Hamish & Andy’s Caravan of Courage goes digital!

The Hamish & Andy juggernaut continues to expand across all forms of media ahead of the pair’s fourth instalment of their incredibly popular Caravan of Courage adventures. This time the Today Network’s drive hosts will tackle Great Britain and Ireland for two weeks.

Austereo’s Today Network in the build up to the adventure have introduced a digital-only radio station which provides highlights of the boys’ three previous Caravan of Courage adventures. That is the inaugural trip from Perth to Brisbane in 2007, Who dares Dar-wins in 2008 and last year’s journey across America, Yes We Van .

The strategy by Austereo to utilise one of its digital-only stations follows on from the successful use of its digital-only station during P!NK’s and Lady Gaga’s recent Australian tours. During both tours the digital-only station became P!NK Radio and Radio GAGA offering consumers exclusive P!NK or Lady Gaga content.

The Caravan of Courage digital-only station appears to be part of a wider strategy by Austereo’s Today Network to leverage the boys brand across a multitude of platforms in order to drive more listeners to the program. This strategy will also provide advertisers with greater opportunity to reach consumers and therefore continue to drive Austereo’s bottom line north.

Apart from the digital-only radio station and the boys beaming back their national drive show throughout the Today Network and 35 other stations across Australia, the Caravan of Courage will have a significant online presence.

According to Austereo’s press release, last year’s American Caravan of Courage was the biggest and most successful online activity in Australian radio history. There were 6.9 million page impressions at www.hamishandandy.com.au. This was made up of over 500,000 views of videos. Their smart phone app also saw streams jump to over 1 million per week during last year’s Caravan of Courage. No doubt Austereo plans to build on last year’s success in the coming weeks.

The Caravan of Courage will also utilise social media (Facebook and Twitter) to convey their stories. The final element to Austereo’s integrated offering to consumers and advertisers will be a one hour Hamish & Andy Caravan of Courage Special on Network Ten in mid-June. The boys recently signed with Network Ten for a number of specials. Last year’s Caravan of Courage America Special on Ten saw 1.31 viewers tune in and saw it rank #1 in advertiser friendly demographics of 16-39 and 25-54.

Since Hamish & Andy took over the national syndicated drive slot on Today Network stations in 2006 they have dominated the ratings. According to Nielsen’s Radio Ratings Survey 3, the Hamish & Andy show was the #1 drive show in the 5-Capital City Metro Market. In their hometown of Melbourne, the boys rated 21.3 points some 11.3 points over their nearest competitor, 3AW’s Derryn Hinch.

The average audience for their daily drive show is 2.7 million listeners. Not to mention that the show is also broadcast into New Zealand and Dubai. The boys have also broadcast specials on BBC’s Radio 6. According to an Austereo press release the show is heard on a total of 67 radio stations. The show online is just as successful. The boys have an average of 800,000 podcasts downloaded each week.

The announcement by Austereo of the digital-only station for the Caravan of Courage and an expansive integrated digital media offering demonstrates that distribution among a multitude of platforms is critical in today’s radio environment. This announcement provides Hamish & Andy fans to access the show on a variety of levels and therefore provides advertisers the opportunity to grab consumers at every opportunity. Austereo clearly know their target demographic and their strategy to ensure maximum participation among that demographic should see the continued rise in popularity of the pair without without over exposing Austereo’s #1 radio program.

The Caravan of Courage: Great Britain and Ireland strategy will no doubt be a success for Austereo’s Today Network. The most exciting aspect of this announcement is the preparedness of Austereo to utilise new technology and provide a reason for consumers to buy digital radios and therefore give advertisers a reason to advertise on the new stations.

Hamish & Andy’s nationally syndicated Today Network radio show from Great Britain & Ireland will be broadcast for two weeks starting Monday 31 May until Friday 11 June.



Mediaweek Magazine (Issue 961)

Herald Sun


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