Bingeing on…Radio? WNYC Makes #SmartBinge Happen

By Claire Daniel Comment

Want to be extremely knowledgeable at your next dinner party? Comedian Eugene Mirman has just the thing for you: #SmartBinge—it’s somehow both “the new black” and the driving force behind WNYC’s new hashtag-centric, digital, social and mobile advertising campaign that launched earlier this summer.

This campaign positions WNYC’s library of audio podcasts as content to be similarly consumed to the videos you would find on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu: in binges.

“#SmartBinge is like going to college for 1-10 hours,” jokes Mirman in one of three new videos making up the next chapter of the campaign, which highlights a listener’s ability to pick any show or topic for extended listening to “addictively thought-provoking and entertaining shows from WNYC” via iTunes and the Discover feature on WNYC’s app.

So far, it seems to be working. Since June, the campaign has helped the producer score a 60+% increase in mobile sessions, a 25% increase in social activity and a doubling of unique monthly visitors to (according to a press release).

According to a WNYC publicist, overall reach for WNYC’s content has exploded to places far from the station’s Big Apple homebase since the October 2013 release of its iPhone app: monthly downloads for shows like Radiolab and Freakonomics Radio average 3.5 – 5 million.

What’s more, eighty percent of this listening is from the archives of past episodes, often enjoyed marathon-style, just like much-binged TV staples such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black.

Pretty impressive. Below, a note on the strategy behind the campaign’s latest installment and the remaining two videos via Sal Cataldi of Cataldi Public Relations:

Our strategy for Eugene’s videos, phase two, is very socially targeted, prominently promoting them on all WNYC’s digital release estate, its core website, the special site and twitter handle we created for the campaign, as well as utilizing its much-followed personalities to share them on twitter. We’re also aggressively using the huge followings for WNYC and its signature shows, like RadioLab and Freakonomics, on Facebook. Our publicity outreach is broad, going for press and shares of the quirky videos on NYC centric culture and comedy websites, ad marketing and trade media and the like, also fan pages of the comedian and the shows he references in the spots like Orange is the New Black and Game of Thrones. Naturally, WNYC listeners will also be exposed to Mirman unique take on our audio bingeing Rx via the counterpart radio spots.

By branding the effort #smartbinge, we have something ideal for the world of social media, where people can share their favorite content, including these humorous viral videos by Eugene, which make playful references and a counterpoint to the publics’ seeming new favorite media addiction, bingeing on their favorite TV shows, via services like NetFlix and the on-demand services provided by cable TV operators.

Credits: The campaign was created in partnership with Cataldi (branding concept and public relations) and Eyeball (creative, social media, media strategy).