Chris Reed
Oct 15, 2012

Singapore radio needs sex not a kiss

Singapore has a new radio station, Kiss 92. Although aimed at 30-50 year old women I have heard it in plenty of taxis in Singapore driven by 50+ year old men.This may have more to do with the fact ...

Singapore radio needs sex not a kiss

Singapore has a new radio station, Kiss 92. Although aimed at 30-50 year old women I have heard it in plenty of taxis in Singapore driven by 50+ year old men.

This may have more to do with the fact that it actually sounds very similar to the soporific but most popular Singapore radio station, Class 95 and to a lesser extent the taxi drivers’ favourite, Gold 90.5.

Kiss 92 is promising the ubiquitous “familiar tunes and the best new music” along with “experts (to) share their knowledge both On-Air and Online on a range of topics including travel, food, relationships and family matters, shopping and entertainment, health and wellness, fashion and beauty, financial planning, and more.”

(I think that covers everything, how much more could there be? Oh politics, they missed politics.) “It will also offer listings of family-friendly and community events,” which sounds very sexy…just what your average 30 year old Singaporean girl wants, their parents on the radio!

I actually worked on marketing the cool and sexy Kiss 100 radio brand in London (as well as working on marketing seventeen other radio brands for four years in the UK) so I have some relevant experience in a larger and more competitive market.

Kiss 92 marketing is a far cry from Kiss 100’s cool and edgy dance brand that started as a pirate station before becoming the brand of choice for young trendy clubby Londoners.

Kiss 100 had a very tight 16-24 year cool, trendy and mostly black target audience. It was the brand positioning which made it sexy and cool. It was very focused and very careful about brand association and partnerships and only worked and aligned itself with brands that exactly reflected its aspirations and values.

The coolest and trendiest clubbing brands were a very important way of positioning the brand for example. They also branded specific concerts which could positive associate them with cool and sexy dance stars such as Jamiroquai.

Kiss100 also pioneered the branded album of essential hits that people could hear on specific cutting edge and brand defining shows and could buy for themselves and look cool at home or in the car. Everything they did was about branding Kiss 100 as cool and sexy to the target audience and advertisers.

Kiss 100 and other Kiss brands around the world are generally cool, trendy and cutting edge. Marketing a radio station is a real art and especially when you are appealing to a very niche audience and needs to be handled very carefully.

Any wrong association or creative which doesn’t carefully communicate the exact brand values and positioning is doing the brand a disservice. This is especially true when it is born and people are forming a brand view of the station and what values it has.

Its brand image and potential can be destroyed by mis-targeted and mass market marketing.

Kiss 92 seems too obvious in its efforts, too unsophisticated for the audience that it is trying to connect with and reach. Basically it’s not doing its marketing in a very female friendly way. Its launch marketing efforts are more throwing the kitchen sink than targeted sophisticated marketing.

Their strapline of “all the great songs in one place” could be applied to any radio station in Singapore, especially the top two, Gold and Class. So where’s the brand and product difference? Surely a strapline that talks to women directly and reflects a female’s aspiration would be better?

It’s trying to be all encompassing rather than be specific and targeted. How does this strapline only pitch to women?

They could take a leaf out of DBS’s “Women’s Card” and UOB’s “Lady’s Card” for how to position marketing at women in Singapore. Compare the imagery of their campaigns (Google search images) with those of Kiss 92 and you will see that two financial brands are clearly aimed at women and Kiss 92 is just aimless.

I think they have also made a mistake by not having an all female line up. In fact most of their DJ’s are men. They have also not controlled the web and YouTube and when you search for Kiss 92, you get Kiss 92 Toronto before Singapore!

In fact there is no Kiss92 Singapore YouTube video/channel which is a big mistake in this day and age.

Kiss 92 is the first new radio station to be launched in Singapore for many years. Well that’s aside from all the other radio stations that have been rebranded a hundred times in the last year alone in a desperate attempt to gain market share with young, affluent Singaporean audiences in their battle with less censored and more worldly on line stations.

(Try if you’re bored of Singapore radio, especially if you crave alternative and uncensored rock music which none of the stations here play).

91.3 has been rebranded as Hot sorry HOT 91.3. Without any irony HOT 91.3 will offer listeners the “hottest music, hottest artistes, hottest contests and hottest entertainment” in the hottest city and hottest country!

Chinese speaking station 100.3 has been rebranded as UFM 100.3 with a brand positioning that exclaims “UFM 100.3 is about life. Playing your favourite music, presenting the most interesting content!” I’m not sure that translates well. Do listeners really think they are listening to “content”?

SAFRA-owned radio station Power 98FM rebranded earlier this year in a way to become a more sophisticated armed forces communications tool by making it sound more like a normal radio station. Its slogan changed from “Hit Music and More” to “Hear the Difference”. Have you?

It will be interesting to see where Kiss 92 ends up in a year’s time in the radio battle of wholly government owned radio stations (one way or another….). Official listening figures say that three stations dominate half of all radio listening in Singapore, Class 95, Gold 90.5 and the top 40 focused 987.

Will Kiss 92 be the last Kiss or a lasting Kiss?


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