95.8 Capital FM just send me this on Twitter – the new advert for the newly relaunched Capital Breakfast Show. It’s a variation of their music brand video – but as well as the core artists they play, it also features the new breakfast show hosts. And the artists they play are all “endorsing” up breakfast and the presenters.
Earlier in the day, someone shared a link to the updated TV advert for the rest of the Capital FM network. And as before, there are regional variations for the different markets.
What I like about both of these is the consistency. They are updated versions of the advert they used last year to promote the launch of the Capital FM network. I wrote about that last January. They have taken a seemingly simple idea and they have stuck with it – adapting it and freshening it up – but not tempted to change it or go for something new.
It’s pretty rare in marketing for brands to have the bottle to keep things consistent – there are always tweaks, whether to a logo or a creative idea. Strong, simple ideas always work well. Just look at the ad campaigns for Go Compare or We Buy Any Car Dot Com. Whilst they may be annoying, they are annoyingly catchy.
What the team at Global have done is take an idea that imprints the names of the artists at the centre of everything they do. They use them to endorse the station. They use them to promote their big events. And they now have used them to promote their biggest show. And judging by what I heard this morning, this show aims to be a big hitter. The mix of music, humour and energy was pretty much perfect this morning. News was punchy, travel was quick and on target. And they had the fastest “Pay Your Bills” execution I’ve ever heard anywhere.
For my money, Johnny was a great radio broadcaster, somewhat constrained by commercial radio from the start. When Johnny was in full free form mode, he was incredibly entertaining.
The Johnny who left Capital was a very different sounding one who started there. Sure, some of the gems came through, but he didn’t really fit with the punchy format that Capital now pumps out. I’m also guessing they’re looking for someone who can work equally well across the network. And Johnny is of course at heart, a Londoner – as his launch TV commercial showed.
Creating the production sound for a new breakfast show is hard. And it was for that show. Johnny was a big change from the previous Chris Tarrant breakfast show and the various interim replacements.
What we ended up with was a fairly esoteric sounding package of jingles and the like from the guys at Wise Buddah in London. They fitted his personality, his style and his quirkiness – and included the fairly memorable “Johnny on the Radio Now Now Now” theme which cropped up a number of times during the first half of his tenure.
Before we got there, we did explore other areas, and I found one bit of audio in my archives that may not have ever been heard before. Before settling on the guys at Wise Buddah, we worked on some demos with the team at Reelworld. These were based around Capital’s heritage sonic logo – and had a more US/Letterman/talkshow type of feel. Needless to say, they weren’t what was required at the time. However, I still think they are really good, and could work for someone somewhere. You can contact Reelworld here:
Johnny’s replacement is being announced tomorrow morning. I wonder if the replacement will get a song and dance number to herald in the new show? Doubting it..
UPDATE: Capital FM have announced that Dave Berry will join Lisa Snowdon as breakfast show host. Great choice – funny, punchy and full on Londoner.
Loads of “suits” talking the same old stuff that pours out of “industry” gatherings? Great ideas that are all well and good if you have huge budgets and unending resources? Or something else?
It’s designed for people who like radio, who want to be inspired by new ideas, who recognise that technology will help it to change and adapt and for those who want to meet like minded people.
I’m hugely looking forward to this conference. And I’m really glad that James Cridland and Matt Deegan are putting it on. This promises to be a great place for discussing new ideas, looking at things in a new way, and making new contacts. If I was starting out, this would be the place I’d be heading; loads of people who actually “do” radio thinking about how we can make radio better.
And there is a future for radio.
Sure, there’s lots of doom-laden statistics floating around about how younger listeners are failing to engage with radio. But not all of them. And only if radio refuses to engage with them, interact with them on the platforms that they hang out on, and actually deliver them the content they want to hear.
And radio still is radio. But it can be enhanced in many different ways. And let’s face it, whilst some people may sneer at the many ways that stations like Radio 1 and others have used to “visualise” radio, what they are doing now is really just a natural extension of what has been done in the past. From meeting listeners at the County show or the Radio 1 Roadshow at Great Yarmouth Beach, to the BBC radio Solent magazine that I remember buying as a child – they are all ways of extending the reach of the radio station.
But the biggest positive I have taken from the last few months is that fact that my daughter (8) has now decided that she wants to be on the radio and maybe run her own radio station.
This interest was started when she came to visit me at work way back when I was at Capital FM. She was 3 – and recorded 3 links which we made into a radio show for her to play in the car. She was also fascinated last time that Radio 1 did their Access All Areas week – as can be heard in this recording as she describes watching Newsbeat going out online.
Now, she has taken it one step further. Over the last few weeks, she has been recording her own radio show. She brainstormed what sort of features she wanted to run, what music she wanted to play (mostly the Capital playlist) and even how she wanted to broadcast (she wants to be on Red Button and can’t understand why it’s a bit complicated to make that happen).
She’s now started to learn how to make a radio show – in basic form using Garage Band to drag in songs and record her links. She’s even recorded a report from her day out at Brands Hatch a few weeks ago. Now whilst this isn’t necessarily radio in its truest form, it’s no different from back when I was her age, where I recorded the ads and jingles off Radio Victory, and sat in my bedroom playing tunes off a battery powered record player, talking to no-one except my brother, and playing in ads from an old mono cassette recorder. The difference is, now, that I can record her and share a little of it with you.
So, it’s a bit rough around the edges. But she wrote the jingle, recorded the keyboard part, selected the samples and the instruments and the sound effects. And she loved it.
Maybe Next Radio or an event like it will inspire her in the future to do it for real. But only if we all help make it a reality for Megan and her Generation – and keep making radio a medium that is relevant to them as well as us.
You can follow all things nextrad.io on Twitter @thisisnextradio and the conference hashtag is #nextradio Radio Today are covering it live here. I’ll be there, doubtless tweeting interesting bits. If you’re coming, it’ll be nice to catch up – and if you’re not, hopefully you’ll learn something useful.