Media: Strategy of the Week - Capital ensures London is awake to its new arrival

Londoners would have to be comatose to miss Capital's campaign, Ian Darby writes.

Self-proclaimed cheeky chappie, Chelsea supporter, diamond geezer and, as if we could forget, Londoner, Johnny Vaughan took over the 95.8 Capital Radio breakfast slot last Monday.

And, if you live in and around London, Capital's aim was that you'd damn well know about it. A large awareness campaign, including television, cinema and outdoor, broke on 16 April to bring in listeners for Vaughan's first week at the microphone.

The arrival of Vaughan is vital to Capital. Chris Tarrant had occupied the seat for close on 18 years and, although his audience had dwindled, he still pulled in around 1.2 million listeners.

Vaughan needs to keep - and then strengthen - this listener base in a cut-throat London market. The Capital breakfast show is vital to the company, especially as its rival Heart briefly overtook its share of audience in London in late 2003 and is intent on growing audience for its own breakfast show through an equally aggressive ad campaign.

The centrepiece of the Vaughan campaign is a 60-second TV spot, created by Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, that features the DJ singing along to the old music hall hit Maybe It's Because I'm A Londoner. The TV ad is running on ITV1 and Channel 4 in the London region, targeting an audience defined by Capital as "Life-loving Londoners" (anyone aged 15 to 44 who still has a pulse and interests beyond staying in and watching television).

ZenithOptimedia is Capital's media planning and buying agency and constructed a med-ia schedule to provide the best possible awareness together with mass reach, media that was in tune with London and elements that would provide "talkability".

Rhona Tridgell, a business director at ZenithOptimedia, says: "The whole objective of the campaign is awareness. This is possibly the biggest thing to happen to Capital for 17 years. Losing to Heart in the share race was a bit of a wake-up call and research showed the brand was perceived as a bit 80s, corporate and safe."

In addition to the TV campaign, Capital is also trying to build a significant presence on London streets with an outdoor campaign bought through Meridian Outdoor. Bus sides and mega-rears on buses have been used to build a stronger association with London and to reflect the message of the TV ads. In addition, pavement art draws attention to the launch of the show.

ZenithOptimedia has attempted to provide the all-important "talkability" and buzz around the show with a cover-wrap on Metro newspaper that ran on Vaughan's first day. It has also arranged for a giant laser projection of Vaughan to run on Capital's Leicester Square building and for promotions on London's streets.

This is backed by online advertising, through the ZenithOptimedia division Zed, on targeted sites including Chelsea FC.

No firm date has been set for the end of the launch campaign. As Tridgell says: "Not all people will wake up immediately and think they have to listen to Johnny Vaughan, this will grow over time."

Whatever happens, the fruits of DLKW's and ZenithOptimedia's work will be all too evident come the next Rajar audience results but one. But then much depends on whether Vaughan himself can prove a worthy successor to Tarrant.

Client: Capital Radio

Agencies: ZenithOptimedia, Delaney Lund Knox Warren, Meridian Outdoor,


Media used: Television, outdoor, press, cinema, online

Media idea: Back the awareness campaign to create "talkability" around

the new breakfast show

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