In a new 60-second marketing and advertising message, WLWT Cincinnati takes its pitch directly to local businesses about the power of advertising on local TV, bringing the process from the board room to the living room and using the persuasive power of television to sell television.
The process of selling advertising solutions on TV stations to businesses both local and national is one that’s usually done behind the scenes.
A new video produced by WLWT, Hearst’s NBC affiliate in Cincinnati (DMA 36) is taking that pitch front and center to viewers by sharing it on air in its news and programming, bringing the process from the board room to the living room and using the persuasive power of television to sell television.
In the 60-second marketing and advertising message, WLWT takes its pitch directly to local businesses about the power of advertising on local TV.
“Local broadcasters have not really stepped up and taken advantage of the resources that they have to demonstrate to local businesses just how much of a reach we have and just how powerful the medium that local broadcasters can have,” says Branden Frantz, WLWT’s GM.
He says the station wanted to use the same platform, television, which it uses to market its news to viewers.
“Why wouldn’t we use the same platform to demonstrate how effective we can be to local businesses in and around our community?”
The “promercial,” as Pete Salkowski, WLWT’s creative services director, calls it, is not a whole lot different than what the station’s sales team does every day, finding solutions to influence an advertiser’s business, but it’s packaged in a tightly edited, easily understood, 60-second video.
“We haven’t taken advantage of our reach to the level that we should,” Frantz says.
The video debuted on-air a few weeks ago in the Monday night NFL game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers, Salkowski says, and it’s had significant air-time since.
“To devote 60 seconds of important inventory to that in an NFL game is pretty good,” Salkowski says, and it speaks to the level of support the video and its agenda is getting from the station.
Frantz says he and the station’s sales manager, Julie Gossard, reached out to Salkowski’s creative services team, and “they came up with some very creative and effective messaging to clearly demonstrate the mass reach and the strength of WLWT, encouraging local business to connect with us so we can assign an account executive to demonstrate exactly what might make sense to influence their business in a positive way.”
Salkowski says the style and tone just “feels right for what we do promotionally and it feels right for Cincinnati and it feels right for our WLWT brand.”
Part of the goal of the video was to dispel the notion that TV stations just sell air-time on TV.
“Very rarely do we just sell standalone TV campaigns anymore,” Frantz says.
“We have linear platforms, but also all of our digital assets, OTT advertising. Whether it is native advertising, whether it is traditional display video advertising, there is a tremendous amount of reach and very specific targeted reach that is at our fingertips to be able to help advertisers with,” he says. “Being able to bolster and lift up the fact that we offer all of these different things is the one advantage that we can make sure we message in things like this.”
Part of the message lists the performance of WLWT’s top-rated newscasts, “a chance to celebrate the strength of the station,” Frantz says, a point which can’t hurt the recruitment of more news viewers.
“We look in terms of how many people we reach in a morning newscast throughout the week, and you look at these tens of thousands of people that every single day tune in to watch morning news, that is an incredible opportunity for any business in this community to reach out to their customers and influence them through a message,” he says.
Although the campaign is still new, it has generated some calls and inquiries. “As the spot runs more frequently, the call volume has picked up,” Frantz says.
He says the idea and execution was shared just last week with Jordan Wertlieb, Hearst Television’s president.
“There is no doubt that it can easily be replicated at all Hearst stations,” Frantz notes.
Salkowski says Hearst has 32 stations across the country, and while every market is different, “it works really well here, and it is going to work well in a lot of other markets.”
Target Your Competitors’ Viewers Watching Your Station
What if you knew and could target the exact times where your competitors’ news viewers were watching your station?
Michael Stewart, who has been a creative services director for stations in Kansas City and San Diego, says you can use a tool most stations have at their disposal but is sadly underutilized.
Look for that story coming later this week.
KCCI-TV, the Hearst-owned CBS affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa (DMA 68) has an opening for a full-time Maintenance Technician. The person in this role maintains the station’s equipment and systems from acquisition to distribution. This position provides technical and IT support for all station efforts. Click here for more specifics.