Tag Archives: capital

95-106 Capital FM. Really??!


When I first saw this logo, I thought it was someone with Photoshop having a clever satirical swipe. Turns out, it’s real!

I do LOVE Capital, they’re fun, musically savvy, very authoritative and reliable when it comes to pop and pop culture, they love their listeners and have lots of fun with them, and it shows.

Apart from a few weird years when they thought they needed to be “fashion forward” r’n'b lite, they have always been the very model of a modern, metropolitan, big, kickass, pop station, the kind which is envied and copied around the world.

The winning strategy, as rediscovered by the under-credited Scott Muller and since affirmed on steroids by Paul Jackson is very simple – play the big current hits, have fun, and totally, 100%, make listeners identify you as the sound of London. Capital. London. The clue is in the title. So simple, you probably don’t even think about it. Capital = London = Capital = London = Capital.

Adding the “95.8″ back into the name probably didn’t hurt either. It was dropped in the wilderness years, but came back to remind people “we’re back, like we were!” and – very handily when trying to get lots of people to flick an FM dial or search back to you – 95.8 was where they could find you. Good to know.

So now Capital goes national (-ish, in lots of regions and cities currently covered by Galaxy anyway). And it’s going to be fun to watch how it all goes down. Hit music? Tick! Good presenters and fun? Tick! (Assuming they keep the best guys from Galaxy to do local stuff, and there are lots of good Galaxy people to choose from – my old colleagues Sally Hudson and Ben Glover among them…) So what could possibly go wrong?

Well, if Capital = London = Capital = London, the further you go out from London, the more the brand is likely to stink. Good luck in Scotland! Capital already considered this stuff when it chose to do “Beat” as a brand instead, which then became XFM Scotland (which took great pains to be as Scottish as possible), then Galaxy Scotland (growing a decent audience), so now… Capital Scotland. From London. Really?? Ditto in Wales, perhaps worse as heritage brand Red Dragon has to go to make way for Capital Wales, live from Leicester Square. REALLY??!

Where else is London going to be Capital of? How about the North of England!

OK – this might not be an unsolvable problem for a talented team, but talk about giving yourself a big challenge. Not for the first time, either. What happened when Capital rebranded its AM stations across the country as Capital Gold? They didn’t become any more popular.

As for the “95-106″ bit – who is that for? What’s the message? “We’re really big!!”, I’m guessing. It’s an in joke, surely. How is it helpful to the listener in any way? IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE TAKING THE P*** – and I would be careful about doing that in Scotland, Wales, Yorkshire, Manchester and the midlands when you declare London to be their Capital.