Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Crude Shock!

The crude shock of hike in petrol prices by approximately INR 8.00/- hit at 00:00 Hrs on 24th May 2012, when it came into effect. Radio, a hyper local medium with its eardrums close to the ground, picked upon this theme and made me appreciate this medium…all over again. Radio has an uncanny ability to drape and color itself with local themes and engage its listeners. So, this is how the contests looked like on 24th May 2012.


94.3FM Radio One, Bangalore (Karnataka, India)
Who Said to Whom?
If you are wondering what this contest is all about, check out my earlier post, Pappu Pass Ho Gaya.
MJ Shilpa played a clip from the film Kal Ho Na Ho in which Aman Mathur (played by Shah Rukh Khan) tells his mother (played by Reema Lagoo) that he does not want to die.
The best part comes here…the RJ says that the petrol hike has even killed our bolly stars…that’s hilarious…J, I liked how a routine contest plug in the segment was mould into the theme of petrol price hike. It was not only this contest, the overall theme of the RJ talk revolved around petrol price hike.
Maximum Lies!
MJ Shilpa told three points related to petrol prices and Bangalore (I appreciate how Bangalore as a city was woven into this contest…that’s what I call local). The first point was, the prices have been hiked by approximately INR 8.00/-; second point was, Bangalore has the highest prices for petrol in India and the third point was, before the price hike per liter cost of petrol in Bangalore was INR 82.00/-.
No prizes for getting the right answer…I did not get one L…OK hold on…the third point was a lie.
However the gratification for the two contests was not aligned to the theme of the contest. Gratification for Who Said to Whom was a couple dinner voucher (OK, I admit…its closer to fuel…after all food is fuel for homo sapiensJ) and for Maximum Lies it was beauty treatment vouchers valued at INR 7,500/- (hmm…the same value in cash would have bought at least 90 liters of petrol! and cushioned the effect of price hike…but think about it…if you look beautiful chances are you’ll be offered a ride…thus you save fuel!)
104FM Radio One, Bangalore (Karnataka, India)
Later in the day when I tuned to Fever Flashback @ 9:00 PM hosted by RJ Rubina…I could smell the petrol! One had to guess the name of the music director whose birthday was being celebrated by the station. The clue was the songs played by the station composed by this music director. Well, it was Rajesh Roshan’s Birthday on 24th May 2012. And you know what was the gratification…petrol vouchers worth…INR 1,000/-  !!!
I was late to answer, my answer text missed the target, but opportunity came again…the listeners were given a second chance, but this time it was tough…they had to call 44104104/text 9986104104 citing reason why they deserve to win the petrol voucher.
Here’s the sad part and I lived the idiom slip between the lip and the cup. I texted Rubina with the message…I own a two wheeler, therefore,  I’ll be able to squeeze the maximum value out of the voucher compared to car owners and the voucher will take care of my whole month’s fuel expenses.
Guess what…my text was selected by Rubina and I had to say the same thing on-air…but that’s when the Vodafone doggy ditched me…I was on the Bangalore Elevated Tollway Ltd (BETL) road going towards Silk Board…when the signal got lost…shock after shock! Crude shock followed by signal shock!
What happened…she picked up another winner!
But what I liked was, she called me back after sometime to console and wished better luck next time, this upped my Happiness Index (which otherwise was dipped by the hike in fuel prices)!
Given my terrestrial and language limitations (I cannot appreciate the radio content played in non-Hindi or English language and since am based in Bangalore, I do not know what radio folks are doing in say Chennai or Mumbai!), I was curious to know what other FM stations are playing on the petrol hike theme. Long live google! Here’s a brief glimpse.
92.7FM BIG FM, Mumbai (Maharashtra, India)
Listeners answer questions related to petrol, inflation and other such topics to win petrol vouchers worth Rs 927/-. Click here for a lowdown on this story.
98.3FM Radio Mirchi, Mumbai (Maharashtra, India)
Radio Mirchi gave away bicycles to lucky listeners for an easier, better and eco-friendly commute. Click here for a lowdown on this story.
So, what do I think?
On the dimensions of relevance of the theme to the contest format, gratification and user engagement/interactivity, I’ll order it as Radio Mirchi, Fever, Big and Radio One. To preempt criticism of my opinion, please understand this is what I feel and is my opinion, you are free to express yours…nothing more nothing less…have fun.
Before I conclude, lady luck has shown her benevolence once again and I’ll let you know how and where I got to watch the DLF IPL Finals on 27th May 2012.
Keep tuned!

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