My colleague Atul and I were chatting yesterday about the new Radio City RJ, Mehak, who recently took over from the insufferable but, for some reason very popular ‘Aage P, Peeche P – Pratap! (“Something quite endearing about the guy, even though he talks a bit much.” I have been told).
While we began on the subject of who made for better (or worse) listening, from among the two, the subject quickly drifted on the why and how of the need to introduce female voices during the morning prime time hours.In my opinion, a couple of years ago, in absence of any clear programming differentiation, and attempts to confuse brand recall with listnership were giving Mirchi an advantage over the 2 other private channels.
RED FM was perhaps finding itself particularly badly hit, with brand presence/ and resultant recall/ perhaps being the lowest. However, it felt that it had equal listenership, but every-time anyone on the street was asked the question about which channel was playing or they played, Mirchi would be the most often quoted brand (who cares about or remembers the frequencies anyway!)Advertisers were flocking to Mirchi.
In attempt to change things, RED FM did a re-jig. It changed it tagline to ‘Bajate Raho’ – nice and catchy. But also did some really inane stuff (which continues) like “Yeh prayaas hai ABC or XYZ ko raaste par laane kaa” ( I think the Prayaas has fallen flat on its face), but I think introducing Simran was a smart move (personally though- I am no great fan of her). The name had instant recall from DDLJ, and a female voice would be a great differentiator, instantaneously answering the ‘which channel is playing’ question- a clever way to stand out and change advertiser perception.
I have a feeling it has worked. The channel is far more alive with advertising and promotional messages etc.Then last week… Radio City introduced Mehak :).
Back to our conversation…
I finished sharing my above logic with Atul and said that listeners would again wonder ‘you who?’ and Mirchi, with the inimitable Nitin, would benefit… but lo and behold, what do I hear this morning? Mirchi had a woman’s voice too instead of Nitin!
I hope Nitin had just taken a day off. If not, all three private FM channels will now have a female RJ in the morning – really creative! And a cutting edge differentiator that would be!
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