What started out as a standard client brief for Nova Entertainment has led the company to a previously untapped audience: gamers.
When games company Ubisoft enlisted the help of Nova for the release of the game Far Cry, Nova’s website was turned into an online gaming portal. The campaign was run with the help of digital agency Yell Digital and visitors to Nova’s websites, Facebook and Instragam channels had to find Nova’s mascot Novaboy in the digital realm. They were then invited to enter a competition.
Within the first week, more than 17,000 people entered the competition with an average dwell time of five minutes leaving the Nova team wide-eyed and eager for more.
Nova’s digital commercial operations director, David McGrath, says: “We found we had an older demographic. The entries we were getting were in the 40 plus demographic. We found out a lot about ourselves as well as Ubisoft through this process.”
Could games be the answer for the media company in a volatile market where digital assets could perform on par with legacy outlets such as radio?
McGrath says: “We had the conversation saying, ‘if we’ve got that many people that resonated with a gaming brand, maybe we should be looking at having a gaming section within our sites’.”
Ultimately the success of the campaign cemented Nova’s aim to be seen as more than just a radio station with a couple of websites.
“We’re not a digital portal. We’re not a Yahoo7, a ninemsn, a Fairfax or a News Limited,” says McGrath. “Those guys are tracking in the three to five or six million unique visitors range. We sit less than that and for us to get those numbers, we actually outperformed the same spend across all of those portals at the same time. The ROI was through the roof for the client. They said to us after the first day ‘we’re stunned’.”
“We need to be a standalone digital destination that’s innovative, that pushes the technology boundaries but also comes up with creative executions that are compelling in their own right as a content piece,” he says.
Still, radio is where Nova’s key audience is. “They’re the big numbers, they’re the scale,” he says. “But we look at that as the brand. And we look at the other as the performance. When you put the two together, one can give you the broader brand and execution…and then the performance side of it is the mobility and digital as a whole.”
The aspect of integration with channels both online and offline is key in the ever changing media landscape.
McGrath says: “We look at this ecosystem which is on-air, online, on the streets, on mobile, on social. We see them as Lego pieces where not everyone is going to have every part but the ability is that if you wanted to join them they’re all independent, but they can all collectively make a successful campaign together.”
McGrath predicts a year of digital growth for the company.
He says: “It’s going to be all about more amazing creative execution. We accept every challenge an agency wants to bring to us. We want to be able to say, ‘yes we can do that, and how about this as well?’”