Sponsored Entertainment Meet Traditional Radio

I’ve been advocating branded use of internet radio for years. My argument goes something like this: Why buy media on radio when you can own the entire station?
Snapple is bringing this concept to traditional radio. The beverage brand is sponsoring five and half weeks of programming at WFNX FM in Boston, (the station’s two affiliates in Maine and New Hampshire are also in on the deal).
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According to the New York Times:

The sponsorship, which is costing Snapple more than $2 million, will enable the three stations that compose the WFNX Radio Network to eliminate all conventional commercials from the Memorial Day weekend through the Fourth of July.
In place of traditional spots, D.J.’s will acknowledge Snapple on the air for its sponsorship of what is being called the “Summer Free for All.” Among the citations that listeners may hear is a declaration that WFNX is the station “playing the best stuff on earth,” a nod to the longtime Snapple slogan. There will be sound effects mixed in with the D.J. patter, like the “whoosh” a Snapple cap makes when it is twisted off a bottle.

Jay Coleman, president at EMCI in New York is behind the deal. He described it as “something I’ve been looking to pull off for a very long time.” His inspiration was a New York radio station, WAPP-FM, which introduced a format change by going commercial-free for the summer of 1982.
24 years is a long time for a concept to mature. Way to persevere Jay Coleman.

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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.