In an interview with EVENTFAQS, Ashit Kukian, COO & President, Radio City 91.1 FM discusses the new activations arm and its impact on the field.
What was the rationale behind opening the activations arm Radio City Connect? How much importance does Radio City place on BTL engagement?
Radio is a local medium that is both engaging and interactive. The medium has the ability to cater to different audiences at different parts of the day. As the medium is free to air, the reach in any town is substantial. The activation arm is an extension of radio as it helps us to have active on-ground engagement with the huge number of listeners.
Our activation arm, Radio City Connect, constantly strives to co-create value proposition for the clients by helping the brands interact with the consumers.
Going forward, we're going to see a lot more on-ground radio activity with a lot more focus on city-centric events, BTL brand promotions, residential society activations, etc.
How has this arm helped to increase consumer engagement? Does Radio City Connect operate independent of Radio City?
We now deliver customised solutions to clients. At Radio City, we have created two parallel teams - a creative team that gives and creates creative solutions for our clients, and a programming team that deploys advertising solutions within their content based on the understanding of the target audience.
Apart from the above, we have also been using Radio City Connect, our activations arm, to provide an integrated approach to our clients. Radio City Connect offers innovative activation-led solutions customized to address the advertisers' specific business needs, ensuring direct quality interface with their core target group. These include taking the brand beyond just the existing radio platform with on-ground activations, road shows, multi-city mall activities, venue promotions, music concerts, and rock shows, among several other innovations.
Our activations cell provides end-to-end 360 degree brand marketing solutions to all our clients by combining radio, activation, events, online and mobile. Radio City Connect is the Non Traditional Revenue (NTR) arm of Radio City 91.1 FM and is an independent unit on its own.
Since its introduction, what kind of campaigns has Radio City Connect executed? How does this division service brands for their promotional marketing objectives? Please elaborate on some of the most successful ones. How does the division ensure that a balanced / integrated approach is maintained in promoting both the radio brand and the client's brand?
Radio City Connect has been an integral part of Radio City since its inception. Our ability to understand the requirements of our clients and provide innovative solutions is something that we are really proud of. Radio City has always been setting benchmarks in innovation in the radio space, whether it is for the programming on the network or for their brands. We are the first private radio station to be set up in the country and early pioneers of the industry, which puts us very high on the learning curve.
Radio City Connect has always paid special attention to understanding the requirements of the client and coming up with interesting ideas to engage the target audience. Our innovative solutions enable us to re-invent ourselves with fresh and new content, along with offering a 360-degree solution to our clients.
One of the recent successful campaigns executed by Radio City Connect was the 'Facial Marathon' for Himalaya Herbal Healthcare. The activity was held at a college annual fest 'Utkansh', where facials were provided to all using only Himalaya Face products. Radio City Connect outperformed with a whopping 1,012 facials in a span of three hours. The crowd was totally abuzz with excitement and eagerness to get their facials done. Radio City Connect's exceptional endeavor got registered in the Limca Book of Records 2012.
Another successful campaign recently executed was the Asian Paints ‘Lift Kara de' activity. Radio City Connect, through the ‘Lift Kara De' campaign, tied up with the biggest lifeline of Mumbai - Dabbawalas. As many as 15,000 sweet boxes were kept inside the dabbas offering a pleasant surprise to the customers. The activity was spread across various restaurants and some Cinemax outlets in Mumbai. People were surprised to receive a complimentary dessert in their favorite restaurant or redeemable food coupons at Cinemax ticket counters. Asian Paints and Radio City Connect ensured that they coloured the average Mumbaikar's life in the brightest hues this monsoon.
We have also successfully completed a 12-city campaign for Renault Pulse. Radio City Connect executed a 72-location activation plan that involved RWA, corporate park and mall activations. This campaign managed to generate more than 6,000 leads for the client, along with 1,000 people who carried out a test drive.
Apart from this, some of the other brands to have experienced the Radio City Connect advantage include Nokia, Britannia, Business Standard, HUL, Philips Water Purifier, Vodafone, Marico, Ford India, Kotak Mahindra, Durex, Bharati AXA, P&G - Pantene, Cadbury India Ltd., Idea Cellular, and DuPont Teflon, among several others.
In a market in which radio activations are becoming increasingly popular and more effective, where does Radio City Connect stand? How will this position be improved upon?
Clients these days are not just looking for plain vanilla advertising. Aligning the various brands of advertisers to a customised form has become one of the essential components for the radio industry, which falls under brand integration. Over the years, brand integration has played a vital role in traditional mediums like print and television and now brands are increasingly using radio activation to connect to their target audience.
Radio City Connect not only provides innovative activation solutions to clients, but also ensures that the brand message reaches the target audience. For one of our recent campaigns for Oriflame, we had a five-city mall activation programme. Oriflame wanted to directly connect with the target audience and also sample their products. To ensure that both the objectives were met, we conducted a ‘City Glam Girl' hunt. This activity provided a 360 degree solution to the client as there was effective use of radio and on-ground activation, as well as social media. This unique activity not only managed to garner attention from the target audience but also ensured that the brand got enough visibility. Each of our activities is backed by a robust promotional campaign which includes both above the line and below the line initiatives, aside from on-air promotions.
Apart from our regular clientele from the automobile, banking and telecom industries, that extensively uses radio activation, we also have a team that focuses on movie promotions and the film business. Last year, we introduced a ‘Blue Carpet' property that gives listeners a chance to watch the latest movies on the first weekend itself in their most preferred local multiplex. Based on the overwhelming response of ‘Blue Carpet' movie screenings, this year we extended our ‘Blue Carpet' movie screenings to ‘Blue Carpet Music Launches'.
Going forward we have many such innovative and exciting properties lined up.
What do the coming years and the ever-changing world of activations hold for Radio City Connect?
There are several new territories in the world of activation that are yet to be exploited. We are looking constantly at re-inventing ourselves with fresh and new content, innovative ideas, expanding our reach, and very clearly looking at offering 360-degree solutions to our clients in the future. We will continue to establish a direct connect with our listeners by going into their homes, their cities and their communities to interact and engage with them through these activities.