11 March 2016
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YFM: Engaging creative agencies and improving radio’s image as a premium medium and an advertising channel


YFM is the leading radio company in South Africa well known for its diverse marketing activities, with a focus on digital, especially mobile and social media marketing. YFM aims to harness the power of digital media and to balance this with the station’s music and on-air content in order to entertain its audience and provide its advertisers with a holistic brand service. By delivering local, relevant content, coupled with cross-platform brand integration, the broadcaster is deepening its engagement with its audience - young adults - and attracting clients.

The South African market is dominated by the state broadcaster while private stations are mostly regional. One of YFM’s main challenges is how to remain top-of-mind for clients and agencies when they decide on a media plan.


Step one was YFM’s decision to sponsor the radio category of The Loeries (creative awards similar to the Cannes Lions) for three years in a row, which delivered exposure amongst creative agencies.

Step two was to build on this exposure – YFM invited creative agencies to submit their ideas for a campaign and offered to produce the best creations and put them on air. The objective was to position YFM as a platform that allows the expression of creative ideas that are not feasible with other media. The long-term goal was of course to increase advertising revenue.

The campaign

YFM used the highly-acclaimed Loeries Migrate magazine that follows the awards to roll out a teaser for their campaign. As a sponsor YFM got to place a free ad announcing that there would be a surprise coming from YFM to be revealed via the YFM Twitter Timeline on a certain date. YFM wanted a surprise that would get the industry excited and nothing gets the agencies excited like the chance to create a campaign.

The surprise was a chance to win a campaign on YFM i.e. airtime and digital exposure and YFM’s radio and digital production facilities. Once uncovered on Twitter it generated a great buzz amongst major agencies. YFM received around 60 entries for campaigns that involved agencies’ current clients, which was one of the conditions of entry. Another important condition was that the campaign integrates in an innovative manner YFM’s various platforms including broadcast radio as well as YFM’s social media channels and activation platforms.


The campaign reached its short term goal of increasing awareness of YFM platforms and opportunities amongst advertising creatives and clients. Longer term it contributed to increased advertising revenues as many of the submitted campaigns were for new clients that YFM did not work with before.

Why does this matter to egta members

With this creative campaign YFM “killed three birds with one stone”: 1) pulled together new concepts using top creative agencies talents – for free; 2) built awareness and the image of radio as an innovative platform; 3) cultivated relationships with agencies who brought new clients to YFM. It can be a great inspiration to egta members who are looking for innovative ways of how to remain on top of mind of clients and agencies in their market.

Target: Radio
Background info

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

» Presentation of YFM from Marketing & Sales Meeting, Hamburg (please click here)
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» YFM website (please click here)

» The Loeries (please click here)

Download in PDF

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