue eyed boy.

The second phase of the teaser campaign was carried out on April 24. On the second day, the RJs took to the streets with OB vans in search of the blue eyed boy. They went around talking to people and seeking clues about the missing boy, thus creating a lot of excitement around the concept.

In the evening of the second day, the programming heads of Red FM radio stations announced the failure of the team to identify the missing boy and informed listeners that the real identity of the blue-eyed boy would be revealed the next day between 8 am and 10 am.

On April 23, WagonR's brand ambassador, Bollywood actor R Madhavan, came on air and shared details related to the new features of the car and encouraged Red FM RJs to test drive the new vehicle.

In an official communiqué, Shashank Srivastava, chief general manager, marketing, Maruti, comments, "The human mind always takes cognizance of disruptions. WagonR was an already well established brand perching high in the consumer mindscape; to communicate the arrival of this blue eyed boy required the power of disruption to make an impact. We came out with this idea of painting Red FM blue and ride on the arrival of the new blue eyed boy on this highly noticeable disruption."

The communication message at the heart of the activity and media plan was drawn by Lintas Media Group. The three phase activity was worked upon and put together by Red FM's Creative Solutions Cell. The campaign was rolled out on 20 Red FM stations reaching out to the listeners in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Nagpur, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Bhopal, Lucknow, Kanpur, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Vijaywada, Vizag, Coimbatore and Baroda.

Talking about the campaign and the partnership with Maruti Suzuki, B Surendar, senior vice-president and national sales head, Red FM, says, "Our task was to create curiosity and awareness about an existing product by creating high drama and building huge interest around the missing blue eyed boy. Maruti Suzuki chose us for multiple reasons. We offered them color branding - changing from red to blue; a teaser, coupled with celebrity involvement in the form of Madhavan, made the activity sustainable. This, along with our presence in 20 cities, appealed to Maruti Suzuki."

Surendar also shares that Red FM has been associated with Maruti Suzuki for the promotions of its other brands as well. The last activation was undertaken by Red FM in 3 cities for Maruti Suzuki's Swift Dzire. Three finalists from 3 cities were made to sit in a Swift Dzire parked inside a mall in Chennai. The person who spent the maximum number of hours in the car was the lucky winner of a Swift Dzire.

According to VS Mani , senior vice-president and general manager, Lintas Media Group, "For the launch of the 'All new WagonR', the challenge was to infuse newness into something you have always known. So the switch of Red FM to 'Blue FM' created a disruption from what you are always used to hearing and this was used to communicate about the new WagonR and thereby establish the brand message."

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