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Interviews
“It's important that your consumer should be able to experience you”
13 February 2012
Radio Mantra is the radio arm of the Dainik Jagran Group. Radio Mantra has a presence in eight cities across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Jharkhand. It was the first FM Channel to be launched in Agra and Gorakhpur.


In a conversation with EVENTFAQS' Rachel George, Kanwar Sameer, National Programming Head, Radio Mantra, discussed the radio station's recent successes and what they have planned with their latest initiative.


How much importance does Radio Mantra place on BTL activities? What proportion of the marketing budget is dedicated to on-ground events?


At Radio Mantra, we understand our listeners' need and hence, there's always something or the other going on, which not only helps us have a great on-ground connect (OGC) with our listeners but also gives us an opportunity to always be seen and felt. It's of utmost importance that your consumer should be able to experience you as that is how you build a one-on-one rapport. We have earmarked certain months and days for such properties and events.


How successful would you say these activities have been? Please elaborate on some of your most successful campaigns in the last year.


Regular activities have surely helped us establish a great OGC. It's really important for any brand to be always in sight, no matter how good you are otherwise. On-ground promotions, activities, events, etc. are a great way of letting others experience your product first hand. We have annual properties like Daandiya, which averages an audience of 10,000 people per city. Another property, Rjgiri, is a hot favourite amongst the youth as it gives them a platform to showcase their talent and gives the audience a chance to choose their favourite voice of the city. These activities have really paid off well for our clients as well as for the brand. Our emphasis is always on creating value for the client, quality content for the audience and brand recognition for ourselves. We have done BTL campaigns with UNICEF like 'Mera bhi to adhikaar hai' which covers the sensitive issue of 'Child Rights'. Initiatives like 'Thandd Se Jung' is another example where people really come forward to extend their support for the needy through us.


One of the most successful brand activities last year we did was 'Friendship se Freedom tak' in the period of July-August, which was almost a month-long activity. We started the promotions in the month of July, asking for friendship messages and Rakhis (as it was between Aug. 1 and 15), which was followed by a two-day (Aug. 14 and 15) road trip to Wagah Border, from Agra. The crew was on the road, stopping at various places of importance like Taj Mahal, Red fort, Shahid Bhagat Singh's birth place, Jaliyan wala bagh, Golden Temple and many more. The campaign was heavily promoted on-ground and on air, as well as on social media. We got around 50, 000 rakhis in a week's time, which were sent along with the crew to be handed over to our Jawans protecting our country. Live updates of the two-day trip were aired on the entire network. It was also about driving the point home that like music, radio has no boundaries. We have planned something better and bigger for this year as well.


How has Radio Mantra been able to distinguish itself from its competition through its BTL campaigns?


One thing we firmly believe in is doing meaningful radio and we are much beyond just music links, contest, prizes, etc. Whatever we do, it has the basic flavour of doing things 'hatt ke'. Even while executing BTL campaigns with commercials attached to it, we make sure that we don't over-promise and keep the sanctity of the brand's proposition intact. Not only do we talk, but we 'walk the talk' too. And while executing these, we take extreme care that it's of our listeners' interest and should make sticky, relevant and topical content. For BTL as well as for on air stuff, we try and do a 360, where we use print, outdoors, social media and at times, TV too. The BTL activities undertaken by us are more about providing the audience with a platform and helping them voice their views and opinions about things that really matter to everybody. For example, we rolled out 'Poll India Poll' a few days back, and I'm overwhelmed by the kind of response we've received so far.


How was the ‘Poll India Poll' campaign conceptualised? Why has Radio Mantra begun a campaign like this?


India is the world's largest democracy, it's a country by the people, for the people and of the people. Hence, it is pertinent that each one of us should come forward and decide what we want for ourselves. The political situation is changing and the youth needs to be more assertive in exercising their right to vote and participate actively in the system, to bring about change and awareness in the country. PIP was conceptualized after conducting research, where we were able to get down to five major reasons regarding why people, especially the youth, refrain from exercising their right to vote, which is one of their fundamental rights. Once we knew what we needed to do, we immediately floated the concept, as the state legislative elections were about to take place in Punjab, followed by UP. Radio as a medium has great penetration, especially in tier two and three cities. We thought it would be great if could use the real strength of radio and do our bit to at least help mobilise the change. The first step for anything is to take a step, we did simply that with our back end prep going on. As I mentioned earlier, we at Mantra always think of doing something worthwhile for our audience and we consider ourselves a part of them. If we're going right or doing right for the audience, we're doing good for ourselves too.


What does the on-ground aspect of this campaign involve? How does this campaign plan to change the apathy of today's youth to the system?


We have divided each one of our cities into five zones - north, south, east, west and central. We have our jocks going out on a daily basis with a pledge form, which are being filled by the people. We're also going to escalate and follow up on their problems with the concerned authorities. As I mentioned earlier, we're emphasizing on five core areas for which people tend to be a little laid back. For example, how does one vote matter? It's a holiday, I would rather go out and chill. Why should I vote? Not interested in politics. It's too much of a hassle to go out and vote. Through PIP, we aim to motivate and encourage the youth while trying to make them realise the importance of their vote. It's as simple as: You have no right to critique the system if you did not vote. So don't crib, silence yourself.


What kind of benefit will this campaign see from its association with John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan? How do you plan to leverage this association?


John and Abhishek both have a great fan following, especially amongst the youth, and they're one of the biggest youth icons in India today. The young India looks up to them, emulates them and wants to be just like them. In the past also, they have had an association with various other social causes. Today's youth is very informed, proactive and evolved, but at the same time, at one point in time or the other, we all need to be told that 'this is the need of the hour'. Hence, we thought of having star power for this campaign and I'm sure young India will listen to their idols. I'm really thankful to both of them that they agreed and extended their support for the campaign.



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