Images from five high-profile news stories are the basis of a new mobile print campaign for WPIX being seen all over New York City. The station’s coverage of these stories is paying dividends. “I think it has a lot to do with why people are watching PIX and why our ratings are improving,” said David Hyman, WPIX’s marketing and creative services VP.
A new print campaign by Tribune’s CW affil WPIX seen on 500 buses and 50 bus shelters around New York City uses images associated with high-profile news events in the city that viewers associate with WPIX’s coverage. At least that’s the hope.
“These are stories that WPIX unearthed and maintained a very sustained interest in over a good long period of time,” said David Hyman, WPIX’s marketing and creative services VP.
“These issues really effect the WPIX news audience arguably more than other people in the market. I think these are high profile enough stories that there is an existing awareness.”
The print ads are based on WPIX’s extensive news coverage of five stories: The plight of living in city housing, immigration and the Dreamers movement, opioid abuse, the murder of New York City policemen, and the stabbing of a teenager in the Bronx.
In each ad, there seems to be a pledge of solidarity with the victims.
“It’s not news’ position to play an advocacy role,” said Hyman.
“Our hope here is that we are really reflecting what this ‘New York’s Very Own’ brand is really all about. If a byproduct of that is there is some advocacy here, I don’t know that we are really troubled by that.”
While a poster campaign on buses and bus shelters might not be your first choice for an outside media buy in your market, it fits how people move in New York City, said Hyman.
“This is the way New York travels whether you are executive class or working class. It’s the only way to get anywhere in this city. Traffic doesn’t move in this city, pedestrians are captive. Our reporters have said that they’ve heard from people they are covering that they have noticed these ads and have found them to be memorable.”
WPIX’s coverage of police funerals, including two officers who were murdered while they sat in their patrol car, really resonated with viewers.
“We understand the importance of NYPD in this city,” said Hyman. “These were very impactful moments that everybody rallied around and the Facebook response was very clear that it mattered.”
“We covered this funeral from the very first bell to the last person left at church,” said Hyman.
“There was almost three million people following us on Facebook. We had countless comments from people thanking us.”
Last year, nearly 1,500 people overdosed in New York City and WPIX’s coverage included special news programs on-air and Facebook Lives on the subject.
But even in a city used to crime, the stabbing death of 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz in a Bronx bodega stood out.
“All of New York was just very troubled for the sheer barbarism,” said Hyman.
Hyman said the station has developed a relationship with Guzman’s mother, and asked her about the use of his likeness in the mural. She told the station that she was glad they were doing it, and that maybe “this will prevent something like this from happening in the future.”
And Hyman believes all of this coverage is beginning to pay dividends.
“I think it has a lot to do with why people are watching PIX and why our ratings are improving because I think we are telling stories that matter to people. I think that each one of these ads is a representation of an area or a story or a concern that we have really had a very, very significant focus on.”
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