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Ideas and technique to help you promote and image radio

Sub your strap – Capital did

Last year, we witnessed a clash of CHR straplines in Manchester. Now, as Capital FM launches there, it has quietly dropped the words “number one” from the station strapline used in its brilliant new tv ad…

Why might that be then?

A tactical retreat, too many words on screen at that font size or the result of working with a decent ad agency?

I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the latter. Agencies exercise relentless reductivism. You get a sharper message that way and because an agency is independent of the radio station it carries the objectivity to challenge your brief.

Where we radio people might naturally opt for “number one hit music station” because it sounds reassuring as we’re used to the rhythm of the phrase a dispassionate agency will question every word. It’s what they’re paid for.

And guess what? “Manchester’s hit music station” is a better line. It’s definitive, not comparative. It’s a believable statement, not an unsubstantiated claim. It’s true. Isn’t it?


  1. I suspect it’s a little more dull.

    Heart’s TV ad said “Love Music Variety”, not “More Music Variety”, since it was impossible to substantiate (and, indeed, would tend to show that it’s not actually true).

    Similarly, Radio 1 is “the UK’s number one hit music station” under any measurement. I’d suspect that the Advertising Authority declined to approve Capital’s strapline because of the very obvious fact that… it’s not true.

    Or someone could be very clever…

  2. A thoughtful advertising lady (hello Celia) also suggests that Radio 1 “owns” the number one and it would be foolish for any competing station to associate itself with it.