NewsNation, Nexstar Media’s nascent cable network, is set to launch a new promotional campaign across the country in September. “What you hear and see in this campaign is very much a decidedly different tone of voice,” says Jonathan Killian, NewsNation’s VP of creative marketing and brand communication.
NewsNation, Nexstar Media’s cable network reaching 75 million U.S. television households, is set to launch a new branding and advertising campaign across the country in September.
“The News for All America” campaign is a mix of promos, some featuring NewsNation on-air news anchors on camera, and others offering viewer testimonials.
“What you hear and see in this campaign is very much a decided different tone of voice,” says Jonathan Killian, NewsNation’s VP of creative marketing and brand communication.
“You hear it from our anchors, you hear it from real NewsNation viewers in unscripted fashion.”
The campaign was done in collaboration with advertising agency Leo Burnett in Chicago. Killian says the working relationship with Leo Burnett predates his arrival at NewsNation in 2021.
In order to help NewsNation create this new brand promise and identity, the team at Leo Burnett embedded themselves at NewsNation in Chicago.
The process began with the team at Leo Burnett “getting to know us and interviewing many of our executives and staff because to develop a close working relationship, they had to know our values and that really set the stage,” Killian says.
“You can’t manufacturer it,” Killian says. “It has got to be organic. It has to live and breathe and be believed by the people who are living it every day.”
The next step was research to survey the competitive landscape to see if there was an opening among NewsNation’s competitors in the national cable news arena, Killian says.
Who are NewsNation’s competitors?
In one spot, a viewer from Georgia mentions two of those 600-pound gorillas on the dial. “I’ve tried CNN, I’ve tried Fox,” until she finally found NewsNation, the viewer says.
That kind of message, “really required a different tone of voice,” Killian says.
The goals Killian set for the campaign was that “everything we do has to feel true and authentic. I think that comes through loud and clear.”
When one watches the campaign, the message is viewers want common sense news for common sense people. They want the facts and be left to decide for themselves.
“We want the independent minded viewer to know about us,” Killian says. “Most of our competitors aren’t speaking to that audience.”
In one promo, Adrienne Bankert, a NewsNation anchor and correspondent, and former national correspondent for ABC News, says NewsNation is “show and tell, not pitch and sell.”
The show and tell can be drawn from the 5,500 journalists already on the ground at the 199 television stations Nexstar owns or operates in 116 markets serving more 68% of all U.S. television households.
“We’re not just parachuting in,” says reporter Rudabeh Shahbazi, who anchors NewsNation on the weekends.
Speaking of weekends, one of the strengths of “The News for All America” campaign is its consistency of message. There are no mentions about the anchors, particular programs or time periods, which is very much by design, Killian says.
“We need to tackle broad awareness first,” Killian says.
Killian believes that the combination of viewers’ testimonials describing what they see and what the talent say about NewsNation’s values makes for “an appealing invitation.”
Early reports from research among conservatives, moderates and liberals come back “incredibly positive amongst all groups,” she says. “This is just the beginning.”
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