In the days of media fragmentation brands that traditionally started off as one channel have morphed, expanded and enhanced to keep up with the growing demand from consumers.
In this day and age, can a traditional channel such as a radio station just be that one channel anymore? “No,” said NOVA’s head of create and ideas director, Andy Milne (pictured).
When Lachlan Murdoch bought NOVA Entertainment, then DMG Radio, Milne said he challenged a lot of the network’s thinking about whether they wanted to think of themselves as a radio station or whether they wanted to be ready for the future.
“It became pretty clear to everyone in the business that we can’t keep being one channel,” Milne explained. One brand under the NOVA umbrella, smoothfm, is now trying to prove it’s no longer just a radio station, it’s a lifestyle brand.
And a festival all about the indulgence and decadence of chocolate was an ideal way to showcase this, said Milne. The brain-child of Milne, the second Festival of Chocolate was announced last night in Sydney.
As guests gorged themselves silly on chocolate, seafood, sweet treats and cheese, Milne explained to B&T how the festival idea had never been framed around a radio station. “It was almost like we loaned the smoothfm brand to give it authenticity because people know the smooth brand. It became an experiential opportunity for the radio brand,” he said.
It was only a few years ago advertisers would come to the station with briefs, asking for radio spots in breakfast or drive.
“Now it’s about brands wanting to communicate with people about a product. And there are other ways of doing that besides running ads,” said Milne.
“We approach every brief with ‘let’s get the idea right first, the rest will follow’. And if that means it’s on radio, then good, that’s our core business. But if it goes online or it becomes an activation…if the idea works for the product, and we can communicate to the people about the product, we’ll do it.”
The second chocolate explosion is set to hit Sydney in September and Melbourne in October, with Milne hinting his desire to bring the festival around Australia, as well as heading overseas eventually.
Despite not having a smoothfm terrestrial radio station in other parts of the country, Milne hopes to be able to bring the decadent festival to cities such as Perth and Adelaide and have it still make sense, reiterating the fact smooth is more than just a radio station now.
“The ability for this to go is the best thing about it, because we can keep adding stuff to it,” he said.