In order to challenge some of the myths surrounding how radio brands usually operate, we took Darren Maule and the rest of the East Coast Radio breakfast team on a tour of KwaZulu-Natal.
"Epic" doesn't even come close to describing the experience and the reception received! Darren, Natarah Nadesan, Gabriel Sithole and producer Gorgeous George laced up their adventure boots and headed out on 18 July 2014. Channelling their inner rockstar, the group travelled in a big, yellow, you-can't-miss-it tour bus, spreading love across eight areas in KZN, meeting old friends and making loads of new ones.
In a province-wide connect-the-dots-type trip, they rubbed shoulders with celebs in Umlazi
; got grannies to flip pancakes for them at Port Shepstone
; brewed their own beer in Nottingham Road
; got world champs, Kearsney College Choir to perform for them in Pietermaritzburg
; crowned the Ultimate Braai Master in Richards Bay
; rode with daredevil bikers and got fashion tips from the mayor in Newcastle
; learnt how to throw a spear in Eshowe
; and "chillaxed" with Durbanites in Florida Road
Regional radio isn't as small as many people think it is and the venues towns and cities by the team, unpacked audience segmentation way beyond the regular data we receive.
ECR Programming Manager, Zane Derbyshire, says, "East Coast Radio isn't just about Durban, but about all of KZN and during our warm winter months, it was the perfect time to hit the road to show the province some love! We've been absolutely overwhelmed by the warmth, love and friendship the team has received!"
Armed with a bag of cool tricks up his sleeve (and long johns
beneath his clothes), Darren wowed at every stop. From his packed out comedy evenings in Newcastle and Richards Bay to rubbing shoulders with celebs in Umlazi, Darren had locals eating out of the palm of his hand. (We won't mention how he tried to sing with a world champion choir in "Maritzburg because that's just embarrassing).
Natarah Nadesan unleashed her wild side on the tour, going for a joyride
with a leather-clad, inked biker dude in Newcastle and generously sampled Zulu rum in Eshowe .
Stunt Guy K-K-Kevin (pronounce it ala Darren Maule style) slipped into his blue Speedo for a world record attempt in Richards Bay. He also bravely (or stupidly) spent the night in the most haunted room in KZN and has the infrared footage
from Nottingham Road to prove it!
Gabriel Sithole shed his good guy image in Eshowe and learnt how to throw a spear like a pro. He also lived up to his reputation as a proudly metrosexual
, lugging around no less than 21 daily pamper products!
The East Coast Radio Breakfast Tour showcased the true convergence of radio as it was supported by an aggressive social media campaign and a carefully crafted digital strategy. However we do believe that the huge success of the tour can be attributed to the power of the overall brand association.
With the East Coast TV crew tracking their every move, listeners shared the team's adventures online, even if they couldn't be there in person to enjoy coffee and muffins with them. East Coast Radio's social media platforms were also abuzz with tour talk, with listeners begging the team to visit their home towns and others thanking them for the memorable visit.
Wrapping up the epic tour in Florida Road on 29 July 2014, Darren said: "I just can't find the words to describe the amount of love, warmth and generosity we've received in each of the places we visited. It's mind-blowing!" He wouldn't admit it, but he soaked up every bit of the rockstar treatment.View the full gallery here