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Ideas and technique to help you promote and image radio

98 strangers and a wedding

Happy FM mass wedding flyer

How would you like to share your wedding ceremony with a bunch of total strangers?

I can’t say it appeals much to me but in many places around the world, often for economic reasons, mass weddings in a shared venue are commonplace.

And if you have to muck-in with scores of other couples then you might at least like to know they listen to the same radio station as you.

That’s the marriage proposal from Ghana’s Happy 98.9 FM.

Happy FM’s Mass Wedding promotion is in its sixth year. The station tied the knot for a record 50 couples in 2011 and it’s set to match that this coming Valentine’s Day.

The radio station and its sponsors meet the cost of everything except shoes and rings: the ceremony, clothes, grooming, beauty treatments, honeymoon, counselling and cooking lessons. Never forget cooking lessons – the secret of a good marriage.

Happy FM’s general manager, Charles Asibey told Earshot Creative that the mass wedding started as a public service initiative but has now become a major event:

“Some couples find it hard to get approved for marriage with a Pastor so it started as Corporate Social Responsibility. I don’t think of it as a promotion but I use it to push my brand.”

Happy FM gains talkability, point of difference and brand recognition in a particularly competitive market from this venture so it counts as a promotion in my book.

I also like the alignment between the Happy name and the innocence of this initiative.

If this was done in the UK there’d have to be some jeopardy involved. Listeners would choose who marries whom or, worse still, only one couple would get the cooking lessons.

Don’t ask me how the “number 1 sports station” positioning fits but feel free to add your own “marriage is like sport because…” joke below.