Tuesday, 27 February 2007

"We Are Fam-i-ly..."

LBC are getting a little bit of a marketing push it's been announced this week. There's going to be a couple of weeks of print ads, and some viral stuff. So what?

Well, as part of a helping hand for LBC, their friends on the other floor at Chrysalis Towers, Heart 106.2 have said... "We'll run some promotion for you too!" How very nice!

Many of us remember the days in the late 80's where you'd tune to a heritage ILR station, and you'd hear the immortal words "And for full commentary on that game, re-tune to our sister station... " etc. Lovely!

Cross promotion was usually for sport, or occasionally to remind old ladies of the location of that rather crusty Sunday morning DJ who'd been shipped off to AM at the first opportunity. "Don't forget, you can now here (insert suitable old school name here) on our sister station..." etc. (But not for long as we're about to ship him off to somewhere we hope he'll never return from... the BBC Local station)!

Then, sometime in the mid 90's, commercial radio decided that it was terribly uncool to cross promote. "Why do I want to send my listeners somewhere else? What if they can't find their way back?" Hmmm.

It seems those days are gone and Chrysalis are taking a sensible portfolio approach. Better to have a Heart listener try LBC for news than go to say, Five Live.

But how far could you take this?

After playing a particularly hot Hip hop tune, will a Capital DJ say "And if you're loving the hip hop and RnB, check out our sister station Choice FM for all the big tunes... or should I say 'flavas'..."

And after playing a particularly raucous rock song, will the DJ on Key 103 say "And if you like your rock loud and your hair unwashed, then Kerrang! Radio on DAB is the place for you my smelly, deodorant-dodging, rock loving satanist friend... This is Key 103."

Hopefully not.

I think we need to credit listeners with the fact they've made a choice. They're listening to the station they are because they like it. If they wanted to listen to another station, they'd probably find it. I don't think commercial radio should start selling their listeners something else... another radio station owned by that company. There's enough over selling going on on some networks already!

Heart are only running ads for LBC it seems, which is a step back from the DJ live read admittedly... but we'll hear how it sounds in context.

"Meanwhile, if you want to read another radio consultants blog, re point your browser to...."


Matt Deegan said...

I'm not sure I agree.

Listeners are very used to media cross-promotion, having had it on the TV for decades. They also like it. They want to know about programmes they might like.

Whilst I agree that saying "that was the Arctic Monkeys, you can hear more music like than on XFM" would sound a bit rubbish, saying "that was a brillian track by the Arctic Monkeys, if you want to hear them live in concert, listen to XFM from 8pm tonight" I think has real value. It re-enforces your music position and it teaches listeners about other stations that they might like to add to the repertoire.

We don't own all of our listener's hours. I'd sooner do something that helped wrestle the soft Radio 1 hours to help XFM than stay firmly loddged in my brand silo.

Oh, and if you were my consultant and told me that another had something that would help me, i'd be more likely to come back to you next time. Same with radio stations.

Nik Goodman said...

Some really good points Matt and I think the 'appointment setting' concept is a lot stronger than a general cross promote for another brand. Let's see who's first to deliver this type of cross promotion succesfully! Thanks for your comments.