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Promotional ideas and technique. Always radio, always positive.

Xfm’s new imaging plants a flag in the rock landscape

On The SlyIf you want to know how a radio station plans to position itself in a competitive market there are three things to listen for:

1. Talent signings

2. Playlist tweaks

3. The new imaging

So, as Bauer closes a deal to purchase Planet Rock and insider gossip continues over the future of Kerrang!, it’s telling to see Xfm put down a solid marker in radio’s rock territory, thanks to its new imaging from On The Sly.

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The enhanced and consistent prominence of Xfm’s positioning line “music that rocks” appears to take the station further away from its alternative/indie heritage and indeed further from the emerging competitive giant that is 6 Music.

On The Sly’s creative approach is largely effects-based with a number of voices (a gang of posing rock blokes and a supreme ice-cool rock chick called Collette) delivering the short identifiers.

David Wakefield from On The Sly gave Earshot Creative an exclusive insight into the creative brief from Xfm:

We were brought in to de-clutter the station sound, start with a blank sheet of paper and design a package which maximises music flow. The key was to give the presenters lots of tools to keep the music moving and to give the station some credibility again. We created a unique imaging fx package for the station by combining interesting ways of processing voices and sounds; creating something which sounds totally different to anything else in the marketplace.

In a music sweep they’ll do the identification job efficiently without breaking the flow and in personality-led shows they’ll provide solid punctuation between speech bits.

Inevitably, John Holmes will find an entertaining way to subvert them but then, that’s rock.