Radio spots promote Cape Argus coverage of Olympian’s murder trial

By Devin Kennedy

When South African Paralympic champion and Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius was charged with his girlfriend’s murder in February 2013, the people of South Africa were stunned. They were fascinated by the case, wanting to know what was going to happen to their hero.

The four-day bail application for Pistorius was a lengthy court drama, and the trial dragged on at length as investigators debated the details of the case. Despite their interest in the case, not everyone could sit and watch it unfold on television or the Internet. 

To keep people updated on the trial, Cape Argus printed a detailed summary of the most important information about the Pistorius case in both the morning and afternoon editions of its newspaper.

While that helped satiate people’s need for the news, it was important to let people know that this was a reliable place to find this information.

Therefore, Cape Argus’ initiative of producing and placing a radio spot was to communicate the print publication had a morning and afternoon edition where interested readers could get all the most important news as the Pistorius story unfolded.

These were not publications specifically printed up for the trial story; rather, the detailed information was including in the two editions that were already published by the newspaper every day. The radio announcement ran a couple times a day for two months on a few different Cape Town radio stations.

Using radio as a medium, we showed how tedious and lengthy it can be for a big story to unfold and how the best stories unfold bit by bit by bit.

The messaging of our radio spot was that those interested in the Pistorius case should read Cape Argus, which comes out twice daily, in order to receive the most thorough, current, and important updates from throughout the day.

Our target audience for the radio spot was all the residents of Cape Town who were following the case. It was a tactical radio spot with the messaging that Cape Argus had a morning and afternoon edition where interested listeners could get all the most important news as the story unfolded.

The main challenge in the radio spot was simply dealing with the sensitive topic at hand.

About Devin Kennedy

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