Although the medium of radio is sometimes seen as having limited effectiveness and being rarely innovative, ABP’s 91.9 Friends FM station plays against that model constantly, to the benefit of both its business clients and its audience.

Although radio is typically seen as an audio-only medium, ABP realised the importance of showcasing the power of sound through sight and touch. Thus was born Khushiyon ka Rangmanch – The Theatre of Happiness, a 360 ̊ branding campaign, conceptualised and successfully executed around radio as a medium. The campaign ran during Durga Puja, the biggest festival in the city of Kolkata, when the clutter in advertising is massive. 

Out of that came the concept of doing something that helped its client, Century Ply, break out of the clutter, and in the process, stretched the limits of innovation in radio. 

Century Ply is part of an industry that is usually associated with staid, predictable advertising. The station challenged that concept by creating a never-before activity: A “selfie” contest conducted primarily on the air, supported by print, digital, and out-of-home platforms. 

But the true innovation was in the execution: a chat with the winners, broadcast live on radio, conducted 14 feet in the air in a bustling market area during September — the peak shopping season — a feat never seen before in Indian radio history. 

ABP divided the contest into two phases:

  1. The “felfie” content.

  2. The finale, Khushiyon ka Rangmanch, or Theatre of Happiness. The “felfie” name came from the on-air campaign that asked listeners to send in a selfie of them with their favourite piece of furniture: selfie + furniture = “felfie.” 

All of the more than 1,000 “felfies” were then uploaded on the Century Ply Web site. From those, 20 lucky winners got to participate in the high-in-the-sky finale – interviewed live by Friends FM while sitting 14 feet in the air in hydraulic chairs, with a giant billboard behind them.

The event took place near Simpark Mall in the new market area of Kolkata during two days at the end of September.

Not only did the event showcase the “wow factor” of radio, it created a clutter-busting advertising event for the client that ended up in the India Book of Records for a “Live Talk Show held at a height of 14 feet above the ground,” and received prominent buzz, coverage, and exposure beyond the borders of Kolkata — indeed, across India.