BASF : Broadcasting chemistry
A weekly general interest podcast reinforces brand positioning.
BASF has a graphic highlight on its home page for two Current BASF Podcasts: Chemistry of Innovations and The Chemical Reporter. Both link through via the title of their respective latest edition to a Podcasts page in News and Media from where they can be added to iTunes or the user’s podcast ‘client’, or downloaded as an MP3 file.
The Chemical Reporter is a weekly production that addresses a chemistry-related question in layman’s terms. The current topic is ‘Why is fall foliage so colourful?’; other recent ‘episodes’ listed on the page include ‘How does hair styling gel work?’ and ‘What makes a refrigerator cold?’. Broadcasts are presented by Geoff, “your chemical reporter”, with the questions ascribed to named individuals (‘Sharmila Sidgel via e-mail’ for the one on foliage). An e-mail address is provided in the podcast and on the web page for submitting questions.
BASF’s use of podcasts is in line with its general branding, reinforcing its position as a self-proclaimed innovator – podcasts are still relatively rare on corporate sites, especially outside investor relations sections. But it is also a natural development of the company’s long-running commitment to using its site to engage and educate the general public about the role of chemistry and chemicals in the everyday world. Podcasts – basically, audio files – are popular because they allow users to consume information at their convenience rather than having to tune in at a particular time or in a particular spot. And, thanks to the MP3/iPod revolution, most people already have the technology to access them.
BASF’s Chemical Reporter format uses the tricks of the trade well – snappy and engaging titles/headlines, news-length pieces (about 2.5 minutes), a conversational but authoritative voice, listener interaction – and, crucially for credibility, avoids any overt marketing messages (such as connecting topics to BASF products).http://www.corporate.basf.com/en/presse/podcast/?id=9.aAwBGbGbcp1d6
First published on 25 October, 2007