BBC Promo, Case study 2 DAY by Y&R London

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Industry TV Channels/Radio Stations and Programmes
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency Y&R London
Executive Creative Director Damon Collins
Released November 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Corporate Communication
Advertiser: BBC
Product/Service: BBC RADIO 2
Agency: RKCR/Y&R
Executive Creative Director: Damon Collins (RKCR / Y&R)
Board Copywriter: Ted Heath (RKCR / Y&R)
Board Art Director: Paul Angus (RKCR / Y&R)
Business Director: Jo Bacon (RKCR / Y&R)
Account Director: Graham Smith (RKCR / Y&R)
Planning Director: Jeremy Poole (RKCR / Y&R)
Media placement: digital PR, internal communication, consumer PR, corporate communication, event, etc. - BBC, The New York Times,, Radio1 etc - 8-10 November 2011

Summary of the Campaign
BBC Radio 2 is Europe’s largest radio station with over 14m listeners. However, mainstream music isn’t all it broadcasts. It airs a wide range of musical genres, documentaries and comedy. As part of its public sector remit, the BBC wanted to champion this eclecticism, briefing us with 3 tasks:
1) make listeners appreciate the breadth of quality content available to them;
2) get listeners to listen more;
3) increase traffic to their website.

As radio listening is habitual, people were unlikely to experience what else was on the station, so we decided that an approach which demonstrated the range of content would make the biggest impact. We took over the schedule, swapping all the great Radio 2 shows and presenters around for 12 hours, meaning people had to listen to something they wouldn’t normally listen to. We called this unique broadcasting event 2Day – all of Radio 2 in one day.

2Day is a great example of a communications agency getting upstream with its client in order to develop a solution appropriately matched to the task at hand. By being able to influence content and scheduling, instead of just creating an ad campaign, we were able to tackle a near-impossible task.

The Situation
Question: When you’re Europe’s biggest radio station, how do you get your audiences of millions that only listen to your mainstream shows to sample the unique niche radio shows that you broadcast too?

Answer: You use the product as the advertising and jumble the whole station schedule around to create a day of new content, thus introducing jazz, art, folk, comedy, world music, etc. to those who are tuning in for chart music, request programmes, news items, chat shows, etc. (and visa-versa). This day was called ‘2day.’

The Goal
As already outlined, the day had to achieve 3 key objectives: 1) make listeners appreciate the breadth of quality content available to them; 2) get listeners to listen more; 3) increase traffic to their website.

The Strategy

It was clear that a simple ad about all the great content on Radio 2 would only go so far - it might change perceptions of the channel but it certainly wouldn’t get listeners to listen more. We realised that we had to demonstrate the range of content by working with listeners’ habits, bringing them something new in their normal listening slot. The impact had to be strong enough to then make them seek it out again in the future. In short, our strategy was to demonstrate, rather than declare, that there truly is more to Radio 2.

We created a scheduling event called 2Day. Over 12 hours, we mixed up presenter slots from across the whole week so that more niche genres got peak air time: from musicals, live folk performances, soul, big band extravaganzas and even sitar solos that would normally only get a listenership of a few thousand suddenly enjoyed a peak audience of several million.

To raise interest, especially for PR, presenters worked together. E.g. Tony Blackburn and Trevor Nelson, Chris Evans and Zoe Ball.
Changing the schedule gave people a real reason to visit the website. They could find out more about the day and also see behind the scenes on live stream.

As a 1 day event it made it much easier for the media to understand and it even secured us the much sort-after front cover of the Radio Times. We also supported the event with TV and radio ads.

Documented Results
60% of Radio 2 listeners were aware of 2Day (BBC Pulse Tracker), not just because of the advertising but also received national media coverage e.g. front cover Radio Times; it was picked up on prime time TV - BBC One, as well as on the key competitor ITV 1.
74% of listeners to a part of 2Day felt that it demonstrated Radio 2 offered a breadth of different content: “2 Day was a great idea; made me realise there is so much more to Radio 2” (Pulse).
The days impact actually changed radio habits. 1/3 claimed that “2 Day makes me want to listen more”.
RAJAR data showed average amount of time listened to Radio 2 after 2 Day increased 27minutes.
Weekly reach of network rose by 340,000 people
35% surveyed (Pulse) claimed they’d be interested in watching highlights online.
Unique browsers increased by 98% from 53,000 to 104,000 on 2Day.