Two Strangers and a Wedding: A BRMB promotion

(This article is adapted from a revision of  an internal summary document composed by Mike Owen Media for BRMB in April 1999.)

 

The plot

  • Listeners to BRMB, Birmingham’s number one radio station, were invited to participate in this BRMB event  in which two single people would be chosen to become man and wife without having met until the moment of the marriage.

The process

  • BRMB launched Two Strangers and a Wedding on air over the Christmas period and held interviews at the Hyatt Hotel in Birmingham in the New Year.
  • From that group 12 were chosen to go forward then the final eight were interviewed on the breakfast show
  • On the weekend before the marriage, on the Monday, the two to be married were chosen and taken to separate secret locations.

The wedding

  • This became the ultimate media event. Every national newspaper, news agency and television company in the UK attended the press conference after the wedding.
  • The wedding itself was held away from the media spotlight but stills and limited movie footage was made available to the national media.

The coverage

  • Arrangements had been made with our major media partners for exclusive coverage – locally with Central TV, with the News Of the World for weekend coverage and Cosmopolitan for the magazine story.
  • Nonetheless the wedding hit almost all of the front pages of the national and international press including the front of USA Today. Inside pages featured more photographs of the wedding and the couple. Coverage was on all UK radio and television.
  • Subsequent to the honeymoon – the relationship has been featured in a number of glossy magazines including OK magazine.

Numbers

  • By the day following the wedding there had been at least 100 million opportunities to view, read and hear about the couple.
  • This figure has at least doubled after the announcement of the separation of the couple again featuring on all major news bulletins in the UK and in all the press.

Documentaries

  • The process was filmed from the beginning of the selection process. As a result two major ITV documentaries were broadcast in March and April gaining a share of audience of over 30% – in excess of eight million viewers per programme.

On Going Coverage

  • The Couple continue to remain at the centre of media interest. NBC’s ‘Extra’ has just filmed an item for their flagship magazine show which reaches 10 million viewers in the USA. Company magazine and a variety of UK TV shows wish to feature the couple. Top UK hairdresser Trevor Sorbie has requested a session with Carla to style her hair!

Presentation

  • BRMB’s Elliot Webb was the presenter for the event and the on air link throughout. His professionalism provided the perfect focus at the major press conferences and in his work in his programme with the couple. He featured on all major TV networks and live on Sky TV.

Conclusion

  • This has been one of the most widely covered radio stories since Orson Welles let loose aliens in his radio show – the War of The Worlds in the Thirties.
  • The media and business partners involved have been astonished and delighted with their part in the event.
  • BRMB stands in its own right as a brand to be recognised for the event.
  • The Logo has been seen on all media.
  • Awareness of the station and its partners stand at an all time high.
  • Locally the station has been at the centre of the most talked about story in the history of radio in the city.
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