Leave a Lasting Impression

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These are the notes and presentation that Daniel Mumford, Nathan Freeman and I gave at The Imaging Days 2014.

You can find notes and details of other sessions from the Earshot Creative blog.

(All audio is for education purposes and copyright remains with the original holders).

PRESENTATION ABOVE MAY NOT WORK. IF NOT, HERE IS THE LINK (Opens new window).

LEAVE A LASTING IMPRESSION

Whether as a commercial or public service broadcaster, it is essential to fight for creativity and engagement throughout your imaging. The idea is still king.

Having the right FX package and knowing what processing to use is an essential foundation for a great station sound.

The next step is to develop an engaging creative for your brand identity to maintain a loyal listener-ship and more importantly increase your hours.

Imaging is what holds the radio station together and expresses your tone of voice so in this session we’ll tackle how serving the passions of the audience directly affects their perception of you.

Blurring the lines between demographics, we’ll be playing you examples of our collective work across a wide spectrum of radio stations that showcase how we continually engaged our listeners. Examples that will hopefully inspire and invigorate your own passion for creativity.

001 ***AUDIO: – CLICHED MONTAGE***

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1) FIND YOUR VOICE

(Defining Sound, Personality and Tone of voice)

Defining the sound (BBC Radio 1 Xtra)

How are you defining the sound of your station?

For Radio 1, it’s all about young people / young voices

6 Music – a passion for music in an authentic way

JACK fm – quirky humour and a slightly half – arsed attitude

(DAN):

BBC Radio 1 Xtra

1Xtra New Imaging On-Air Demo (Defining the sound)

1Xtra’s new imaging needed to get a bit of an edge back from going ‘friendly’

Style is similar to R1’s – Mini tracks cut / chopped up / FX – which brings them in line with each other while still being different

002 **AUDIO**

RADIO 1 XTRA MONTAGE

Here’s a video about it too from Emergency Production Music

Defining your personality (JACK fm)

JACK fm is a classic and contemporary rock station for 25-54 year olds or more specifically blokes who haven’t grown up.

Playing What We Want, –  a distinct and irreverent persona making us relatable and down to earth in everything we do.

Our personality exists in everything we say and do.

Cultural refernces, TV themes, Sound effects.

The way we say and do things – using phrases from old TV shows, with a twist.

This song was huge in the summer it came out – but we didn’t play it – but it appeared on air a lot – by re-using it in an interesting way.

003 **AUDIO**

Don’t Be Daft, Punk (Personality)

Finding your tone of voice (BBC Radio 6 Music)

Tone of voice particularly important when building tension or expectation.

When launching a contest or promoting an event – what are some effective ways of drawing an audience in?

(NATHAN)

004 **AUDIO**

This is 6 Music Trail (Tone of Voice)

6 Music is in a privileged position whereby the artists we place, don’t just listen. They have a distinct passion for what we do. Not because we play “uber cool” hipster music.. because we don’t. It’s because we share their passion for music. Are listeners love music. That is why we use the artists to voice their true opinions to create a powerful, yet authentic monologue that effective sells the station. This method also helps us convey a non linear message without over selling the product. In a way we let the quality of the product do the talking.

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2) TELL YOUR STORY (Engagement, sell your music, expose your passions)

Engaging with the audience (Justin’s House)

(JAMES)

With any audience – it’s how you attract their attention that matters.

The writing is always a consideration.

For an audience like those on BBC Radio 2, the challenge for promoting a Kids TV channel was not writing for the primary audience of the TV channel – the kids – but creating something that would resonate with the Grandparents and older parents who listen to the station.

How we did it – showed a series of children a teaser from the show then asked them to talk about it.

005 **AUDIO**

****2 PROMOS I THIS MONTAGE AND DJ TALK UP**

Highlight how at the BBC PRESENTERS CAN COMMENT ETC**

JUSTIN’s HOUSE TRAIL**

Engaging with your audience (BOWIE Weekend)

(NATHAN)

Bowie – We were doing a weekend of programming to support the release of Bowie’s latest album over Easter.. the return of the messiah! (Engaging with audience). This is a prime example where you can be creative, effective, uplifting and thought provoking. Simplify your story and tell it in an interesting way.

006 **AUDIO**

– Bowie Promo**

Telling a story.

Creative treatments need to express a message, sometimes many.

But how much is too much? How many messages will listeners put up with.

What is their attention span?

What is the take out of the message?

(DAN)

Hackney Weekend was the biggest festival R1 had ever done.

Co-incided with London Olympics.

Was more than just a concert – Lots of community outreach stuff too (Academy).

Having the Olympics to hang off the back of it, it created a story and became part of something bigger.

Lots of people talked about it – eg: Great US soundbite from newsreader

007 **AUDIO**

Hackney Brand Trail – Tells the story of the development in Hackney, Hackney Academy, The London Olympics and The Big Weekend

Selling the music – music promos / creative promos

(JAMES)

Much debate about whether stations should demonstrate music by example.

If you play the hits – just do it

But sometimes part of wider campaign to reposition

Came at a time when Capital under attack from KISS/HEART and MAGIC

Had relaunched as a more RnB Magic focused station then relaunched again

Jeff Thomas came in as consultant to refresh sound along with a new PD

All about emotion, ownership of music and creating a “filmic / huge” on air sound

Lots of voxes and lots of artist audio – but not just IDs – interview clips etc etc

008 **AUDIO**

CAPITAL – Playing Live Music Promo

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3) HAVE IMPACT (Stand out, promote events or competitions)

Creating an impact (PUNK BRITANNIA)

(Nathan)

Punk Britannia Promo – We wanted to do something punk but also do something that made punk contemporary and relatable to both our audience who lived through this era and the younger end of our audience. There were so many parallels with 1977 and 2012. We capitalized on this but also conveyed the positive message in the end. This was a “creative brand” trail that ran alongside normal programming trails but was considered like a piece of content. I believe that imaging and trails should not just be something that gets your point across. It’s giving the audience something extra – content. Good content. You can’t always cram all your messages into one trail. This will dilute your offering. However with careful planning and running a campaign for the right amount of time you can effectively “get noticed”. However don’t do this all the time.. to have impact, you need to create special moments. Again it’s slightly longer but is interesting enough to keep the attention of the listener.

009 **AUDIO**

Punk Britannia promo

Add a twist (Promoting Contests)

(JAMES)

Simplicity of an idea is often the key to success.

Sometimes a big contest just needs a simple idea to make it cut through

Can be particularly important when building tension or expectation.

When launching a contest or promoting an event – what are some effective ways of drawing an audience in?

Fear is particularly underused

010 **AUDIO**

Bong Games Losers

Sell your event differently – (One big weekend)

Hackney Weekend – Biggest ever lineup for the stations and so many great names we couldn’t leave anyone out on the promo. Good example of the event being bigger than the sum of its parts.

011 **AUDIO**

Hackney Weekend – Massive LineUp Trail

4) BE CREATIVE (It’s content don’t you know)

Writing / Humour/Tone of Voice/ Personality (Phil and Alice)

(DAN)

Phil and Alice – New DJs – Need to sell their personalities as well as the music to make it a unique offering.

12 **AUDIO**

Phil and Alice Promo

Experiment

(JAMES)

Use the music – don’t always have to be too cool for school

Sometimes a cool song can give a simple promo idea

13 **AUDIO**

Trumpets Music Promo

5) – Summary

(Nathan)

Without a good product you will not succeed.

We have the skills in this room to sell, amplify and improve the product, but we have to keep pushing our programming colleagues to produce the best possible content.

Be a pain in the arse.

Understand your audience better than everyone else and do everything you do for them.

New notes at BBC Radio 2

Photo (C) Wise Buddah
Photo (C) Wise Buddah

There’s been a refresh to the sound on air at BBC Radio 2 again. It’s an expansion to the package introduced on air last year.

The reason is due to how the original heritage logo had to be licensed from the original composers – Groove Addicts in the US. This time, there’s a newly composed musical logo from the guys at Wise Buddah. It’s all to do with the ways the publishing deal is done…

You’ll find full details about the changes on the Earshot website

But, here’s  a nice video that the guys at Wise Buddah have produced with a bit of behind the scenes session action.

BBC Radio 2 – Radio2Day

Broadcasting House Sunset - James Stodd

Here in the UK today (June 22 2011), BBC Radio 2 is trying out a clever marketing trick.

They are pairing up all of the presenters from different shows and genres to present in different parts of the day. It’s being described as “a-12 hour on air celebration of everything the station has to offer”.

For a station like Radio 2, 2DAY gives a great opportunity to showcase the range of what they offer to listeners who may only tune in for certain parts of the day. Of course, there’s a danger that having hooked people in, they’ll come back expecting the same every day. But at least they’ll have heard a sample of everything else that the station offers. And that will hopefully make them want to sample more. For the people who complain that the BBC wastes resources promoting the mainstream offerings from their radio stations, this is a nice example of using the mainstream presenters to help showcase the outer parts of the schedule.

I really like the style of the TV trail that they have created to promote it too. It’s a bit like one of those children’s puzzles where you slide the pieces around to finally get the full picture. It’s a nice visual metaphor and resolves with all the presenters on it as well.

Radiodays Europe 2011 #rde11

The case is packed. I’ve got a pocket full of Danish Krone. And I’m off to Copenhagen for Radiodays Europe  2011.

It’s the first time I’ve been to this European conference, though I spoke at Radiodays Denmark a couple of years ago, and am very much looking forward to experiencing the hospitality of this fine city. In fact, there’s a particularly nice bar round the corner from Radio 100 where @jamescridland, @newsleader and others enjoyed a nice variety of local brews. I’m also looking forward to catching up witha couple of old radio friends including Ryan Seacrest’s Executive Producer, Dennis Clark who I last saw when Ryan broadcast his show from Capital FM’s studios in London in 2007.

I’m on a panel entitled “Imaging and Branding – from strategy to successful branding” along with a number of other producers and presenters from the USA and Europe. I’ll include some insight from BBC Radio 1 and 2 about how their strategy feeds into their production – and how it’s more than just imaging and promos.

There’s one thing I’d have liked to show – but time precludes – and it’s this film produced by the agency PHD Worldwide. It was designed to stimulate marketeers about what our young audiences want from brands. And it’s a real eye opener. Nik Goodman wrote about it on his blog a couple of weeks ago – but if you haven’t seen it – it’s worth a watch.

So, if you are coming to RadioDays, hopefully you’ll come and say hello – or maybe Skål