KTNV in Las Vegas collaborated with Stephen Arnold Music to create a custom music image campaign with a message of hope and inclusiveness for post-pandemic audiences.
In May, KTNV, Scripps ABC affiliate in Las Vegas, launched a custom music image campaign created by Stephen Arnold Music.
Larry Watzman, KTNV’s marketing and creative services director, says the station had a new strategic plan as it was coming out of the effects of the COVID pandemic, based on research and listening to people in the community.
The station found that what people want is positivity, “above all a community connection giving people hope, giving people help, giving people happiness and being a part of that community,” Watzman says. “We wanted to make sure that we are the station to differentiate ourselves.”
So Watzman turned to Stephen Arnold Music to create a custom music package that could convey the station’s message, because “music is always the most powerful piece,” he says.
Chad Cook, the VP of creative services for Stephen Arnold Music, says Las Vegas was hit hard by the effects of the COVID pandemic because the lifeblood of the city is tourism, and that was all shut down.
“Coming out of COVID, KTNV wanted to give a message of hope, inclusiveness, [that] we’ve gotten through the worst of it and things are looking good. And the station wanted goosebumps and get that emotional cord struck,” he says.
Watzman says he wanted the campaign to be about the community.
“This is part of what differentiates us from the pack,” he says. “This is what we stand for.”
So how does that process work, turning a message of hope and inclusiveness into music?
Cook says they start by listening to songs.
“Anything and everything that inspired unity and coming together and gave you goosebumps,” he says.
From ad campaigns to popular songs, Cook says, “it’s about discovering a vibe, a feel, a quality you like. Is it the tempo, or the cord structure? You just explore songs and how they make you feel. You start dissecting.”
Cook says the station wanted the music to sound “as if an artist was writing a love song to the city of Vegas and the people that live there.”
After going through ideas, lyrics and cord changes, they came up with a rough cut to play for Watzman and Jenny Dolph, KTNV’s promotion manager, Cook says.
“Just the song on guitar sung into an iPhone.
“They knew from the get-go,” Cook says. “They fell in love with the verse, the chorus and the melody.”
For Watzman and Dolph, the next step was capturing the visuals that would go with the song, a challenge during COVID.
Watzman found a way to tell people that the production crew was going to be outside in certain areas at certain times, so people would be safe.
“We wanted real people to show diversity, so it was a massive organizational undertaking,” Watzman says.
Dolph says the Home is Las Vegas campaign is about making people feel inspired. “It’s our way of telling people, you’re not alone and the future is bright,” she says.
Watzman says what people want from local news has changed over the past year. “They want to feel a sense of community,” he says. “They want a positive message.”
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