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Hit FM launches Michael Jackson Challenge contest
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Delhi based radio station Hit FM has launched an new contest, called the Michael Jackson This Is It Challenge, which asks its listeners to come on-air and sing Michael Jackson's (popularly known as MJ) records. Hit has roped in Idea Cellular as the sponsor for the challenge.

Neetu Puri Mathrani, programming head, Hit FM, says, "Hit FM has always given Delhi and our partners a unique blend of programming. We are happy to partner with Idea to present The Michael Jackson This Is It Challenge, another unique music show for our listeners."

Neetu adds, "Our offerings, such as 'Idea presents The Ultimate Santana Challenge', 'Live Earth' and 'Live & Loud' have been very successful in the past. We hope to witness similar fervour for our latest initiative."

The first phase of the challenge is being executed on-air, and is open for everybody with a reasonably good voice. The participants are required to call up a number, which puts them through to an IVRS (Interactive Voice Response System), and record a 30-second extract from any MJ song. Then, a team comprising the Hit FM staff selects deserving entries, which are put on-air for the listeners to judge through a system of SMS voting.

Atul Chaturvedi, chief operating officer, Delhi, Idea Cellular, says, "Music is a universal tool to connect with people across all divides. It's evergreen, contemporary and youthful; thus providing us with a good medium to connect with our target audience, which is the youth. Additionally, it also gives our value-added services portfolio a good lift."

Both Hit FM and Idea are doing their bit to generate buzz around the challenge. The radio station is bringing out teasers prior to the launch, along with RJ mentions, trivia capsules, shock jocks and tune-ins throughout the on-air auditions. Idea is promoting the initiative through out-of-home, word of mouth and SMS broadcasting, thus building up traffic for the radio station.

A total of five entries will be finalised after the first round - three from the on-air auditions route and two through 'Jump the Queue', a privilege that Idea has provided to its users. Idea users can simply call up a short code and record their 30-second song.

The chosen two participants will get to jump the first round of on-air auditions and be a part of the final five, who will perform in front of a live audience at the Sports Bar in Gurgaon on June 28. A panel of judges would then choose the final two winners. The winners will sing their way to the Michael Jackson Concert in London in July 2009 on an all-expense paid trip.

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