Radio ZU: an exciting campaign gone sinister.

John Meadows, in on of his recent podcasts, evokes schooldays, when – this was in the early 70s – he and his buddies went to a costume party at school, dressed as a biker. There was a swastika on their leather jacket, but nobody really cared: neither the teachers at school, nor the kids or their parents. It was the 70s. John  is then asking his audience if that would go unnoticed in 2008.

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As many of you already know, I was a radio person. I worked in a radio.

And my home country is Romania. Therefore I listen tons of radio over the web from Romania, and I closely follow the audio landscape there.

The most exciting news from that part of the world is the coming-of-life of a new FM station, headquartered in Bucharest, Romania’s capital.

It’s a hit radio, an addition to a tough competition. It will be called ZU FM, and its manager (don’t exactly know his job title) is a fellow radio-person that I follow for some time on his blog, Tony Tesiu.

So far so good.

Their  pre-launching campaign is a very exciting multi-media, web 2.0 event. These are smart, web-savvy people. They have a blog, they have a flexible concept behind it (who is ZU?), they are all over the place. Nice! Starting with the name, nice!

And then…

I opened their webpage this morning…and look what I saw:

John’s thoughts came to mind right away!

Let me translate the text for you:

BUZDUGAN and MORAR (the morning show hosts)



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I am positive that the guys at Radio ZU were smart enough to get a clearance from their legal dept. before posting.

But then…why did they do it?
I don’t think the visuals are funny. I didn’t laugh.

I don’t think the text is catchy. The dictatorship of feel-good would be crushing for me. I need my crappy days to rightly evaluate my happiness. I hate being happy all the time, and the dictatorship will do exactly that.

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If they are not funny (they did show this to their friends before, didn’t they??), why did they post it? For the benefit of the attention-magnet that an insult is? Cause many people will take offense.

Anyway, this curbs a bit my enthusiasm of following the birth of their new radio station. My comment on their blog didn’t even pass through their moderator. It wasn’t pro-dictatorship -)

Maybe they are not that smart.

Maybe they are not that web-savvy (no Facebook, no MySpace – tons of potential Romanian listeners are on both).

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What are your thoughts on this picture?


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To my Romanian readers: am mai scris cite ceva despre ZU aici.

I wrote about radio a-la-carte here (dealing with ill-tempered guests).

Investing in radio? My ideas here.

My podcast playlist can help you if you are a music director for your station.


Leave a Comment

  1. When I hear the word ‘dictator’ i don’t think of Hitler- I picture an Idi Amin or Robert Mugabe – or maybe Pinochet, or the Shah of Iran. But none of these bring a smile to my face. Maybe it’s just that there’s nothing funny about dictatorships, no matter who is pictured.

  2. To say the truth, they made me smiling; after all, many people took this Hitler face within the past 63 years to ironize a dictatorial behaviour and let’s remember that Chaplin was the most brilliant so that I don’t find anything wrong in that. Should we look to the past with sadness only ? They used an image that everyone asociates with dictatorship and the message is clear : with us, the only thing you must do is laughing .
    I pray for this comes true !….

  3. Dude, I’m sorry to tell you, but you are wasted.
    The picture is funny, and what they try to do now is different from before. The main idea of this radio station is to ENTERTAIN.
    If you have the impression that because the add comes from Romania, it has to be stupid or grotesque, I recall you the the young prince Harry of GB, went to a party dressed like Hitler. It was a party and he is a prince…

    Please don’t be a moralist, and yes, join the dictatorship of FEEL GOD.

    Enjoy life, or else, enjoy Pepsi…

  4. Thanks everybody for the input. My comments were directed to the campaign, not to the Radio ZU people. I wish’em good luck and lots of fun!
    Just checked their website and it’s cool! They probably get tons of traffic today and still, the navigation went smooth.
    They’ll build up on that, of course, and people need to be patient. There’ll be streaming on the web soon, and – who knows – maybe THIS will be the first Romanian radio to podcast for all of us on the web.

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