Winner of the The Arqiva Commercial Radio Marketing Award 2010
Bauer Media’s Hallam FM has a target audience of 25-44 year olds, skewed towards a female audience, with an agenda of family entertainment.
Following the success of our first wedding giveaway in March 2009, both sponsor and radio station were keen to repeat and improve the promotion.
Therefore in September we launched ‘Get Me To The Church On Time 2’. Simply put it was a wedding giveaway with a difference.
From the registration process and on-air final, to the nerve-wracking build-up and all important big day… the emphasis was put on making engaging radio that connected with the target listener.
Who wouldn’t want to hear if a bride makes it her wedding on time?!
The timescale was dictated by the wedding venue and registrar having a free 'slot'. When the wedding date and time were confirmed the project was worked backwards as follows:
Mon 3rd Aug to Fri 4th Sep : Following client sign-off, planning starts to create a route, source suppliers (for items like the dress, cake, decorations, rings and flowers), confirm contest mechanic and produce audio imaging.
Mon 7th to Sun 19th Sep: A series of teasing promo and presenter live reads go on-air to create interest.
Mon 14th to Sun 20th Sep: Online registration begins.
Mon 21st to Fri 25th Sep: Registrations continue. Off-air the filtering and 2nd interviews begin.
Sat 26th & Sun 27th Sep: The Crown Hotel (and sister hotel the Rutland) hold open days to allow potential brides a final chance to enter.
Sun 27th Sep: Judging and filtering process ends late at night
Mon 28th Sep to Fri 2nd Oct: 6 finalists are revealed this week in Big John @ Breakfast, with 2 going head-to-head live in the studio each day in the Bride Wars quiz, with the winner revealed on Friday.
Mon 5th to Fri 9th Oct: Winning couple Clare & Sean compete to win their honeymoon to Paris (at the weekend they enjoy their free hen & stag do’s)
Mon 12th to Wed 14th Oct: The nerve-wracking build up to the big day. Big John @ Breakfast reveals a new penalty each day for every 20 minutes Clare is late. Wednesday night Clare is blind-folded and taken somewhere in the UK ready for the following day’s journey.
Thur 15th Oct: The big day begins with Clare removing her blind-fold and discovering she’s on the Isle of Wight. She (together with Michelle from the breakfast show, a producer and back-up driver) then starts the ‘blagging’ journey to the Crown Hotel in Bawtry. Along the way they catch a ferry, train, 2 trucks, a coach, tractor and a London red bus, becoming 56 minutes late for the 3pm wedding. The whole day’s output is dedicated to following the journey and giving live coverage to the ceremony, speeches and general aftermath!
The brief from the client was simple… create enough talkability to raise the profile of the Crown Hotel in Bawtry (a small village just outside Doncaster).
Everyone gives away weddings, we knew that, but we wanted to give away a wedding with a difference. We wanted to create a buzz around the venue and the radio station. So Hallam FM’s “Get Me To The Church On Time” was born.
So the premise was… you can win your wedding… IF you can get there! Be late and parts of the wedding change.
1,200 brides-to-be entered, 6 made it through the selection process and went on to try and win their wedding.
We first ran the contest originally in spring 2009, with Trina from Rossington blagging her way from Gretna Green. Then in the Autumn we had the chance to improve on the promotion with Clare from Royston. This time she had to travel even further (from the Isle Of Wight), win the additional honeymoon and the hotel’s open days were incorporated into the registration process.
In the end, following a long and nerve-wracking journey, Clare got married (56 minutes late) and a piece of radio was created that continues to live in the memories of those that heard it.
Off the back of the promotions, the client went on to sell over 20 weddings and the publicity gained fantastic, with local and national newspaper, magazine and tv coverage. The bride was even helped out by listeners to Wave 105 on the South Coast and Jack FM in Oxford!
Publicity generated was calculated at being worth over £50,000. We’d also like to think this activity helped to explain our Rajar figures. We enjoyed an increase in market share (year on year) in both quarters we ran the giveaways… and an additional 400,000 listening hours.
Our web guy was chuffed with the 250,000 unique users that decided to check out over 1.5 million pages of dynamic video and photo content uploaded ‘live’ during the special days.
We think the team at Hallam FM had successfully met and exceeded a client’s expectations, while at the same time creating a huge piece of effective marketing activity for the station… AND creating a profit. Times have been tough, budgets have been non-existant, so this promotion came just at the right time.
The campaign wasn’t just a static poster next to a busy roundabout passed by daily commuters rushing to work, but an ‘event’ that well and truly came to life and was enjoyed as a multimedia experience.
It’s fair to say that in recent times the team at Hallam FM have, through experience and in-depth research, found out more about the target audience than ever before; understanding what they want to hear and how we want to sound.
The station is now well and truly 25-44 focused with a female bias and reflects their family-focused and slightly cheeky South Yorkshire nature.
We believe this mindset helped us gain the status of runner-up in the 2009 Arqiva Station Of The Year category and hope “Get Me To The Church On Time” achieves similar recognition this year.
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