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Ideas and technique to help you promote and image radio

Missed the bus?

Heart bus

When your station offers a mass-market proposition in a highly competitive city like London a bit of visibility can really drive awareness. And one way to be visible is to spend a bunch of cash on good old-fashioned above-the-line advertising.

This tactic has worked well for LBC 97.3 in recent months. Its heavyweight outdoor campaign on taxis helped LBC become the number two London station in the market. Meanwhile, Capital FM has built its recent success in part on a decent events strategy.

Now Heart 106.2 has also been putting some energy into outdoor advertising with big red ads on even bigger red London buses. What Heart has saved on the creative they seem to have spent on the media with huge numbers of bus sides carrying the station’s message across town.

The ads may be hard to miss, but awareness doesn’t in itself bring new listeners even if it can help recall and therefore improve the effectiveness of diary-based measurement. To convert awareness into genuine audience you also need trial. It’s the next step up the engagement escalator.

So given the prominent Heart branding on these buses I assumed they’d take the next logical step and were introducing people to Heart by playing the station inside the buses.

Heart is a brilliantly well-programmed station that would undoubtedly attract new listeners through trial and a short bus ride could be a great opportunity to let people sample a new radio station.

An opportunity missed it seems – the driver of the Heart-branded bus I caught this morning was listening to, er, 5 Live.