Turning our ears now onto something that really puts the ‘RAD’ in RADIO innovation…This year’s CannesRadio Lion Grand Prix went to ‘Go Outside’ magazine’s ‘Repellent Radio’ campaign by, Sao Paulo agency, Talent – for a campaign that’s changed the experiential-marketing game by turning the radio into a mosquito repellent…
The Big Idea:
Following a sponsorship from Go Outside, a local magazine that encourages outdoor sports and activity, a Sao Paulo radio station bought air-time for two hours in the evening slot between 18:00 and 20:00pm – the peak hours for mosquito bites.
They then ran a 15KH frequency noise, which, whilst is indistinguishable to human hearing levels, it is the same frequency as a dragonfly – a predator of mosquitoes. Because the signal couldn’t be heard by people, it didn’t interfere with normal programming, but certainly did deter mosquitoes! When it comes to mosquito-repellents, this is truly ‘off-the-wall’ stuff, if you ask us!
Why it won:
We caught up with Radio Jury President Rob McLennan after the press conference, who informed us that there was a considerable amount of debate within the 15-person jury on the awarding of this campaign as the vote was split between South Africa’s very own Mercedes Benz Alert Assist and the ‘Repellent Radio’ campaign;
“How do you judge that against a traditional radio campaign?We’re all looking for a piece of work that’s never been done before and changes the environment of radio. The categories at Cannes are getting more diverse and radio is being used with impact like never before. The debate was a tight decision between the battle for traditional or the innovative use of radio. So we had to say: Is the idea simple? Then vote with your gut. Our jury wasn’t only made up of creatives, but production people too. It’s very hard to categorise ideas as they are transcending all mediums”.
Ultimately, the million dollar question we’d all like answered is – Do the radio signals really repel mosquitoes?
“Yes”, said Bob Moore, a judge and chief creative officer of Publicis USA. “We did our due diligence and, as far as we know, it worked. It’s a fantastic idea”.
*Additional info: (www.adage.com)
Where to from Cannes?
The ‘Repellent Radio’ campaign really breaks the mould when it comes to innovation on radio.Jury President Rob McLennan informs us that the collectively passionate Radio Jury has since gotten together to take the ‘Go Outside’ Grand Prix idea (with permission), to radio stations in Africa, India and other countries where mosquito-transmitted diseases are rampant. This is how the 2012 Radio jury feels like they can give back.
Moreover, Roberto Fernandez, a judge and Executive Creative Director at JWT in Brazil adds; “An easy mosquito repellent that doesn’t have to be bought or applied could potentially be used more widely than the three-week campaign done by Talent. It could be broadened, by partnering with the health department to broadcast in areas whether there is dengue fever. Imagine people listening to music and not having to think about mosquitoes”.
(We’re thinking, Roberto… And with radio’s massive reach across all colour and socio-economic lines, this is the perfect example of the medium’s ability to connect with listeners in a real and meaningful way – advertisers take note.)
Well, there you have it. An advertising festival demonstrating how they Cannes help you!