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Promotional ideas and technique. Always radio, always positive.

Capital FM takes digital marketing on the road.

In this interview style blog post we speak to Global Radio about their digital marketing activities to support their annual multi-artist concert, the Summertime Ball.

The Summertime Ball, presented by 95-106 Capital FM on the 12th June – brings Capital FM listeners from all over the country to Wembley Arena to see artists such as The Wanted (of course!), J-Lo, Jessie J and JLS. It’s the first of the annual concerts presented by the radio station since it became one national station in January.

To help put a new dimension into the marketing of the event – Global Radio, and their digital creative agency – Holler; have created an interactive online mechanic called the ‘Capital FM Roadtrip’ – which is designed to create a competitive desire to win the VIP tickets and complete your Roadtrip where ever you are in the country to the gig!

How it works: Listeners join their local Capital FM road trip at Capitalfm.com. Their position on the road trip is determined by a daily question, answer correctly and the listener moves up the road trip answer incorrectly and they’ll be moved backwards. There will also be secret accelerator codes released on Capital FM’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, via Capital Street Stars out and about in local TSA’s.

Aswell as a grand prize (VIP tickets to event .etc) for each Capital Region, there will also be weekly spot prizes handed out to random places in the road trip. The spot prizes include Topshop vouchers, standard Summertime Ball tickets, Starbucks vouchers and Starbucks Ready to Drink Frappucinos.

Earshot Creative spoke to David Farrar (Senior Editor – Capital Interactive) to find out more about the digital marketing activity which combines on air, online, street, social, digital gaming and mobile marketing strategies together.

The Capital FM Roadtrip ‘game’ is a really clever mechanic to create hype for the Summertime Ball and repeat footfall to the websites, it definitely differs from a standard ticket giveaway. How did it come about?

The initial concept came about after highlighting two of Capital FM’s strongest brand assets.

1. The Summertime Ball
The Summertime Ball is one of our biggest and most popular events giving us the chance to share our love for music with the listeners whilst bringing some of music’s biggest stars to one stage for an amazing day of music.
2. Digital
Capital listeners are online savvy and live their lives through social media and mutli-media platforms. Digital is one of our strongest platforms for communicating with our audience alongside on-air. Taking these points into consideration, we put together a plan for incentivised promotion which incorporated these areas to create an engaging, viral and addictive mechanic for your chance to join the party at Wembley.

What kind of level of response is it receiving so far in 2011?
The Road Trip has had an amazing response already with our viral accelerator codes dominating social media feeds and online communities across the UK. There has also been a fantastic response from the artists themselves with many of them tweeting and facebooking links to the competition. Since the launch of the competition capitalfm.com has seen a significant rise in unique visitors.

Was the build done in-house or did you outsource? How is the process managed now it’s live? The ‘Road Trip’ product has been the result of a close and well established relationship with our digital agency ‘Holler’ (responsible for the actual build) that we have collaborated with on a number of projects so far including the Jingle Bell Ball queue back in December 2010.

From the initial brainstorming sessions to weekly meetings, the product was developed by Global Radio and Holler representatives ensuring a result which delivered to both the needs of the brand and the business itself.

Listeners are encouraged to find ‘accelerator codes’ to help them get to pole position to win the VIP STB experience. You’re giving away the codes through a lot of different channels– what were the variety of ways you’re doing this and how easy is it to deliver the campaign through Capital social media, third party sites and off air with the Street Stars.

Linking together our key marketing channels enabled us to create a well aligned and consistent proposition to promote the competition across. Accelerator codes were distributed by Street Stars, on air listening, brand partnerships and both Capital & Summertime Ball artists’ social media profiles.

Having such an integrated plan allowed us to offer an exciting and engaging experience regardless of what media platform the brand was being consumed through.

It’s quite a detailed mechanic – with codes, questions .etc – are you finding it easy for the on air talent to understand and communicate to the audience? Do you find programming support you with digital marketing ventures like this?

The relationship between online and on-air is very strong which makes implementing more advance mechanics like this that little bit easier. As with any new/enhanced mechanic a lot of preparation is required in the weeks leading up to launch to ensure that our on air talent fully understand the concept and mechanic themselves.

How important is social media and digital marketing to the overall online marketing process for the Summertime Ball in both the build up, the actual event and post event?
We consider social media along with all of our digital channels a crucial tool in the build up to and the actual coverage of this year’s Summertime Ball. In the same way as our on air product offers a proposition of the UK’s No.1 Hit Music Station, our digital equivalent capitalfm.com is the UK’s No.1 Hit Music Destination complimenting all brand activity across the relevant platforms for our audience.

Finally – which act are you most looking forward to seeing at the STB and why?
The Summertime Ball line-up this year is amazing with a great mix of both established and new acts from across the globe.
From a personal point of view I would say it would be a close call between Jennifer Lopez and Jessie J, one will be performing over here in the UK for the first time in 7 years and the other has had amazing BRIT winning start to her career with a great set lined up for on the day!

Disclaimer – All posts and views are my own, and are not endorsed or representative of any current or previous employer.

Image Source: Global Radio