26 February 2016
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Turning off the lights helps Italy’s Rai win big with advertisers

This week’s egtabite is all about the connection between great content and increased advertising revenues ... and, of course, how radio can make the world a better place!

Rai Radio 2, the Italian public broadcaster’s station specialised in talk programming and popular music, is home of the long running show Caterpillar. This show, powered by its charismatic presenter Filippo Solibello, has developed a distinctive voice around sustainability and environmental issues, making it a very attractive platform for major brands. The station, supported by its sales house Rai Pubblicità, attracts significant additional advertising revenues each year through two highly successful initiatives.

M'illumino di meno: simple idea, big impact

Caterpillar started in 1997 as an afternoon show, which has since been expanded with the addition of a morning programme. Rai Radio 2 aims to tackle important social issues in an interesting and entertaining way, finding new opportunities to engage its audience and promote change in attitudes and behaviours.

This philosophy led to the awareness campaign M'illumino di meno, which can be interpreted loosely as “turn off the lights”. The show’s producers needed a single, simple call to action that would have a big impact: by simultaneously turning off their lights, people could directly reduce overall energy consumption for a short period of time – on a massive scale. The idea was quickly supported by a growing number of institutions in Italy and abroad, with locations such as Rome’s Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower and many others being plunged into darkness each year.

The 2016 edition, which promoted the use of bicycles had big support amongst the public. As part of the event, Caterpillar proposed the bike for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize! The hashtag #milluminodimeno was a trending topic on Twitter for the day, ranking among the top three most Tweeted.

Commenting on the initiative Filippo Solibello from Radio2 RAI told egta “2016 was a great edition for M'illumino di Meno. The project also had a special focus on sustainable mobility, with more and more of the listeners joining our viral activity and promoting the content of the campaign almost everywhere. Now I think the time has come to join our forces together with European radios and create an international campaign on these issues, to cross the borders and demonstrate the power of radio all over the continent.”

A second major event, called CaterRaduno, brings the whole Caterpillar community – listeners, radio hosts, artists, musicians and advertisers – together in a seaside town for a week of games, events, music, live radio shows and charity.

Huge appeal for advertisers

By building an engaged community around great content, Rai Radio 2 has created the perfect environment for advertisers that want to communicate around environmental issues.

The most recent edition, on 19 February 2016, saw 57 advertisers buy commercials during the Caterpillar morning and afternoon shows in the two weeks leading up to M’illumino di meno: this was seven more than last year. The energy giant Eni was the initiative’s main sponsor for the eleventh year in a row, supporting Caterpillar’s campaign against climate change. For the first time, radio commercials were connected with online advertising to create a synergy.

Toyota made a major presence at the 2015 CaterRaduno, showcasing its Auris Hybrid car with radio billboards, spots, product placement and radio promotions. The host Filippo Solibello travelled to the event in a Toyota Auris - the official car of CaterRaduno - broadcasting live to listeners on Periscope .

The bottom line

These two events boost Caterpillar’s advertising revenues by +13% in the preceding weeks, compared to the average across the rest of the year. The initiative engages a huge audience, with support from major Italian and international associations and institutions, generating massive coverage across TV, press, radio, online and social media.

Why this matters for egta members

Radio can offer advertisers much more than just the 30” spot. Caterpillar’s M'illumino di meno and CaterRaduno demonstrate how great ideas turned into compelling content around an engaged community can build audience loyalty and increased advertising revenues.

You can see Filippo’s presentation at egta’s Radio Marketing & Sales Meeting on egta’s new online platform.

Target: Radio
Background info

Please click on the links below to access the relevant documents:

» Rai Pubblicità website (please click here)

» M'illumino di meno (please click here)

» Rai's presentation from Marketing & Sales meeting in Hamburg (please click here)
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