KMSP in Minneapolis revived and freshened a 20-year-old music image campaign done for its morning news, which features the longest-running morning team in the market.
KMSP/Fox 9, the Fox O&O in Minneapolis, has the longest-running morning team in the market. Alix Kendall has been on Fox9 Morning News for 24 years. Tom Butler has been anchoring for 18 years. Meteorologist Keith Marler has 20 years experience and Kelly O’Connell, who grew up in the area, has been on KMSP’s morning news for eight years.
In local TV news time, that’s an eternity.
KMSP’s morning news from 6-9 has been the No. 1 newscast in the market with adults 25-54 since the spring of 2014, says Burke Daneman, KMSP’s creative services VP.
“I think a lot of that is because we have the long-standing consistent team,” Daneman says.
The station wanted to bring back a music image campaign, “Wake Up with Fox 9,” that began over 20 years ago and became a fan favorite.
“We would be in all these events like the state fair, and people would just start singing the jingle to us and they would be like hey it’s ‘Wake Up with Fox 9,’” Daneman says.
Over the years, there have been about five different versions recorded because the station owned the rights to the jingle.
Even a local school’s glee club did a music video version.
But the most iconic and remembered version appeared on air in 2007 sung by the popular vocal quartet The Blenders, Daneman says.
When KMSP wanted to bring out a new campaign of the song to air during the Super Bowl in mid-February, they approached Megatrax, a production and custom music company, to evolve and reimagine the song.
“Randy Hart, Megatrax’s creative director, put together a team of artists to keep the original sound in place while evolving the song, including adding female vocals, which I think is really a nice addition,” Daneman says.
With the new music in hand, KMSP felt it was important to lean into nostalgia and give a nod to the original in the video.
“So, with the same primary team, along with new familiar faces, we found ourselves back on the light rail some 16 years later,” Daneman says. “The spot even starts with some of the original footage in the beginning and then transitions to the current time.”
Daneman says the morning news personalities — Alix Kendall, Keith Marler, Tom Butler and Kelly O’Connell — have unique and fun personalities on air, which helps promotionally.
“Because they have been around for a long time, there is some brand equity with the personalities, which helps,” he says.
After the launch of the new “Wake Up with Fox 9” promo on Super Bowl Sunday, the station followed it up with airings on cable, OTT, YouTube, radio, billboards, e-blast, digital and social media including TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.
In addition, KMSP went on the road with their morning and evening news personalities for six weeks after the Super Bowl, visiting different coffee shops around the Twin Cities metro and giving away free coffee.
“Community engagement has been a big focus for us this past year,” Daneman says. “Last summer, we did a similar thing where we re-branded an ice cream truck and went around to give out free ice cream.”
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