WWL, Gannett’s CBS affiliate in New Orleans, is uniquely qualified to sustain a 25-year non-traditional sales campaign called Louisiana Made, Louisiana Proud that has generated millions of dollars for the station.
It’s a legacy station, enjoying news ratings dominance in every time period over decades and through generations. WWL has won many major awards for excellent news coverage. Its on-air talent is well-known and liked, having been at the station for years. The station has a deep history of being involved in the community.
And last, but certainly not least, WWL has a powerful bond with its viewers, thanks in part to its station music image campaign, The Spirit of Louisiana.
Louisiana Made, Louisiana Proud started as a way to encourage local business development when the city was in the middle of the oil and gas crisis in the late 1980s.
One of the hallmarks of the campaign is how closely the production of the spots resemble the station’s image marketing, from the 60-second length, the sweeping photography and dissolves, to the use of WWL’s station announcer.
“We’re connecting WWL’s brand with that organization,” said Tod Smith, WWL’s general manager, “it’s almost an endorsement.”
According to the stations sales literature, Louisiana Made, Louisiana Proud is a series of corporate image oriented vignettes designed to highlight local companies, products, and services.”
Smith puts it more succinctly: “Local businesses tell their story.”
“These aren’t retail ads,” says Kell Remkis, marketing and production manager for WWL. “No yelling, no special sales come-ons, just an image spot that tells the story about the business.”
First American Bank, a neighborhood bank with 24 branches in the New Orleans area, has been part of the Louisiana Made, Louisiana Proud campaign for 16 years.
“People comment on the spots because they like the feel good message,” said Rosie Delaune, the bank’s marketing director.
“We love the image that the spots portray. And it’s really increased awareness about the bank.”
Remkis says the station stays away from certain categories like alcohol and attorneys and that any company that wants to be part of the campaign must be a good citizen of the state.
The Louisiana Made Louisiana Proud campaign has had more than 450 different versions produced in its 25-year history.
“It really resonates with viewers,” said Remkis.