Fifi Box says Melbourne shake up ‘reinvigorated’ interest in radio

the fox campaign fifi box fev and nick

Plus: How Brekky in the Burbs became Melbourne’s Biggest Party.

With all eyes on the Melbourne radio market for tomorrow’s survey three results, Fifi Box tells Mediaweek “it’s never been more exciting” to be on air.

“It’s so exciting to have radio talked about – it’s the most it’s been talked about in a long time,” Box says.

It’s really reinvigorated the conversation and people’s interest in radio. We just hope that interest remains, and people keep having this conversation.”

The biggest radio news of the year has been the expansion of ARN’s Kyle & Jackie O into the southern city. The duo’s marketing efforts have centred on Sydney and Melbourne not being that different; in response, rival SCA has branded Fifi, Fev, and Nick’s show proudly local: “Brekky in the Burbs’ has been the perfect way to further connect with their audiences on the ground. The team is Melbourne through and through.”

When asked if there is a world in which Fifi, Fev, and Nick expands into Sydney, Box says the team “love[s] being a local breakfast show, we believe in that and the power of that.

“I’ve been doing radio for 25 years, I’ve done national drive shows, I’ve done a Sydney Breakfast Show, I’m now doing a Melbourne Breakfast Show. I can tell the differences in shifts and the nuances between the cities. But who knows where radio is heading and what the future holds.”

Besides, the show already has listeners from Sydney – and beyond. 

“We do have listeners all over the country. I was in Fiji on holiday recently and I had two guys come up to me that said ‘we listen to you every morning from the Gold Coast’ – with streaming and the LiSTNR app, you can access people anywhere.”

Fox 101.9 - Fifi Box, Brendan Fevola and Nick Cody Melbourne radio

Fifi Box, Brendan Fevola and Nick Cody: SCA’s local Fox Melbourne breakfast

‘The little train that could’: Brekky in the Burbs becomes Melbourne’s Biggest Party

The show’s Brekky in the Burbs sees the team pack up each Friday and head to a different location around the city. It began in 2022 as a way to celebrate lockdowns ending, and has become a staple of the show ever since.

“When it was just an idea, we thought at the time, that takes a lot. Staff have to organise that and then you’ve got to hope people come along – it really is the little train that could,” said Box.

The project started with 100-odd attendees, a number which has grown to see Brekky in the Burbs turn into “festivals every Friday” attracting people from across the city.

“We were at Epping with The Wiggles, and we had people from Frankston – they’ve literally crossed the city to be there. So they’re really fun and really reaffirming.”

Brekky in the Burbs was the inspiration for the latest campaign for the show, ‘Melbourne’s Biggest Party’, with Box explaining that the goal was to replicate the party vibes of each Friday in a commercial.  

“It was a really, really fun shoot, we love that ad. It really captures not just The Fifi, Fev, and Nick Breakfast Show, but also The Fox. We said to our listeners, ‘If you want to be in a commercial come along’ – so when you see the thousands of people descending upon our big party, it’s all our listeners.”

Bouncing back: ‘People need that connection’

The local connection has always been important to the show, but the ups and downs of the last few years have highlighted that. 

“We had a really tough time through COVID, the listenership of every radio show in Melbourne dropped when people weren’t on the roads. Prior to that, we’d been number one for 22 books in a row, and then suddenly, we had this shock where COVID wiped the city and we had no one listening. But the core that were still listening were people who needed the connection, they needed to feel like we were in this together. 

“That was almost a rebirth for us. Suddenly you realise it’s not enough to just watch shows on Netflix and download podcasts, people need to feel that connection.”

As for what remains in 2024, Box says the rest of the year is just as packed. 

“We’ve got so many exciting things that we’re chomping at the bit to get stuck into. More Brekky in the Burbs, bigger parties, and some exciting content on the air. Lots of reasons for Melburnians to be excited.”

Top Image: Nick Code, Fifi Box, and Brendan Fevola on the set of the ‘Melbourne’s Biggest Party’ shoot

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