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Farmers on FM radio’s bandwidth

As you read this,somewhere in the background there's a radio playing and as it belts out the month's chart-topper,you quite effortlessly lend an ear.

Written by Jagmeeta Thind Joy | Chandigarh |
March 28, 2009 10:52:32 pm

As you read this,somewhere in the background there’s a radio playing and as it belts out the month’s chart-topper,you quite effortlessly lend an ear. It’s this penetration into personal surroundings that’s won radio its many brownie points. The latest being its ability to target a group that’s seldom addressed,especially in audio-visual communications. For reaching out to the farmer riding his tractor and tilling his land,say in the middle of the afternoon,are private FM radio stations which are bringing in specific programming coupled with agriculture-related ‘spots’ or commercials.

“Radio has no boundaries and when it comes to advertising trends for the farming community,we are breaking new ground,” admits Siddharth Bhardwaj,Big 92.7 FM’s regional director (North-I). The last couple of months have seen the channel’s Punjab-based radio stations,including Amritsar,Jalandhar and Patiala,pepper their programming mix with advertisements for new range of tractors and weedicides.

“It proves that the awareness for the effectiveness of radio is no longer restricted only to the metros and it has reached the tier II markets as well. The cost effectiveness and penetration of the medium is drawing newer customers to the medium,” explains Bhardwaj,who lists out advertisers like Holland Tractors,Mahindra and Mahindra and pesticide companies like United Phosphors Ltd (UPL),who have joined hands with the radio station recently.

On the creative front that translates into local flavours,both in terms of language and music and effective scriptwriting that presents the brand up straight,he says,”The commercial for weedicides,for example,worked on a brief that saw a farmer expressing disappointment over a lost crop and we blended that well with Punjabi music.” And not only has it gone down well with the target group but has brought in cheer from advertisers as well.

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“We advertised for wheat weedicide and it has helped us reach our target consumer. Radio is the only medium of entertainment for farmers and the reach is fabulous,” says Deepak Munjal,Marketing Head,UPL Total,Punjab.

What’s more,radio stations are now also ‘connecting’ with their listeners on ground as well. The Jalandhar station recently tied up with a local tractor dealership and rolled out tractor races for farmers. That was followed by turban-tying contests specifically for farmers in the region. “It gave us an opportunity to interact with the target group in a local environment and that’s what radio is all about,” sums up Bhardwaj. Hope,the farmers are listening!

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