BBC Radio 2 – Elvis

BBC Radio 2 promoted its playlist on UK televisions in September 2006 with a collation of historical moments introduced by Elvis Presley himself. Elvis stands on the stage, dressed in white, flared rhinestone suit, introducing SugaBabes on backing vocals, Marvin Gaye the man with beautiful voice, Jimmy Page on lead guitar, Noel Gallagher on rhythm guitar, Keith Moon on drums, Sheryl Crow on bass guitar, Stevie Wonder on piano. The super: “What an amazing line-up. All day every day. Radio 2.” The main body of the spot comes from Elvis’ 1973 concert, Aloha from Hawaii. Marvin Gaye was performing live in Montreux, 1980. Noel was performing with The Who and Friends at the Royal Albert Hall, 2003. Sheryl Crow is shown at The Grammys, 2003. Stevie Wonder’s footage comes from Sesame Street. Keith Moon’s drum solo comes from 2nd House 2nd Run, 1974. Jimmy Page is shown performing in Atlantic at 40, 1988. The Sugababes were actually filmed especially for this advertisement, using an early 1970s video camera to keep the look consistent with the Elvis footage

Describe the objective of the promotion.
BBC Radio 2 has an image problem when it come to the younger end of the target audience (35-50). It is seen as dull, for ‘older’ people (my parent’s radio station) with unexciting music. We need to prove to the next generation of Radio 2 listeners that the station is relevant to them. This promotion aimed to reach these listeners and surprise them with the quality and diversity of our musical output, encouraging reappraisal and trial of Radio 2.
Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation.
The marketing brief set the objective and we came up with the creative concept. Then followed a lengthy process of rights clearances and trawling through archive footage to find the right artists to properly reflect a broad range of music, from contemporary (Sugababes) to classic (Marvin Gaye) and from rock (Jimmy Paige) to pop (Noel Gallagher). Once the line up was set and the appropriate footage found we then filmed the Sugababes and commenced a painstaking post-production process to create a seamless film which created the illusion that all these iconic artists were really on stage with Elvis.
Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service.
BBC television reaches 91% of Radio 2’s target audience of 35-54 year olds every week. Promotion on BBC TV channels provides a comparatively uncluttered environment where messages do not have to compete with commercial advertising for consumers’ attention. Viewers are already engaged as they have actively chosen to watch BBC TV and our research has shown that the majority of our audience want to be told about other BBC services, which means they are receptive to our communications messages.
Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results.
Within hours of the first broadcast, Radio 2 was inundated with emails from listeners asking when they would be able to see the trail again. It was posted on YouTube and has had over 125,000 views to date.
Trail recognition peaked at 78% with record scores for distinctiveness (79%) and originality (81%). 54% of the target audience felt the trail suggested “Radio 2 is for people like me” which is a huge increase on scores for previous campaigns (18% for our TV trail in 2005) and 48% felt “Radio 2 plays the sort of music I want to listen to”.

Advertising Agency: DFGW, London
Executive Creative Director: Brendan Wilkins/Rodney Kavanagh
Copywriter: Brendan Wilkins
Art Director: Rodney Kavanagh
Production Company: Red Bee Media, London
Director: Steve Cope


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