A new dawn for smoothfm with biggest brand refresh since launch
NOVA Entertainment’s smoothfm really is the Benjamin Button of radio. While most stations are pursuing an older demographic, smooth is travelling in reverse.
On Sunday, the brand will undergo its biggest “refresh” since launching in 2012. The brown will be replaced by royal blue and Michael Bublé by Robbie Williams.
The changes signal a new dawn for a brand first entered the market chasing 50-year-olds, and now, seven years on, has a new and younger bullseye in their sights.
Talking to Radio Today, chief marketing and programming officer, Paul Jackson, says the refreshed look and feel talks mostly to 40-year-old women – and men driving taxis.
“If you had to target that one person, it’s a female, she’s 38 and has kids and a busy life. There’s also a lot of tradies listening, a lot of men listening and a lot of male taxi drivers.”
New face Williams – who fronts a new multi-platform marketing campaign across TV, digital, OOH, cinema and socials – perfectly positions the station’s bespoke music format.
“As smoothfm has evolved over the years, I guess we’ve gone from an easy relaxing position to a feel-good position now,” Jackson tells Radio Today. “And we’ve evolved that slowly, and I think Robbie Williams fits perfectly.”
After internal meetings six months ago, the marketing team debated the future of Bublé as the station’s face and ultimately decided on Williams with a broader appeal.
“Genuinely the only person we came up with was Robbie Williams. We all got excited at that, and very quickly we got a ‘yes’ back and the wheels were in motion. It all came together in about eight weeks,” recalls Jackson.
The creative features Williams enjoying the feel-good sounds of smoothfm, set to three iconic smoothfm tracks: ‘September’ by Earth, Wind & Fire, ‘Get Out of my Dreams’ by Billy Ocean and the crooner’s own hit ‘Feel’.
Jackson, whose role was extended to include marketing after the departure of Tony Thomas, hired British director Vaughan Arnell to create the television campaign.
A regular collaborator on music videos for Williams, Arnell has also directed commercials for Emirates, BBC, Nestlé and Levi’s.