Painting the town 'RED'

MUMBAI: They are everywhere - on the bus handles, train windows, cinema screens, city cabs and just when you think you've lost them, they follow you right into trial rooms at departmental stores too.

RED FM in its latest on grounding branding initiative has decided to paint the town well The branding exercise that concentrates on Mumbai has adopted transit advertising to the maximum. Given that the drive time listenership for radio is very high, the station has also used this medium to connect with its listeners.

So is the reason for this aggressive branding exercise tied up with a need for differentiation given the number of stations battling it out in Mumbai?

RED FM COO Abraham Thomas says, "Radio provides its listeners with a functional connect whether through music, entertainment, Bollywood, sports….and this is practically similar across all radio stations since we are mass players."

The differentiation he adds can be created more effectively through emotional connect with the station. He calls it the 'recency factor'. In plainspeak the last or most recent message engaging the viewer has a much better chance of being recalled longest.

"We have already run contests on the station asking listeners to list out the various spots where they have encountered Red FM branding and most listeners got almost 8 out 10 spots right.

The campaign creative uses the unique problems faced by commuters in their public transport. Sample this body copy in a train window display - 'Ab faltu mein ringtone bajaanewale ki baajegi'or the cinema slide copy that reads 'Ab kuchiku karnewaalon ki baajegi'. The campaign ties up problems like ringtone nuisance or cinema theatre etiquettes with their own brand of 'sabki bajegi' attitude.

Says Thomas, "The campaign is city relevant and aims to reach the consumer at all the touch points. But in addition to being a branding campaign, the idea is also to pick on issues that bug the listener and give him a platform like ours to address it. The personality, tone and character of our station is maintained throughout the campaign."

And while the FM station looks at on ground branding it has also followed it up with some innovative on air properties. The station featured the Baajate Raho awards last month. The awards are basically a radio version of the Raspberry Awards which spoof the more popular awards by honoring the worst in the industry. It's a tongue in cheek look at various issues that engaged people and media.

The station has some very successful hows like Morning No.1 with Malishka in Mumbai and with Nitin in Delhi where the RJs pick on a city centric issue and convert it into an interactive discussion.

The latest in line is their on air traffic updates property. "While most radio stations have listeners call in and give traffic updates, we have cab drivers across the city call in and tell us the traffic situation."

The on ground campaign has utilized these gold cabs by painting them with their logo and they are called Taxi No.935.Around 900 BEST buses have also been used to display the Red logo on its handles. Trial room doors at Pantaloons, Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar and Westside have also been splashed with the logo and programmes on the station. The cinema slides are on display at close to 53 screens including Cinemax, PVR,Fame Adlabs amongst others.

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