SmoothFM launches experiential brand push

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 7 September 2015

Nova Entertainment is continuing to push SmoothFM as a lifestyle brand, not a station, with the launch of a new experiential platform designed to immerse consumers and media buyers in its brand proposition.

The smooth Relaxation Station is a custom-built, German-designed pod created in partnership with IPG Mediabrands agencies UM and Ensemble.

Users step into the pod and are provided with a customised music experience based on mood selection – happy, mellow, loving or stressed – with SmoothFM presenters Melissa Doyle, Cameron Daddo, Richard Wilkins and David Campbell aligned to a particular mood, to present the playlist. It is also packaged with built-in massage therapy to set the mood.

Following a consumer run in Sydney and then Melbourne, the Relaxation Station will have a trade period from the end of October, where media agencies will host the pod in their offices.

Nova Entertainment Group marketing manager Leanne Glamuzina-Gibb told AdNews that the pod will have its initial consumer run in selected shopping centres – where people need relaxation the most – from today, with the Relaxation Station currently set up in Sydney's Macquarie Centre.

“The relaxation station for us is just another example of Smooth staying true to its core brand proposition that it is the easy place to relax, so I think this is the physical example of that: connecting with our audience or potential audience through what we're calling an immersive activation,” Glamuzina-Gibb said.

“What we know about those who trial Smooth is that they like what they hear and that conversion to listenership is very strong.

“The brand is still relatively new in the whole media landscape – three years is not very old – so we're always seeking new opportunities to increase trial of the station.”

The network currently runs experiential activations for media buyers called “Smooth Suites” which sees agency staff given a hotel room for a night and given the full smooth experience: Champagne, dinner, a Smooth soundtrack, a bathroom and a massage. It is designed to allows media buyers to understand the relatively-new radio brand's proposition.

Glamuzina-Gibb said the Relaxation Station continues this offering, by working “hand in hand” with the smooth suites.

But more than that, its designed to emphasise the results of its February study – dubbed “the biggest neuroscience radio research project in the world,” which was designed to prove to advertisers that its smooth format is the right mix for ad reception.

It follows the release of the latest radio ratings, which saw SmoothFM pick up the top FM spot in Sydney.

“For agencies we’re approaching it a little differently [than with consumers],” Glamuzina-Gibb said. “We went into 2015 with a really solid engagement plan for agencies knowing that we were doing the neuroscience study in February, and we wanted to find another opportunity to talk about that study.

“So the message will be tailored around that: that you engage more with advertising when you're relaxed and that SmoothFM gets a high score in relaxation.”

Glamuzina-Gibb said in addition, it showcases how SmoothFM is more than a radio brand.

“When this brand was born, the core was always meant to be a radio brand, but we also envisioned it being a lifestyle brand: whether it was the expansion into the retail space or the experiential space. I think it was a natural progression,” Glamuzia-Gibb said.

“It's all about experiencing something or feeling an emotion and that's what SmoothFM does best, so to allow people to trial that somehow and through these touchpoints is just a real no-brainer for us.

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