When TV stations are trying to persuade viewers to watch a certain newscast, a campaign featuring five promos can be very powerful. Check out this campaign from KIRO in Seattle.
KIRO, Cox Media’s CBS affiliate in Seattle, launched a new morning news campaign of five spots that really checks all the boxes to make it successful.
The first check is that it’s a true campaign. The effectiveness of five promos outweighs just one or two when you’re trying to convince viewers to watch your morning news — or any newscast for that matter.
Brandon Bidwell, a KIRO senior creative services producer, says he wasn’t really thinking about individual spots for each talent at first, just one overarching team spot.
Then in a brainstorming session, the idea came up to expand to a promo for each morning show talent.
“We wanted to highlight the expertise each morning team member brings in helping people start their day,” says Alicia Collins, a promotions producer at KIRO who co-produced the campaign with Bidwell.
First. One of the challenges when creating a campaign is to have consistent elements in each spot that tie them all together into one unified campaign, so that each promo builds upon the others.
For Bidwell and Collins, that started with the voice. Who should be the announcer?
“We knew we wanted something different” Collins says. “A voice that was less polished, not an anchor-type voice.”
While they conducted an extensive search, “Brandon had me do a scratch track so we could lay things out,” Collins says.
“She gave it to me and I was like, Alicia, this is really good,” Bidwell says. “This actually works perfectly.”
A unique voice tying each spot in the campaign together, check.
Second. A campaign should have an attitude, a look, a feel that unites all the spots together.
That could start with the copy. Is it serious and dramatic? Or friendly and casual?
In the KIRO morning campaign, the tone of the spots is evident when talking about who watches the morning news.
They’re the daily-drivers, the fact-finders, the need-to-knowers, the can’t-waiters, the rain-dodgers, the can’t-miss-outers, to name a few. The copy in the campaign is casual, hip and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
And it’s reinforced by words on the screen.
“We wanted the font to be a part of the environment of the video when possible,” Bidwell says. “So, we tried to fit it into the scene when we could.”
Punchy copy tied together with font, another check.
Third. All the spots have a consistent look, a visual style whether it’s the talent on camera or the b-roll.
Bidwell says the promos have a mixture of video they shot themselves along with some stock footage.
“Alicia and I both just grabbed a camera to take home at night and we would shoot things that represented morning routines through people that we knew,” Bidwell says.
Collins says they wanted viewers to be able to relate to the morning routines.
“We just wanted it to feel authentic and to show people how we fit into their busy day,” Collins says. “It could be busy and we could still give them the information they need.”
The visual imagery included shots of people watching the morning news on their phones, and in unusual places, like the bathroom.
“It was a conscious choice to show the process of getting ready in the morning, and that KIRO’s morning news is available wherever you are and you can access it no matter what part of your routine you are in,” Bidwell says.
Authentic visual images to maintain a consistent look, another check.
Fourth. Music is another way to tie a campaign together, and in some cases, a campaign can be unified by using the same music bed.
Bidwell says they thought it was important to have a different music bed for each promo in the campaign “so that each one feels unique in its own way. We are showcasing each of our different morning team members, so the idea was each spot is sort of its own character, its own personality.”
The music cuts were chosen from First Com, the station’s production music catalogue.
The campaign began airing on KIRO at the end of November, and Collins says the reaction from the morning team talent has been positive.
“They loved it,” Collins says. “Overall the talent feel like the campaign is very upbeat, authentic and just kind of fun. We have gotten a lot of compliments on the voiceover, though.”