Nova Entertainment reintroduces Nova Boy to ‘Turn Up The Feel Good’

Nova Entertainment’s much-loved mascot Nova Boy is back, with the network reviving the character for a new national advertising campaign launching on 18 April.

The campaign TVC sees an animated version of Nova Boy appear in studios alongside Nova’s flagship breakfast and drive show talent, as well as alongside commuters and other listeners tuning into Nova throughout their day.

Nova’s group programme director, Paul Jackson told Mumbrella the new campaign was about simplifying the brand proposition for Nova.

“What’s really important with Nova is that it’s a simple brand and audiences understand what they’re going to get from it. We appreciate people have choices, people will listen to things beyond radio stations.

“But when they want to spend time with music and radio, we’ve got a clear proposition that we’re going to be there for when they want to ‘Turn Up The Feel Good’.”

Since Nova phased out Nova Boy from its marketing material, audiences might have wondered what happened to the mascot. Jackson said removing the loveable character was intentional, and when it came to how to revive him, it was important to do it right.

“We felt initially, it could be a bit special. There are so many things you can do with a character, and places we can go with it. It’s new but it’s got that nostalgia as well.

“It’s been something we’ve discussed for quite a while, I think all the way back during a brand review in 2014. The reason he came off the marketing collaterals was the association with a younger demographic than we were aiming for.

“We were looking to evolve into the kind of the mass-market product that was straight down the middle of family entertainment for everyone.”

Nova 93.9 Nathan, Nat & Shaun 2021 OOH

The animation was done with Seven Network’s production company Red Engine, using 3D technology.

Jackson explained there was never an open pitch process, and that Red Engine was the only partner Nova wanted to work with on reviving Nova Boy.

“We already had a good working relationship with Red Engine, so they were the only competition that we needed to have. From the initial work, it was clear we were all singing from the same hymn sheet.”

Red Engine business manager James Falzon said they “jumped” at the chance to work with Nova and help bring Nova Boy into the modern day.

“The market leading team of 3D and VFX artists at Red Engine were able to deliver a highly technical creative, while our director harnessed the heart and soul of the iconic brand.”

Jackson added that the network never felt there was an issue with Nova Boy as a character. “He’s been around with the Cassanovas and at activations, and has lived on in our markets in some form or another.

“It wasn’t until we hit upon the idea of trying to animate it and bring it into the world we are in right now. We didn’t just wanted to bring the same Nova Boy back in and slap him on some posters. We have wait to try and get something that we think is very special that will get genuine reaction from people.

“And that’s really the end of the day, what you want for your marketing, what we want people to think and feel something when they see the brand, when they see the name Nova, and the Nova boy character.”

His return around the 20th birthday of Nova wasn’t planned. That was just a happy coincidence. 

“People just see him and they associate him with good times and fun. It makes them feel good. They like the idea of him being happy, smiling, dancing…  and that’s why we went with ‘Turn Up The Feel Good’ brand position.”

The TVC is rolling out across all five metro markets, and Jackson revealed the breakfast and drive hosts that appear weren’t scripted at all.

“It was just about putting them in the studio and letting things happen. We had some great bits we can’t use because they were too long. We’ve done two 15-second versions as well where the talent isn’t in it, just Nova Boy.

“Transit will play a big part in our outdoor, so there’s different creative for that. We’ve also gone into gyms, shopping malls, and train stations where we can actually have Nova Boy on a loop, that stuff looks really cool.”

The ‘Turn Up The Feel Good’ campaign will launch on 18 April, and is set to run nationally across TV, BVOD, online video, cinema and various out-of-home platforms.


Creative: NOVA Entertainment & Red Engine
Creative and Production Company: Red Engine
Media agency: Carat
Soundtrack: Head & Heart – Joel Corry feat MNEK
Record label: NEON Records / UMA


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