Astral rebrands Toronto’s E-Z Rock to Boom

The rebranded Toronto radio station kicks off outreach campaign to introduce new format with tonight's American Idol.

If radio listeners missed the rebranding of Toronto’s 97.3 E-Z Rock into the Boom over the Christmas holidays, they won’t be in the dark for long.

With TV spots, handled by Toronto’s PHD, set to flood tonight’s season premiere of American Idol, Astral Media is embarking on a two-month multimedia campaign aimed at 25- to 54-year-olds in order to heighten awareness of the station’s Dec. 26 transition into a classic hits format.

‘We’re supporting the multimedia campaign with over $1 million in investment,’ Sherry O’Neil, vice president and general manager, Astral Radio, Toronto tells MiC. ‘Our TV ads will play on CBC, CP24, and big on CTV and the A-Channel.’

There will also be an out-of-home element to the campaign, with ads placed in transit shelters throughout the GTA and ‘a lot of elevator advertising in office towers that speaks to listening at work,’ O’Neil adds.

Despite an on-air and website contest that invites listeners to win a Punta Cana vacation for themselves and 19 of their friends, and a presence on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, O’Neil says Astral is sticking to traditional outlets for the moment to spread the word about Boom, promoted by the catchphrase ‘Toronto’s Greatest Hits.’

‘Right now we’re going for reach, and then we’ll migrate to social media once we build awareness of the brand,’ says Astral’s O’Neil.

O’Neil said Boom is pursuing a number of advertising and sponsorship opportunities with prospective clients, and says more are available.

‘For example, we do ‘Shoesday,’ which is a partnership that we have with a shoe company [retailer Walking on a Cloud] where we give away a ton of money in shoes every Tuesday,’ O’Neil explains. ‘We also have sponsorships of various shows as well such as Studio 97 and KJ’s Drive Home. And we’re welcoming opportunities.’

Boom’s target demographic has not changed from E-Z Rock’s women 35 to 49 audience.

According to BBM December ratings recorded before the switch, E-Z Rock averaged a daily cume of 702,000 listeners and averaged a 6.5 overall ratings share in the Toronto market.