gapp awards gallery banner

Not just another Mild-mannered company

Much is said about the unrivalled power of a multi-channel campaign. In the planning process it is almost inevitable that digital will attract the first, and possibly most, attention with other media such as print being used for their longevity and different demographic.


But when you are planning a campaign and there is the need to reach thousands or tens of thousands of people simultaneously what do you do? You have to consider which media offers you the ability to connect with a huge number of people in a variety of locations at exactly the same time. Location, socio-economic status, education levels and various other elements are critical factors. The result is that the medium with the greatest reach is clearly radio.


So, how do you go about getting your message onto radio? While you may not want to be bothered with the technical details, you do need to know whether your message will get through with an acceptable degree of clarity to be understood and that it will reach the desired audience.


You can select the obvious choices of the big broadcasters but there are potential hazards associated with this option. The first will be price and the second will be the level of service you will receive.


The Brand Connection is a focused company which offers a viable and consummately professional alternative. It has been involved with the broadcasting sector for many years starting out with Community Radio based product activations in rural communities across the length and breadth of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Moçambique. Working with local community radio stations and personalities it has developed not only a network of knowledgeable and skilled radio-competent people, but also the technical know-how to ensure strong and stable radio connections.


This know-how and expertise has been developed to the point where The Brand Connection is now able to offer a full Outside Broadcast service on a larger scale – extending to international broadcasts if required. The process began two years ago with the customisation of a dedicated Outside Broadcast (OB) vehicle. According to Bevan Milne, outside broadcast manager at The Brand Connection, the company had no first-hand experience in building a vehicle of this nature. However, with a clear vision of what was required, the build commenced. This culminated in a different design and layout for the vehicle compared to the industry norm. ‘Our layout is open and welcoming, there are no unnecessary wall panels and all the equipment is easily accessible,’ said Bevan


The initial build, which was completed two years ago led to bigger and better things with a second larger OB vehicle being assembled with all the latest technology, bells and whistles including self-scanning satellite dish.


Simon Milne, operations manager at The Brand Connection commented, ‘We realised very quickly that our first vehicle was better than most of the vehicles that were available in the local market. However, we also knew that we could do even better and we designed and built our second vehicle along the same lines but with even more facilities. This is possibly the most advanced OB vehicle in the country. It is a fully-fledged radio station on wheels. We have run very large events from this vehicle without any glitches.’


Bevan added, ‘We designed this vehicle to be completely self-sufficient. It has full battery back-up using deep cycle batteries in the case of a loss of power. This means that even if the power to the vehicle were to be interrupted, there would be no loss of signal, the listeners would not even be aware of the loss of power, our systems provide an instantaneous switch over. We have our own Sentech Channel – 329 and we can run all industry-standard connections such as Webstreaming, ISDN Codex, IP Codex, POTS systems, Satellite Uplink and Sentech Multicasting.’


This new, state-of-the-art vehicle has the look and feel of a radio studio with all the necessary sound proofing. It has been designed to as aesthetically appealing as it is functional with all cabling, equipment and connections neatly seated behind panels and built into desktops. Battery back-ups are built into the seats as a means of keeping them out of sight but also to protect them from rough handling or being knocked during normal operation. A total of six television screens allows for a range of video feeds. Only the very best equipment available on the market, including microphones, sound-desks and switching systems, has been installed into the OB unit ensuring that all broadcasts are of the highest quality and signal clarity.


The Brand Connection is now in the process of starting the build on a third vehicle providing a cheaper option of broadcasting yet at the same quality and connection. Simon explained, ‘There are various levels of requirement from our clients depending on their level of expertise, the size of their broadcast and what they want to achieve. Our new vehicle will give us a full offering from entry-level with equipment only through to the full service including technical staff and back-up on a large-scale OB.’


The experience gained with external community-based activations combined with the interest and passion of the staff at The Brand Connection made the move into full-service broadcasting the obvious next step. Add to this the support and cross-pollination achieved by being part of Level 1 BEE parent organisation – The Media Connection – meant that the company was ideally positioned to achieve a high-degree of success.


Simon added, ‘Our work with community-based radio forms the basis and majority of our work, but it is more than that, it is also the secret and source of our success. We help to develop these radio stations and we spend a lot of time assisting them. If they improve their systems and capabilities then they can offer their listeners and audiences better quality radio experiences. We see this as being part of our corporate social investment programme. It also offers some of our clients the opportunity to join in our CSI endeavours to improve the community radio stations and through that to help uplift some of these rural communities. Our outside broadcasting also allows us to go into new areas where we have not previously been able to go due to the limitations of power or infrastructure.’


For your next campaign remember to consider radio and its widespread appeal. It may just mean the difference between a good campaign and a great one. Then consider The Brand Connection – where innovation is the norm.

Previous Article
Next Article