A new dawn for smoothfm with biggest brand refresh since launch

Former Publisher
Robbie Williams

NOVA Entertainment’s smoothfm really is the Benjamin Button of radio. While most stations are pursuing an older demographic, smooth is travelling in reverse.

On Sunday, the brand will undergo its biggest “refresh” since launching in 2012. The brown will be replaced by royal blue and Michael Bublé by Robbie Williams.

The changes signal a new dawn for a brand first entered the market chasing 50-year-olds, and now, seven years on, has a new and younger bullseye in their sights.

Talking to Radio Today, chief marketing and programming officer, Paul Jackson, says the refreshed look and feel talks mostly to 40-year-old women – and men driving taxis.

“If you had to target that one person, it’s a female, she’s 38 and has kids and a busy life. There’s also a lot of tradies listening, a lot of men listening and a lot of male taxi drivers.”

New face Williams – who fronts a new multi-platform marketing campaign across TV, digital, OOH, cinema and socials – perfectly positions the station’s bespoke music format.

“As smoothfm has evolved over the years, I guess we’ve gone from an easy relaxing position to a feel-good position now,” Jackson tells Radio Today. “And we’ve evolved that slowly, and I think Robbie Williams fits perfectly.”

After internal meetings six months ago, the marketing team debated the future of Bublé as the station’s face and ultimately decided on Williams with a broader appeal.

“Genuinely the only person we came up with was Robbie Williams. We all got excited at that, and very quickly we got a ‘yes’ back and the wheels were in motion. It all came together in about eight weeks,” recalls Jackson.

The creative features Williams enjoying the feel-good sounds of smoothfm, set to three iconic smoothfm tracks: ‘September’ by Earth, Wind & Fire, ‘Get Out of my Dreams’ by Billy Ocean and the crooner’s own hit ‘Feel’.

Jackson, whose role was extended to include marketing after the departure of Tony Thomas, hired British director Vaughan Arnell to create the television campaign.

A regular collaborator on music videos for Williams, Arnell has also directed commercials for Emirates, BBC, Nestlé and Levi’s.

30-second TVC

15-second TVC: ‘Shower’

15-second TVC: ‘Golf’

15-second TVC: ‘Kitchen’

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Nice Spot
14 Feb 2020 - 11:09 am

Great ads, but is it just me or does Robbie fart during the golf spot?

I think it’s supposed to be the sound of the ball going in the hole, but since we see it and he also shakes his butt, it kind of looks like a fart.

14 Feb 2020 - 11:24 am

Tough act to follow after the Buble launch ad and it’s not in the same league but it’s ok

Robbie doesn’t feel like the right fit

Andy Maher
14 Feb 2020 - 12:09 pm

“New face Williams” seems like an apt description..!

Robbie’s Manager
14 Feb 2020 - 12:17 pm

A director of video clips for Robbie has managed to fit 3 video clips for Robbie in 30 seconds. Sponsored by smooth.

Robbie should be very happy

14 Feb 2020 - 12:50 pm

Why fix a format that isn’t broken?

14 Feb 2020 - 12:51 pm

Guys. No one watches TV ads anymore

14 Feb 2020 - 1:16 pm

Hope the music doesn’t change too much.
Don’t mess with a successful format.

14 Feb 2020 - 2:52 pm

Oh, so glad it’s being re-vamped! It was so broken……they just keep playing the same stuff over and over again. Let’s hope there’s a bit more variety with the new format. Pleeeaaasssseeeeeeeee!

Graham Locke
14 Feb 2020 - 9:02 pm

VERY disappointing to hear !!….so I take it you don’t give a hoot about older listeners ??….they’re dispensable I take it???

Buddy R
15 Feb 2020 - 10:38 am

The ad is completely let down by that terrible VO at the end. What was that??

17 Feb 2020 - 11:34 am

They should re brand to ‘ Yawn ‘

17 Feb 2020 - 1:10 pm

Robbie got 500,000 plus tour support and airplay. Good deal.

17 Feb 2020 - 10:04 pm

I hope they’re still to revamp the website, as it looks horrible at the moment – if their logo was any smaller it would be invisible.


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