Posted in Radio

CHOM changes its logo, launches new ad campaign focused on music

Comparison of CHOM logos. On the left, the one in use since 2010. On the right, the new one just unveiled.

Comparison of CHOM logos. On the left, the one in use since 2010. On the right, the new one just unveiled.

CHOM is undergoing a moderate transformation, which includes an updated logo, replacing the one it’s used since 2010, and a new website.

The new logo keeps the badge outline, but replaces the grey and orange design that went overkill on the gradients with a simpler black-and-white one that’s literally rougher around the edges.

But the formula isn’t being toyed with. CHOM remains “the spirit of rock” and the music will sound the same.

“We thought the logo was a bit dated even though it’s not that old,” program director André Lallier told me on Friday. “The timing was good also, because over the past two years, the music has evolved. We’re playing a lot of newer stuff.”

The new logo, and the ad campaign that goes with it, are the work of ad agency Bleublancrouge, whose clients include The Gazette. (It did their Words Matter campaign in 2006.)

Lallier said it was the agency that approached them about three months ago asking if they could pitch an idea. “They said we’ll work on something and present something to you in three to six weeks.” After giving the agency a full briefing on how CHOM sees itself and what it’s looking for, Bleublancrouge returned with this campaign, which is focused on CHOM’s music: a mix of classic rock and new rock.

One of the ads designed for the new CHOM campaign.

One of the ads designed for the new CHOM campaign.

Lallier said they loved the idea. “It’s so tied in to what we’re doing,” he said, so they have decided to go through with the campaign, which is called “We’re in it for life.”

“It’s not a huge campaign with a lot of weight, but we’ll be everywhere,” said Chloé Boissonnault, senior director of communications and marketing for Bell Media.

It features a video ad, an audio ad, print ads and outdoor ads, including this design that I’m sure the agency is going to submit to as many ad awards organizations as it can:

An outdoor ad shows "Stairway to Heaven" or "Highway to Hell" depending on viewing angle.

An outdoor ad shows “Stairway to Heaven” or “Highway to Hell” depending on viewing angle.

The 15-second video ad says “We dare you not to hear Mick Jagger,” then shows the lyrics to Satisfaction karaoke-style, with no audio.

A 30-second radio ad implores tired parents to call the “CHOM hotline” at 1-854-0575-2854-0575-485-4057-5958-5957-5057, and then plays someone dialling that number to reveal the opening notes to Guns N’ Roses’ Sweet Child O Mine. (In reality, it would sound more like this.)

Other examples I was sent include a poster at the airport (using Astral Out-of-Home advertising, of course) with the names of songs that evoke warmer places than here: Cheap Sunglasses, Tequila Sunrise, Blister in the Sun. Or a print ad that draws a timeline from “Born to run” through “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to “When I’m 64″ and finally “Stairway to Heaven”.

I like that the campaign is focused on music, and treats the audience as if it knows music. But the campaign is based on familiarity with classic hits, and so misses the boat on two big things that CHOM says it’s about: new rock music and a focus on local artists. There’s no local focus in this campaign, and I don’t see too many songs from this millennium mentioned.

CHOM’s campaign, which begins today, will run until Dec. 31, but will probably come back in the spring “for another phase of the campaign,” Boissonnault said.

CJAD had its latest brand refresh last year, and so it’s not expected to make a big change in the short term. NRJ, Rouge FM and Virgin Radio are national brands. The first two, which have a network of stations in Quebec, undergo these ad campaigns every year. Boissonnault said work is being done in Toronto on a Virgin Radio brand refresh, expected to come in January or February.

UPDATE: CHOM has more from the campaign on its website.

12 thoughts on “CHOM changes its logo, launches new ad campaign focused on music

  1. Dilbert

    Since the orange and silver logo was a fairly ugly piece to start with, any refresh that gets rid of it is a good thing.

    Black and white is typical “try to be cool” look, not so bad, but more than a little corporate generic.

    Reply
  2. Michael Black

    I thought the old logo was trying to emulate the Harley Davidson logo,
    though looking at it now, I’m not sure why I thought that. It’s not like I
    can remember when I last saw the logo.

    But then, I’ve pretty much stopped listening to music on the radio.
    I could never get WIZN reliably, but at times I could. Once their
    frequency was grabbed by a local station music on the radio was
    gone. Even VPR ended its weeknight jazz programming, instead
    of 2 or 3 hours of jazz each weeknight, there’s a couple of hours
    on Friday night.

    But I was in grade 6 with the son of Geoff Stirling.

    Michael

    Reply
  3. Trey Droll

    Watch Mad Men to see how the ad agencies work. The logo change makes little difference though the ad campaign is ingenious. English words on Billboards all over the city. Anglo’s should only write in public using song titles. There must be law against that…

    Reply
  4. Media Man

    Well I didn’t have any problem with the old silver and orange badge..no emergency need to change..As for the local artist and new music angle that you allude to,,,good point.

    it’s like they want to keep that as a secret, although CHOM does a good job of playing the Montreal names, Sam Roberts, Simple Plan, Jonas, and now Half Moon Run is starting to make some noise.. CHOM does a better job of local stuff than does Virgin..although I know for a fact from some PR friends of mine, they’had some opportunity to add some local names to the playlist..I won’t name the artists. but it’s good stuff, and better than some American pablum and even other Canadian stuff…

    So CHOM be proud to promote that fact…Maybe Steve, you can ask the Bell people of that omission.. Speaking of Bell and corporate radio, again, this is what I’m afraid of. How much local input was this and how much interference from the suits in Toronto..

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      How much local input was this and how much interference from the suits in Toronto..

      It’s a local ad agency and a local radio station. I’m not saying there wasn’t involvement from Bell people in Toronto, but I have no idea what they would have done.

      Reply
  5. Dilbert

    Oh, add this little note, that by keeping the logo exactly the same shape and proportions, they also made the rebranding cheap by requiring only basic sign face changes and not requiring new sign boxes or background designs. It’s slap it on and go sort of marketing.

    I agree Trey Droll (nice name), the change of logo is almost irrelevant, compared to the effects of widespread advertising.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Oh, add this little note, that by keeping the logo exactly the same shape and proportions, they also made the rebranding cheap by requiring only basic sign face changes and not requiring new sign boxes or background designs. It’s slap it on and go sort of marketing.

      I don’t think maintaining a logo’s shape saves such a significant amount of money. The number of logo signs that have a mount in the shape of the logo itself could probably be counted on one hand. Replacing everything from advertising to stationery to promotional clothing is probably going to be more expensive than a sign or two, regardless of shape.

      Reply
  6. ATSC

    CHOM-FM has improved recently. And I really enjoy the Picard show on Saturday evening. Caught part of it several times while in the car. Nice to hear a Interpol song followed by Joy Division. I almost felt as though I was listening to the old WBTZ-FM.

    Reply
    1. Media Man

      What’s this, Brandon got sacked, what happened, I’m curious about the ” deserve another chance” comment. So now I know why I haven’t heard him in a bit.

      Anybody replace him yet? This is getting interesting.!

      Reply

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