It's no secret that 'innovation', 'engagement', 'content', 'convergence'... are the latest buzzwords when it comes to speaking to the modern-age consumer. More and more stations, advertisers, strategists and creatives are seeing the increased value of 'tuning in' to who their audience really is.
Understanding this, United Stations has used traditional radio and USEngage - the latest innovation in its arsenal of digital offerings - as the linchpin of a broader launch campaign, leading to a ‘clean sweep’ for MAQ’s new household cleaner, Vipec. Here’s how...
Q. What was the campaign objective/ the BIG IDEA?
A. Since starting commercial production, Bliss Brands (manufacturer of cleaning agents) has grown from strength to strength, with MAQ now becoming a household name. Currently one of the leading manufacturers of washing powder in South Africa, the brand has since extended its range with a new, value-for-money, handy all-surface cleaner called ‘Vipec’.
The brief to United Stations (specifically Algoa FM and OFM) was to create a campaign that got people asking just what Vipec is. The role of the stations was to create this talkability by illustrating the product without revealing anything about it.
Q. How was the campaign implemented?
A. Underpinned by the cleaning power of the product, the concept involved positioning Vipec as a verb meaning to make something disappear. In essence, to ‘Vipec’ something meant that it was gone or ‘wiped clean’. In a two-day takeover stunt on all the daytime shows (i.e. from 6am to 7pm on Algoa FM and OFM), certain songs, and features were ‘Vipec-ed’ and ‘mysteriously’ disappeared from the programming log. With the presenters not allowed to elaborate on what Vipec is, or what the campaign was all about, as well as a cryptic ‘velvet-drop’ banner on the station’s homepage which users saw when they logged on, both stations saw listeners immediately sit up and take notice. Proof of this were SMS and e-mail queries sent in by listeners – some upset at their favourite songs being ‘wiped off’ whilst others simply wanted to know what was going on?!
Lending further credibility to the stunts, presenters asked listeners to SMS any moment in their day that they’d like to ‘Vipec’. Examples could include an argument with a spouse earlier in the day, or the traffic on their morning rush, which ultimately made for some interesting entries! The big reveal came in the form of an on-air competition where listeners walked away with cash and product hampers (to influence trial), as well as high rotation generic adverts that closed the loop by telling listeners that Vipec is in fact a cleaning product.
Q. What results were seen from this use of radio and digital?
A. OFM General Manager Nick Efstathiou says; “Ask any radio programmer to change his on-air offering with missing content and he will likely respond in expletives. Given that stations sometimes experience technical difficulties, the sudden disappearing of songs on OFM rendered the presenters’ delivery quite believable on air. Overall, the campaign received a total of 740 entries – no mean feat considering that this was only run on air for two days."
Similarly, Algoa FM received a total of 503 entries over the same period.
Bliss Brands Sales and Marketing Director Jacqueline Jacobs says; "The campaign has delivered on all expectations. It got people asking just what Vipec is and we were very happy with the execution. We’ve also seen a spike in sales and awareness of the product in the Eastern Cape and Central South Africa on Algoa and OFM.
The great thing about using radio together with digital platforms is that listeners don’t just get told about something, they can also get actively involved and comment in a promotion or competition, making what we hear on radio that much more real to us”.
Alex Smith, Head of Marketing and Sales at ACT (Advertising Cinema Television) says: “Whilst the concept was quite ‘out there’, the time and effort of a creative, passionate and nurturing United Stations team has generated a tangible impact for us. Algoa and OFM helped us stand out by making people aware that something new and exciting was on the way. They created an expectation for the product which was the core objective.
The digital extension was also unique and eye-catching. Overall, a successful campaign”.
Q. How can clients take advantage of the power of radio and digital in their campaigns?
A. United Stations Digital Head, Rajeev Jumani says; “Advertisers know that digital is de rigeur, however, they are often hard-pressed on how to leverage this for their brands. Using USEngage – (a first of its kind digital offering available exclusively in Africa via United Stations, providing cost-effective, leading edge rich media advertising solutions to the fast evolving digital media world), we have demonstrated the importance of display ads which capture the consumer’s attention, encourage engagement and dwell time, and are likely to inspire action. This provides a stronger measure of brand traction as opposed to the clicks/impressions metrics the market has become accustomed to. Strong engagement is also a great indicator of ROI for the advertiser”.
In this case, United Stations custom designed a ‘Velvet Drop’ execution for AlgoaFM and OFM’s online platforms, giving users a memorable opportunity to engage with the brand.
United Stations is mastering the formula of blending radio and digital to create magic. Why not challenge US with your next campaign?
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