Smoothfm “Undervalued” By Media Buyers And Agencies, Says NOVA’s Luke Minto

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NOVA Entertainment’s smoothfm has only been around for a few years, however, while positioning itself as more of a lifestyle brand, Luke Minto, NOVA Entertainment’s Sydney station operations manager said the offering is being undervalued by media agencies and media buyers.

“The smooth brand is probably well and truly undervalued because of its pretty quick growth,” he said. “And I think agencies need to recognise where it sits in the radio landscape as well the entertainment space against some of the traditional brands,” particularly as the last round of radio ratings saw smoothfm taking the top spots for FM stations.

The weekend just gone saw thousands of Sydneysiders flock to The Rocks to indulge in chocolate at the smoothfm Festival of Chocolate. While the festival was a roaring success, Minto hoped the success will translate to agencies, especially as the only paid advertising was from smoothfm radio station and Foxtel’s music channel.

“Hopefully they’ll see the power of the smooth brand in terms of where it’s come from in such a short time and the ability to attract a big crowd,” he said.

“It offers one of the richest audiences in terms of engagement.”

Recovering from a chocolate hangover from a weekend of munching the decadent goodness, Minto explained how the smoothfm festival of chocolate exceeded the team’s expectations, and while not having the official numbers yet, he was confident the attendance rates were well up on last year’s 70,000.

The festival also helped the weekly local markets at The Rocks.

“It’s one of those classic win win win relationships,” said Minto. “The intention was always to support the existing retailers within the area.

“The feedback from the lemonade store…his best day in 20 years, he said.”

It was a rather warm two days too, however Minto explained how the brand brought the dates forward from last year – which saw a heap of chocolate pooling in the heat – and increased the refrigeration infrastructure and cooling system to keep the chocolate solid. The melting point of chocolate, said Minto, is 23 degrees Celsius.

As the smoothfm Festival of Chocolate is one of the biggest foodie events in Sydney, said Minto, making sure the calendar dates are right are crucial. “It seems to be right in that sweet spot away from some of the other food events that happen in Sydney.”

Furthering the brand’s aim to be seen as a lifestyle brand  – as a radio station can no longer be just a radio station – smoothfm launched another experiential activation last week to help people relax, a relaxation pod for shoppers to take a few minutes out.

The pop-up station is what NOVA believes is a first of its kind in Australia.


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