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Ideas and technique to help you promote and image radio

50 Shades of Grey on the radio

Lots of radio stations are using the much anticipated film release of 50 Shades of Grey as a theme to create exciting promotions and digital content. Earshot goes under the covers (!) and takes a look.

Heart Network Imaging

The Heart network has had a little production refresh with branded intros for some of the songs from the film which are on the stations’ playlist. Created in house by Matt Smith – the first track is Earned It – The Weeknd and the second is One Last Night – Vaults.

Local Heart Stations

Local stations across the Heart network are getting in on the act by different fun audio for their stations.

From Heart North East’s attempt at 50 Shades of Gravy themed in a Teeside chip shop to Heart South West getting the listeners in a tiz with 5 Grannies from the South West get to read some rather uncomfortable passages from 50 Shades of Grey in the feature they’re calling, 50 Shades of Gran. It’s also getting rather grey over in Wrexham with Heart North West’s Spence and Rachel creating the 50 Greyish Shades radio drama looking at rather boring things in their life and making it that little bit more exciting!

Listeners across the North West – seem to be loving Joel and Lorna’s re-make of Ellie Gouldings’ anthemic music video for ‘Love Me Like I do’ which features scenes of the film. The Heart North West Breakfast presenters have made their version of the music video with funny reenactments of the scenes from the 50 Shades of Grey film.



With such high production values this seems to have been getting a great reaction from listeners over on Facebook with over 80k+ views within the first few days.

Meanwhile over on Heart Scotland, presenter Adele is trying to see if she can get some Twitter action with film star, Jamie Dorman:50 shades of twitter


while Heart West Midlands have got familiar faces reading out excepts from the book from Mark Wright, Midlands TV host Bob Warman and Keith Lemon. Bang Tidy!


Absolute Radio

Absolute Radio’s Christian O Connell gets into the spirit of the film buzz with reading excerpts from the story but changing some of the naughty words for something more Breakfast radio friendly…

Like trains …

Or Tube Stations ….

Or even Football Players – who knew that football player names could be so rude!



It seems the idea of replacing rude words for family friendly phrases has made its way up north as York’s Minster FM are reading out reviews of the films’ previews but replacing ‘Sex’ with “Cake” …


and Liverpool’s Juice FM have got into the action with an interactive featured called ’50 Charades of Grey’ where listeners need to guess the word from the presenters’ charades. Nice wordplay.


It’s not just audiences that get the chance to experience some pun action – Dublins FM104 has created some adult trade marketing activity to share with their customers how they’re ‘whipping’ their competitors.

50 Shades of FM 104

and thanks to FM104’s production guru Pat Gill, here’s the sound that makes:

[audio:|titles=”FM104 whips the competition”]

Elsewhere – there’s been more 50 Shades based fun and games. Over on Capital North East – they’ve run a feature called 50 Shades of Grey Street – replacing North East place names over rude bits from 50 shades. They’ve also made this fun video for Facebook with breakfast show presenter Bodg.

It seems replacing naughty words with place names in the TSA is the common trait with Oxford’s Jack FM getting into the act:

And Student radio is getting in on the act too – with One Media Radio from Staffordshire Uni doing their own take with ’50 Shades of Dre’, giving it that urban feel! Thanks to Shaun Baxter for sending us the audio on Twitter.

Get Involved

We’d love to share some of the great content you’re producing right now on your radio station. Feel free to send over info and clips to and we’ll add into the post.

Jonathan Jacob is currently Content Solutions Manager at Global Radio with varied experience across commercial radio S&P, events, marketing and PR. He was listed in the inaugural Radio Academy 30 under 30, is a Student Radio Awards judge and sits on the Events Committee for The Radio Academy. Views are personal.