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Promotional ideas and technique. Always radio, always positive.

Production telescope: Lagos, Nigeria

Ikeja, Lagos

My work takes me to Africa frequently. When I explained this to John Myers a couple of years ago his reply was curt…”Who did you offend?” he said.

I can manage the economy class travel, the occasional side-effects of the antimalarial drugs and the challenges of working in unfamiliar places. Separation from family is mitigated to a degree by Skype and I have wonderful colleagues who back me up too.

It’s all worth it. There is no better way to understand the dynamic of a local radio market than to go there, talk to the people and listen to the output.

So every time I check in to another interesting hotel I pull-out a useful Sony walkman radio (a gift from judging the Sony Radio Academy Awards), scan the dial and record what I hear to share with colleagues.

Today I’m sharing some of it with you too in what I call a “production telescope”: a condensed voyage up the FM dial in Lagos, NigeriaMy notes on the audio are below.

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About Lagos and its radio

The city is Nigeria’s commercial capital, the 3rd most populous city in Africa with some 8 million people and one of the world’s fastest-growing conurbations.

Its radio reflects the country’s pride and its status as West Africa’s economic leader.

When I first visited Lagos in 2004 there were a couple of private radio stations on air. Today there are more than a dozen. Their production standards are improving fast, there is some clever positioning going on and the market is fast segmenting by format.

At the same time there remain challenges for all radio stations in Nigeria.

You’ll hear vanity in some of the advertising with a tendency to shout loud rather than dramatise a USP, station imaging can be more about pride and size than position or consumer benefit and you’ll detect the buzz of poorly regulated mains supplies on air. Radio stations often rely on their own generators.

But none of this can take away from the vibrant nature of the market and the passion you hear on air.

I’ve snipped this audio down to concentrate on imaging, promos and ads. If you enjoy this let me know in the comments and I’ll do the same from another city.

Production telescope: Lagos, Nigeria

00″ Sadé: a snatch

06″ Cool FM – a natural high ID

12″ Cool FM – Radio Out Loud – Nollywood show promo

46″ Airtel – ad for mobile phone network exploiting its brand voice.

1’44” Cool FM – epic Miami party night promo (features Spanish, because that says Miami)

2’30” BlackBerry BBM ad. You also get a raffle ticket. Like at the village fete, but cool.

3’17” Cool FM – moto show programme promo (features German, because that says F1)

4’02” What’s Up talent promo (reckon they’ve been listening to Capital FM)

4’38” The most played song on Lagos radio in June. It’s about money.

5’25” Briila FM ID – an all sports format.

5’45” MTN ad – not sure what is the consumer benefit here, but they sure have a lot of number codes. Note the sonic branding device on the end.

6’45” Furniture shop ad. You’re thinking of a Peter Serafinowicz character already, aren’t you?

7’53” 88.9 Briila FM jingle. Again, it’s about pride and achievement.

8’30” Cheeky Instant Noodles ad. Come on, you want some.

8’50” Samsung Classic Lounge promo and station sweeper. I like the positioning line on this classic hits station. The excitement of Blu ray is represented by a whoosh effect.

9’10” Bit of a song from Classic FM. It’s about money.

10’13” M-net ad promoting Tinsel I think it’s like Glee, but different.

10’43” Movitel 4G ad – the speed of 4G is represented by a whoosh effect.

11’22” Rather goofy double headed promo for female-skewed station Smooth 98.1 – a very well programmed station with some of the smartest talent on the local dial.

12’05” A Smooth talk-up. In your earwaves.

12’44” Heritage station RayPower introduces the “Milo World of Sports”, sponsored by Nestlé’s Milo drink. It’s a morning show and features BBC sport and the inevitable brand song.

13’46” RayPower – the “ultimate morning show” imaging with a US voiceover.

14’05” A list song.

14’25” Some news from Victor at The Beat 99.9 FM. I think he means “prosecutors”. Dig those pulsing strings in the news bed.

15’17” Promo for The Morning Rush on 99.9 The Beat. The rare sound of electric guitar on Lagos airwaves. Tight production, just not quite enough clipping on the voices.