Keep it Local Campaign

Posted: September 7, 2012 in Campaigns
Tags: , , ,

This is a campaign I initiated on all platforms a couple years ago, and it works!  It’s gained viewers, clients & awards.  People say the slogan wherever we go.  So I’ll go into a little detail on this one.

The TV station I work at has many off-network 2nd run shows (Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, etc).  These are shows you can get on DVD, Online…and of course cable.  It’s killing stations like ours.  I compared it to the local shops competing with the WalMarts, or the local Farmer fighting against Monsanto.  It’s like us trying to launch an off-net comedy like BIG BANG THEORY, when it’s also being launched on TBS.  Why should the local viewer care?  Because TBS doesn’t employ locals, and they don’t spend money in our community.  Our TV station does.  I thought that might be something the locals could get behind.  Watch us and you are sticking it to the man!

This first sample is the on-air spot that kicked it off.  It was a minute long.  So I had to make room on the inventory.  We also had a similar radio spot hit the air as part of our media buy.

As you can see, we also made a few promises to include more locals.  We also pointed out one obvious advantage we have over the other sources…our contests guarantee a local winner.  Our viewers aren’t competing with people all over the country.  So their odds of winning or more likely.  So, we initiated a few contests during the launch of this campaign:

In this contest we told our viewers to go make a funny video about one of our comedies.  Take a look.

Traditionally these video contests usually don’t get a huge response.  But I knew a few people would enter, and a lot more people would see them…and most importantly…they would see that we were keeping our promise to put more locals on the air.  We actually did get some pretty funny entries.

To see all stages of this Video Contest, click here

Part of this campaign included a large out-of-home media buy (mostly outdoor).  These ads placed (obviously photoshopped) pictures of our show’s stars in local situations & places.  We wanted people to notice them, so we did a contest that forced them to not only look at them, but again…put the viewers on TV and on our social media.

To see the different phases of this Billboard Contest, click here.

The last phase of the launch of this campaign was simply to put locals into 10-second promos, where they told us which comedy they “kept it local” with, while their friends or family members held our logo up behind them.

The goal was to go out to a recognizable local spot, once a week, and for 2 hours, get as many people to do this as possible.  We’d air them for a week, the post them on Facebook and tag each person in it, so they would be shared among their circle of social connections.

And when I was planning this out, there were a few things I hoped would happen:

1) After these appeared on the air and online for a month, I was hoping people would start to request to do these.

2) We could start selling them to clients.  We’ll do one of these in front of your business.   And eventually the businesses would start requesting them.  “Hey, when are you going to do one of those in front of my store?”

3) We’d eventually get a bunch of local (as well as some national) celebrities to do these and always keep them in rotation.

I’m happy to say, the plan worked…all three happened.

Here is how it worked as a sales promotion, in front of a client’s business.  Not only would they get their business on screen in the background various times throughout the day for a week, but we would also drive our viewers down to this location at the designated day & time with this “call to action” promo…

Here is a quick snapshot of what the posts look like on Facebook, as well as the tagging and feedback from others that see it in their circle of friends…


This next example hit the air just as we were launching How I Met Your Mother. Neil Patrick Harris, who plays Barney on the show, grew up in Albuquerque. So how could we not pass up the opportunity to include him in one of our Keep it Local promos?

Each ratings sweep since we’ve launched it, we’ve updated & kept this campaign alive.  However, with each update, we still had to go in fresh and educate new viewers all over again.

With each update, we would try to include something current.  This next example was an update just after the SuperBowl that featured the Chrysler commercial that told how tough (and local) Detroit was.  We adapted that message to some degree.

On the most recent update, we wanted to include a message that we had new episodes in rotation (we were getting a lot of calls about the multiple repeats)…


During each media buy period, we usually included radio ads as part of the mix.  Here are a couple samples…

This campaign won us a local Emmy Award for branding in 2011, a National Silver Promax Award in 2012, and nominated for best editing at the Regional Emmy Awards in 2012 (waiting to hear the results now).


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