Top Nine Promotions from Around the World with Niall Power, Beat 102-103..
At this year's Radio Days Ireland conference Breakfast Presenter and Head of Station Sound, Niall Power, from Beat 102-103 took us though some of the best radio promotions from around the world. Niall spoke about the effect of these promotions and the key elements we should consider when planning, executing, and concluding a promotion.
1. Become the Station to Listen to when a Popstar is in Town
Niall spoke about the success of Red Fm’s promotional campaign surrounding Ed Sheeran’s concerts last April. Going as far as creating a ‘Cork’ rap version of You Need Me and having the local church bell operator play Shape of You across Cork City really created a buzz around the concert for all their listeners. Niall explained what was important was “Making it local, making it Cork.” He also joked that becoming ‘EdFm’ for the week was a fantastic addition.
2. Create a Comical Interactive Campaign
Niall introduced us to a successful campaign ran by Smile Fm in Cape Town, South Africa. They were on a mission to find Cape Town’s loudest snorer. The radio station aired a variety of snores sent in by their listeners and the best part, in Niall’s opinion, was that “They weren’t all human entries.” This is a fun way to get your listeners involved, “if you want to embarrass your partner.”
3. Pose a Challenge to your Listeners
Over to BBC Radio 1, the next great promotion Niall discussed was ‘Greg’s Giant Jigsaw’. This involved listeners helping Greg James find 20 jigsaw pieces that were hidden throughout London and BBC programming to win his breakfast show back. There were clues given to both Greg and the listeners. Niall explained his love for this as you can “rely on your listeners to bring back to you to complete the challenge.”
4. Promotions are not always about Big Prizes
Also called Radio One, in Slovenia, presenter Mehad traveled the entire country for 10 days on a four-wheeler bike, raising money. Celebrities joined him and cycled with him over the 10 days. Niall described the success of this campaign as it raised just under €1,000,000. He says, “Slovenia has a population of 2 million, so that’s quite a phenomenal amount of money to raise.” He showed the power of the promotion and explained that “because it’s so big, it now attracts big commercial partners.”
5. Embrace Tikok
iRadio was put into the spotlight and Niall showed us how they used Tiktok to create a successful campaign. The team at the station teamed up with the local councils across the northeast and northwest to create awareness around sharing the road wisely among 14- to 24-year-olds. They encouraged their younger demographic to engage by duetting their road safety Tiktoks. Niall really liked this as “to actually use its functionality and get your listeners to buy into it was quite clever.”
6. New Approaches to Old Staples
Many radio stations over the years have posed a ‘Crack the Code’ type challenge on their listeners but the ZM network in New Zealand added a new element to it. Niall described how this station “decided to hit it again with a slightly new approach.” The player would interact with a box to try figure out its clues, but the box could talk, and the clues would change, adding new elements to the challenge for their listeners to follow. This is a fresh outlook on a typical segment you would hear on the radio which landed the station Best Network Station Promotion at the New Zealand Radio Awards 2022.
7. An Old Idea Can Still have Legs
Niall did some research on what is successful in the Czech Republic and shared with us the longest running competition running on the radio in the country ran by Radio Implus. He explained “it is €10,000 if you answer the phone and say their winner phrase. If they do not answer correctly, it increases by €10,000 the following day.” There are many similar competitions across Irish stations, for example, Today FM’s Cash machine. He said, “sometimes you can see something as a very old idea, but it can be very successful if you put your own spin on it.”
8. Be Spontaneous
Niall took us to his own station for the next promotion and showed an interactive campaign carried out by himself and his colleagues on the Breakfast Show. Inspired by BBC Ones Hide and Seek, Niall and his colleague Darren went ‘on the run’ and their listeners had to try find them. On the first day of the promotion, it was announced to their listeners that they were missing and “by day two people were all out on the streets across the southeast looking for myself and Darren.” Niall interpreted the success of the campaign in that “what we had was the big buy in that people really bought into the campaign and they were really excited to solve the clues.”
9. Make it Huge, Personal and Real
Finally, Niall took us to Australia for the final promotion. Presenter Kyle Sandiland of Kiss FM brought his listeners along to his Gender Reveal party as himself and his partner were expecting. There was a major build-up to the big reveal, and it was not done subtly. With helicopters and boats covered in balloons it was revealed that they would have a baby boy. Niall said, “It was huge, it was personal, and it was real, and I think that’s why it connected with the listeners.”
Niall was saving one more promotion to speak about at the Europe Radio Days Conference held in Prague this year but, nonetheless, these promotions are fantastic examples of how you can bring radio campaigns to life. Whether it is adding a twist to a classic, getting interactive with your listeners or, like Niall, announcing yourself as missing, keeping the promotions fresh and relevant is the key to success.