Dayton Public Radio (WDPR) is Dayton’s only all-classical music radio station. The station is member-supported with very little support from National Public Radio. There was a need to expand membership and listeners to gain market share.
The board of directors wanted to appeal to a younger demographic—those listeners who traditionally do not listen to classical music. They wanted to make classical music approachable. We were asked to develop the brand and expand their influence in the Miami Valley region.
We developed a display board, newspaper, and street banner campaign presenting what was to become known as the “Classic Al” campaign. We presented display boards with the words—“Dayton’s Only Classical Rock Station”.
The “al” of classical and the word “Rock” was painted over in graffiti fashion with a spray can. A conductor stood in the lower right corner actively spraying over the word “Rock”. The resulting image said “Dayton’s Only Classical Station”.
The solution was bold and fun. To our surprise, the board consented to the campaign even though they didn’t like it. We launched the campaign and WDPR members began calling the station telling them how much they enjoyed the new campaign. An independent media audit confirmed a 45% gain in listeners and membership grew substantially.
The “Classic Al” campaign was entered in national competition with other public-owned radio stations and won the top honor as “best marketing campaign in public radio.”
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