Nova revives Nova Boy for massive marketing push
The Nova Network’s iconic ‘Nova Boy’ character is back, fronting a multimedia campaign from Sunday.
Nova Boy was central to the station’s launch 20 years ago, but hasn’t been used since 2015, when he appeared in some outdoor advertising for the network.
Nova’s Sydney station turned 20 this month, however chief programming and marketing officer, Paul Jackson, told Radio Today the milestone and the character’s revival were simply a coincidence.
Instead, he said, the motivation of bringing him back to life was around capitalising on Nova’s point of difference in the market.
“So, the discussions in the last 12 months about our marketing going forward – I’m sure it’s like this in many companies in radio and way beyond – is there’s a lot of similar messaging out there, there’s a lot of similar advertising out there…. We just felt like ‘What’s the twist we can put on it? How can we get more of a reaction from people? How do you just cut through the clutter effectively? And what else can we do that’s different?,'” Jackson said.
Simply bringing him back in his previous form, however, wasn’t sufficient.
“We’ve talked extensively and looked at and tried different things with how we would present Nova Boy, and just bringing him back the way he was previously didn’t feel like it was special enough or clever enough.
“So we had the idea of ‘What would it be like animated?’ So we went down that road. It’s a long journey, lots of evolution to get the look and the feel of the character absolutely right. There’s so many working parts to that, and then making the actual commercial itself.
“So, it was something we wanted to do for a while, and this is the point where we were ready to launch it and to do it.”
Nova anticipates it will get a “huge, emotive reaction from the audience”, with Jackson noting the immense brand love and loyalty associated with the character.
“We did some research on him and there was zero negative sentiment about him at all. People either loved him or liked him,” Jackson explained.
Even for those newer or younger listeners, who may not recall (or have even been alive) during Nova Boy’s seminal years, Jackson believes there will be affection and talkability around the character.
“We’ve always got to ask ourselves ‘What do we want our listeners to think, to feel, and to want when they hear the name ‘Nova’, when the see the Nova Boy character?’… In a perfect world you just want to have that chemical reaction in someone’s brain, when they see Nova Boy – sparks go off, it makes them feel good, effectively, it kind of lifts the spirit, you get a buzz from it as well. It’s warm, it’s friendly, it’s engaging. And we’ve worked hard over the years for Nova to be very trusted and authentic and a real brand, and… Nova’s all about good times and making your day brighter,” he says of his hopes for audience responses to the campaign.
The Sydney TVC (post continues below video)
“The concept [is] that everyone’s got a Nova Boy following them around all day making them feel better. That’s why we came in with ‘Turn up the feel good’… brand positioning message around Christmas time. We ran it through the first part of this year, just to bed that in coming into this ad now.”
The campaign kicks off from Sunday across TV, BVOD (broadcast video on demand), online video, cinema and out-of-home, with different executions for each market and program.
This rollout, however, is just the beginning of Nova Boy’s revival, Jackson said.
“It’s just fantastic for us to actually be able to leverage this character, and because he’s 3D and animated, there’s so much we can do with it,” he told Radio Today.
“This is just the beginning, launching this ad with him and this outdoor marketing. There’s so many places and things we can do with him, with integration with clients and across our radio stations as well. So, the very first thought we had was just getting to this point today and where we can then evolve with it going forward.”
The campaign was created by NOVA Entertainment and Red Engine, with Carat acting as the media agency. It is backed by Joel Corry’s smash hit ‘Head & Heart’.
The Melbourne TVC