Nova Boy evolves from mascot to on air jock
Nova Boy is back this year for a brand-new ad campaign.
Not only that, he has even been given a promotion. He now has an on air role.
Weekdays between 11am-12pm Nova Boy is spinning tracks on his own show, Nova Boy’s Jamz.
And people want to know, ‘who is Nova Boy?’
Just like The Stig, Nova Boy is a faceless and nameless freelance contributor – spinning sweet pop tracks. But before that, Nova Boy has been Nova’s icon, a shimmering star that like all of us, has had to change and adapt to changing conditions.
Nova Boy’s recent adaptation is a major digital makeover to suit the modern demographic, keep a fresh look and turn up the feel good.
It’s not the first time Nova Boy has had some work done since Nova FM’s inception in 2001.
Nova Boy has had a number of new looks and facelifts, beginning with an extraordinary launch on April 1st 2001 when Merrick and Rosso walked with him into the unknown of Sydney, starting the first chapter together.
In the first broadcast from then DMG’s Nova FM, 2000’s style dance can be heard with a voice speaking about Italian born Guglielmo Marconi’s first ever wireless transmission in 1897, with a layer series of erratic sounds and dramatic promotions to entice audiophiles.
Nova was initially launched to cater for the alternative demographic of youth who were interested in the anti-pop movement of the time, very similar to Triple J.
Sounds of the day for the audience were dominating artists like Daft Punk with their 2001 release of album ‘Discovery’ boasting hits like ‘One More Time’ and ‘Harder Better Faster Stronger’ that were ushering a new wave of edgy dance.
2001 was the beginning of Merrick and Rosso’s own iconic Nova FM saga, that would be a household name in Sydney for years to come.
April 1st 2021 marked 20 years since Nova aired for the first time in Sydney.
Merrick said in a statement this year for the 20th birthday that Nova was, “one of the loosest units anybody could have ever imagined.”
The duo, Merrick and Russo cut their teeth in commercial radio at Nova, pulling stunts that were shaking up the scene and could also be described as a little unhinged.
Merrick once rode his motorbike through the office after finding a scooter in the office building.
“I was joking, but I said I was kind of annoyed that somebody could have a scooter in the building, but I can’t park my motorbike on level five,” said Merrick.
“So I went and got my Ducati from downstairs in the garage that I’d driven into work, and I put it just smugly into the elevator. And then I rode a 1000 CC Ducati through the corridors of Nova.”
“Like, actually rode a motorbike through the radio station, and opened up the doors to the studio so all the listeners could hear it. And then I just revved the bejesus out of the motor.”
Merrick and Rosso would continue on at the Nova 6am – 9am breakfast slot for years to come until they were joined by Kate Richie in 2008, before then announcing the end of their show in 2009.
Nova Boy was there.
Merrick continued on until doing away with breakfast radio for good in 2011 after 10 years with Nova.
Fitzy and Wippa then came in as the new Nova breakfast radio hosts in 2011 to replace Merrick and Scott Dooley before eventually moving to the 4pm-7pm weekday slot.
Over time Nova’s music style drifted towards more mainstream pop and the station continued to evolve and modernise its sound and image.
Joining trends and the social media movement, the Nova team even got on board with the now forgotten ‘Harlem Shake’.
Nova found long term success with Kate Ritchie, Tim Blackwell and Marty Sheargold starting in 2015 when the team won Best Networked Program at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards.
The team continued on their winning streak, taking out the ACRA award for Best On-Air Team for FM radio in a Metropolitan area in following years.
In this time the beloved Nova Boy took a back seat in promotions.
But fear not – Nova Boy has now made his triumphant return around Australia with this year’s marketing push by Nova.
Nova’s chief programming and marketing officer, Paul Jackson, told Radio Today: “We did some research on him and there was zero negative sentiment about him at all. People either loved him or liked him.”
Now with his own time slot to spin tracks, Nova Boy is also animated in the new promotional advertisements as he dances around the Nova crews – including the Kate, Tim and Joel team that continued after Marty’s departure from the team in 2020.
One thing appears certain, Nova Boy will continue to be an icon of Australian radio.