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By The Drum Team | Editorial

May 8, 2012 | 2 min read

Orion Media is using a dancing hamster to launch its new Midlands station Free Radio.

Free was officially launched last month following the amalgamation of four Orion radio stations - brmb, Beacon, Mercia and Wyvern - under one new unified brand.

Along with the TV advert created by Midlands agency Connect, the £1m launch campaign also includes outdoor advertising, social media and events that will aim to draw new audiences from across the West Midlands region.

Connect worked with Hanrahan Film Productions and CGI company Framestore to bring its script to life.

Creative director Dennis Willison said: "What sets Free Radio apart from the rest is that it has retained the brand DNA of those heritage stations it replaces.

“The world of commercial radio is becoming increasingly bland and homogenised and what we set out to do was celebrate the sense of fun and character that Free stands for. The end result is a campaign that’s unashamedly up-beat and that’s hopefully going to make people feel good every time they see it.”

Orion's chief executive Phil Riley added: “I don’t think I’ve ever been involved in the creation of a TV ad which has taken quite so much time, effort and creativity – but the results are certainly worth it.

"Bang on strategy, appealing to our target audience, with a great mix of music and humour, and a real ‘water cooler’ feel to the hamster himself. I can’t wait to see the reaction from our listeners.”