VJ Spokesperson

Posted: July 8, 2012 in Local Host Samples, Video Samples
Tags: ,

In Albuquerque, we had a MyNetworkTV affiliate called My50-TV.  Half of the line-up was either 2nd run/off-network programming (Reno 911, Family Guy, King of Queens, etc).  The other half was conflict talk (Springer, Maury, etc) or Court Shows.  Nothing local about this station.  I wanted to create a local spokesperson for the station to host the lineup.

It’s not exactly a new idea.  But the concept I had in mind Tool Time Girlcame from 2 places.  The first was Tampa.  There was a local TV station there, back when Home Improvement was the hot show in syndication, that held auditions for a local Tool Time Girl.  She would be in parades and do local appearances (a local face for the station).

MTV VJ The second place was MTV.  If you remember the early days of MTV (back when they played music), you remember the VJs.  You probably still remember their names.  I wanted to recreate the VJ at the local level.  But instead of seeing the VJs pop up inbetween music videos, you would see them during the commercial breaks of TV shows.

I was also picturing it kind of like a TV version of what radio does.  A local radio station, plays non-local music, but they make the station local by their commentary in between the songs.  You probably know the personalities from some of your local stations right?  These “DJs” give local updates (news, weather traffic) on the radio, but in a fun way.  Why couldn’t that be recreated on TV?

Other local stations started recently doing something similar to this idea.  Fox stations call it “The Face of Fox”.  CW stations call it the “CW star”.  I liked VJ.

Belt Buckle-notice panelSince the station skewed towards the Men 18-49 demo, we leaned towards having a female VJ.  We wanted her to host the 6pm – 10pm block, and had to make room (from promotions & sales inventory) for these segments to air.  We had some discussions on what the VJ would wear.  In most cases, we told the VJ to pick her own clothes, but they had to have the colors of the logo (blue, grey, black or white).  Had a few clothing sponsors tied to it as well.  But the one thing she had to wear  at all times was a My50-TV Belt Buckle.   And the VJ gig would only last 1 year.  The goal was to be humorous & entertaining to be an alternate choice to the traditional News channels.

Here are some highlights from the entire year of one of our VJs…

As I mentioned earlier, I pictured these as radio style.  When we started off with the concept, almost all of the segments were done in the studio and done in front of a green screen (except for client related segments – details below).  The VJ would talk about the show they were watching, give trivia, tease what was coming next, give away tickets to movie screenings, crack jokes, etc.  Later we also introduced the VJ Booth set.  This was a radio style booth, where VJs would take calls, and give away prizes.

Later we started going out of the studio once or twice a week.  These usually took more time to shoot & edit.  But they usually were more entertaining.  A couple of the reoccurring bits, were called “VJ Walking” & “Dare the VJ”.

But we also did interviews with visiting celebs or via satellite

This one was with Jerry Springer to help promote Baggage.

Dan Akyroyd came to town to sell his Crystal Skull Vodka.

The Soup Nazi Seinfeld promotional tour.

Or sometimes, we would just go out and learn something new, like this video where the VJ learned about intense frisbee games that were going on in town…

The VJ also hosted the lineup from some of our client locations.  The sales team would approach clients, and sell them a VJ package that would include the VJ coming by their location and shooting several segments where she would interview them, do a demonstration, taste some food, etc.  Here are a few examples..

VJ visits a local hamburger place

VJ talks to Pizza Hut about their local charity initiative

VJ talks with local police recruiter

VJ goes to a new nightclub in town

And of course, we would use the VJ to promote our shows with long form segments.  In this first sample, we wanted to help launch, Punk’d into syndication on our station, so we Punk’d our VJ.

One of our VJs wanted to spoof the annoying “Friday Friday” song that went viral that year and did a “Weekdays Weekdays” version promoting our conflict talk show block.

Or just ambushing people on the street and giving out prizes if they knew our lineup.

Each year we evolved it a bit more, and were doing other promotion events that people would show up for (ski weekends, sporting event meet ups, etc.)  In the most recent year, we went a little more edgy and the VJ we used was modeled after some of the things we saw on the cable channel G4, and had her do things a “shock jock” might do.  It fit right in with the programming, and I think it worked, on getting some attention.   Here was her intro promo.

And her year in review…

In fact, people voted for her (Amber Pohl) as their favorite TV personality in the Best of the City poll that Albuquerque the Magazine, does each year.  She came in 3rd place, beating out all personalities on the local CBS & Fox affiliates.
Best ofNot bad for the little underdog station with no local News.

I could see this format going in a few directions.  Everything was pre-taped.  But I think the in-studio segments could have been done live if we had all the right tools.  Like a radio station, I could see there being a VJ for every daypart.  Another one for the weekends.

Overall, I like this idea.  I think it we were doing something you don’t see much of on local TV…humor & fun.   I’d actually like to see more stations go this route.



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