Tonight at 11 on KXTV, Tegna’s ABC affiliate in Sacramento, Calif., a half-hour documentary will air instead of the usual late news.
Afghanistan, Who Is Winning? features KXTV reporter, Michael Anthony Adams embedded with a team from California’s Travis Air Force Base.
“He spent a couple weeks on the front lines,” said Drew Fowler, KXTV’s marketing director, “talking to military personnel, and getting an assessment of where the war is right now. I think it is produced and captured in a way that is unique to local news.”
Before you watch this first spot, you need some history.
Its roots go all the way back to the 1980s when a concept promo called Home Movies was created for WPVI, ABC’s Philadelphia O&O.
The idea is that a family visits the Philadelphia area and shoots some home movies of their trip. Then they’re at home watching the movies when they notice that everywhere they went, a news van managed to work its way into the shot.
“It’s a great example of a simple, single idea that’s well-executed,” said Mike Davis, the man who originated the spot.
Wildfires have swept through Northern California consuming over 200,000 acres, killing at least 41 people, destroying more than 5,000 homes and businesses and displacing around 90,000 people.
So Hearst’s KCRA and KQCA, Sacramento’s NBC and MyNetwork TV affiliates, respectively, partnered with the Gold Country Region Chapter of the American Red Cross to hold a disaster relief drive on Monday, Oct. 16.
More than $900,000 was raised to help victims.
Both stations did live cut-ins throughout the day and had coverage during newscasts asking for donations.
“After seeing the devastating pictures and hearing the tragic stories of loss, Northern Californians showed their generosity by helping us raise more than $900,000 to help those affected by the fires,” said Elliott Troshinsky, KCRA-KQCA’s general manager.
“As our viewers watch these tragic images, they want to know how they can help,” said Lori Waldon, KCRA’s news director. “Our telethon provided an important way for our viewers to help in a direct and meaningful way.”
“We were a little concerned coming into a second telethon in six weeks – after raising $750,000 for the hurricanes, would KCRA viewers be ready and willing to support this new and dire need? They responded with a resounding YES!,” said Gary Strong, American Red Cross Gold Country Region CEO.
The annual PromaxBDA Station Summit in Las Vegas was last month and the winners of the local awards–gold, silver and bronze–were announced and shown.
I’ve been posting the award winning spots in a number of categories and today we’ll see the funniest.
If your station won an award and you’d like to share the spot along with some commentary about the marketing strategy, production, challenges, or any results that it might have achieved, just drop me a line.
But first, I wondered what some in the industry might be saying about the promo.
Here are a couple of comments about it on Don Smith’s blog, IDoPromoz.
The problem with spots like this is that they don’t feel even remotely like the product.
You actually feel like you’re being sold BS instead of heightened reality.
It’s attention-getting and different, but the key point of familiarity in it is only recognizable to a demographic that likely doesn’t watch or even respect local news.
To which someone responded:
Wow. Tough crowd. You want to get attention? Mission accomplished.
Energetic? Check. Makes me like the talent? Sure.
Makes me curious about the morning show? Absolutely.
Incredible JIB shot too.
Drew Fowler, marketing director at Tegna’s Sacramento affil KXTV, sent me this morning promo and I had to share it.
Even though I haven’t seen La La Land, I know this is a take-off from the film’s opening.
It’s one continuous shot, I believe. I watched it several times and if there is an edit, I think I know where it is.
Fowler said this will air in the Academy Awards on Sunday night, “and will run in local movie theaters and on social.”
“It’s part of a relaunch of our morning show, trying to find a position that’s unique in the market (and in the industry). A hybrid of really good solid news, with some fun.”
The music is from Killer Tracks, but, and this is amazing, ”the voices are the anchors’!”
“We did about a month of prepro, including having a friend of the station choreograph the number for the dance, and getting kids from a local parkour gym involved. Production was all done in-house, with in-house equipment.”
I smell awards all over this spot, very well done. Memorable. Gutsy, Effective. Not the same old blah-blah.
NOTE: At deadline, I talked to Drew who said the featured dancers are the station’s talent. I promise to have more information about all this on Monday.)
Five stations from five different broadcast companies doing five different promos for the same, identical news story.
They get 48 hours and must use the material they have in house.
What did they come up with? Which one worked best? Now, you can decide.
Welcome to the Battle of the Promo Superstars, one of the first sessions of its kind at this year’s PromaxBDA Station Summit at The Mirage in Las Vegas.
Moderated by David Baumann, a former station CSD in Detroit, Seattle and Minneapolis, and now marketing and creative director for Stephen Arnold Music, Battle of the Promo Superstars lined up creative services departments from Tegna, Scripps, Tribune, Hearst and Sinclair stations in a fun and creative competition to see what kind of creative approach they would each take to the same news story.
We’ve all seen stories like this, some call them TSRs, Targeted Special Reports, special stories from news during sweeps.
Then the folks in creative services create the promos that hopefully, increase viewership.
Here’s the story they all used. It’s from WCVB, the Hearst ABC affiliate in Boston.
And in each case, the stations came up with a 30-second promo, a :15, an ID and a Facebook promo.
When there’s a shift in news viewership at a TV station, that’s news. A station that was second in the ratings in late news last November is now the top choice among viewers. Why is that? What actions did the station take in news content and marketing that might explain the shift?
Or in some cases, news ratings in a particular market don’t really change from one ratings period to another. One station seems to dominate the marketplace and is the clear choice for news regardless of the newscast or time period.
We profile these stations and markets to see if there is anything other stations can take away that might help them improve their news ratings.
We ask the managers to comment and we show examples of news marketing and sometimes news content.
KCRA, the Hearst-owned NBC affiliate in Sacramento, Calif., remains the dominant news station in household ratings, taking the top slot in every newscast.
So I asked Lori Waldon, KCRA’s news director, why she thinks viewers are choosing to watch KCRA’s news?
Have you ever stood on a busy street corner and pushed a button that’s supposed to stop traffic so you can cross? Only nothing happens.
Now imagine you’re standing at the entrance to a hospital emergency room and you frantically press a button that says, “if you need emergency room assistance, press here,” and nothing happens because emergency personnel can’t hear it.
On Oct. 29, the first day of the November ratings period, KCRA, the Hearst-owned NBC affiliate in Sacramento, Calif., aired an investigation into such an incident at a Sacramento veterans’ hospital.
One of the results of this investigation is some nurses there will have to undergo “sensitivity training.”
A local veteran who thought he was having a stroke went to the VA’s emergency room. It wasn't until AFTER the vet's wife continuously pounded on the door that someone responded to their call for help. Watch the FULL story at http://bit.ly/1ScQH9P.