Fashion, owing to its strong visual appeal, doesn't automatically lend itself to a medium such as radio, which is perhaps why radio stations in the country haven't looked at developing programmes centered at fashion. But that hasn't deterred private FM channel RED FM from attempting to add fashion to its programming mix, and in the process, bust a myth and perhaps set a new trend in radio programming. "Fashion has always been considered to be a subject that interests only the youth or the upper class, but we want to change this thinking and prove it that fashion can also excite the masses," says Vehrnon Ibrahim, executive producer, RED FM.
To this end, the radio channel has come up with a bunch of programmes on fashion and mega fashion event Lakme India Fashion Week, which is starting in the capital on April 27. Incidentally, this is the second consecutive year that RED FM has tied up with the fashion event. Nishchint Chawla, chief operating officer, Radio Today, says, " We have been associated with the Lakme India Fashion Week since last year, but this is year we thought of exploring the genre of fashion by covering this event."
Given the profile of radio listeners - which ranges from taxi drivers to college students to housewives to corporate executive - the question uppermost is whether fashion-centric programmes can create excite listeners. Ibrahim clarifies that the programmes the channel has lined up would not get into the nitty-gritty of fashion. "You are not going to hear in-depth interviews on silhouettes, shapes and forms and the latest embroidery imported from Mongolia - we'll leave that for the fashion magazines," he says.
The programmes have been conceptualized keeping Hindi-speaking audiences, who comprise a major part of the channel's listener base, in mind. The theme for the programming is 'Bano wahi jo aap banna chaahen.' The various segments and interactive interviews of the programmes would have leading models, designers, make-up professionals and others from the Indian fashion industry speaking about style and giving tips on how to simply look good. The channel would be featuring programmes such as 'Khoobsoorat Hai Tu', where a celebrity offers personal advice to listeners on how to feel beautiful and smart. Similarly, in a programme titled 'In and Out', listeners can learn about current fashion trends. Fashion celebrities would also throw light on what clothes to wear for different occasions. "We have access to all the models and designers participating in the event, but will only put those ones on air who have something to say other that the usual," says Ibrahim. The programmes would be aired on all three stations of RED FM - Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata - throughout the day, without affecting the existing daily programme schedule.
"With these slew of programmes, we are trying to add more life to our programming," avers Chawla. And no, the channel hasn't created fashion-centric programming with an eye on advertising revenue alone. "The initiative has been undertaken more from the programming angle and not as a advertising strategy," Chawla says, adding, "Although we are looking forward to sponsors for some of our programmes, nothing concrete has happened till date."
Speaking about future programming initiatives, Ibrahim says, "Surendra Sharma's programme has been a big hit and we have tremendous response from listeners. We get all sorts of people calling up, sending SMS and landing up at the studio to meet him. Sameep Nanda, now on Namaskar Mumbai, has also made waves. We are targeting more such quality programming along the lines of Sangeet Ki Sitaron Ki Mehfil with Ameen Sayani. One can expect more shows like these in the very near future." © 2004 agencyfaqs!