Local TV news back in the day used to frequently advertise in the local newspaper. Here are some random print ads that I found interesting. If you’ve got a print ad example from your TV station, or any other for that matter, from yesterday or today you’d like to share, send them to me.
But back in the day, it was, as marketers like to say, “fishing where the fish are.”
People who subscribed and read print newspapers were obviously news consumers, so it made sense to advertise there.
And in the early days of local TV news, recruiting a newspaper news consumer to being a local TV news consumer made sense, especially before they might form any allegiances to any other stations.
Some TV stations do spend outside media dollars today to advertise on local digital news media websites, perhaps even the printed newspaper, either as image or as tune-in.
I thought it might be fun and interesting to share some vintage print advertising examples from local TV stations around the country.
Speaking of tune-in, here are a couple.
Check out this ad from WWL, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans. No exact tune-in time, but the image is attention-getting.
Not sure why this guy has such a smug look on his face. Or the sunglasses. Maybe he took the aging test and found out he’s going to be around quite a while.
This ad from WNWO, Toledo’s NBC, is eye-catching. But especially if you read the top line first.
Here’s a more recent ad I designed with a talented artist/vendor. Since we were going to be doing quite a few print ads, I wanted a design that had depth and said “TV.” Plus, we changed the background setting frequently to a horse stall, outside porch and other locations to keep it fresh.
Here’s a quaint ad from 1963 from KQTV, the ABC affiliate in the 201st market, St. Joseph, Mo.
Not many local TV news ads promote their product as funny. But maybe a better title might have been “Good News,” as I think that’s what the copy suggests for this 1970 ad from WWJ in Detroit.
I don’t know what year this ad appeared for KTVU, the Fox affiliate in San Francisco, but at the time, perhaps a woman as a news anchor was a new phenomenon.
Some anchors get out from behind the desk to report. If your anchor team does this on a somewhat regular basis, and no other anchor team does, that’s a marketing angle that differentiates your news. While it’s difficult to imagine an anchor team in New York City doing it, that’s a copy point in this ad from WABC.
I really like the concept behind this ad from WTTG, the Fox affiliate in Washington, from 1969, although it lacks impact visually.
I go to many TV station websites in search of contact info and rarely is the general manager, news director, executive news executives, newscast producers, news photographers, etc. listed. News anchors, weather anchors and reporters get pictures, bios, and often contact info, but the people behind the news are invisible.
I realize people come and go, and listing contact info for some might mean added phone calls and emails, but if I owned the station, this would be listed and easy to find. If this ad were done today, there’d be pictures and contact info.
Got a print ad from your TV station, or any other for that matter, from yesterday or today you’d like to share? Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.