Just An Online Minute... The Motor City Invades Manhattan WADL TV 38 style
WADL TV 38 Detroit Fall Presentation, The Rainbow Room, New York
July 16, 2008
I like TV. Analog, digital, DVRd, streaming, whatever. Call it what you want, but I call anything with moving pictures in 30- to 60-minute chunks TV. I have never said "I'm going home to watch that program I DVRd." I also love Detroit. When I was 19, it was 10 minutes from legal drinking in Windsor, Canada. It was also where I learned to drive, which I think everyone should do -- it's why I'm so awesome on the road. It's also where you can find WADL TV 38, Detroit's Urban Television Station -- only last night they were in NYC's Rainbow Room making nice with advertisers and media buyers. And me!
I stepped into 30 Rock and looked confused. This was confirmed by the lovely building security person, who asked, in her nicest are-you-lost-little-girl voice, "Are you here for a private party?" She ushered me to the elevator bay, where I hopped into the elevator with five other dudes. In suits. Talking about golf. "Gads," I thought, "this doesn't feel like the urban Detroit I remember." And of course this was the event where I decided to just dress up my jeans. Sigh.
The elevator door opened to Rob Bass, not internationally known, but known to rock a microphone. I said yes to the Cosmo offered to me at the door and couldn't wait to see what sounded like a jumping party inside! Upon check-in, I was twice reminded that press is sort of the socially inept stepchild, which I'll never understand. When offering my card for the raffle, I was told "Oh wait, you're not eligible, you're press". Boo! I also had to sport the write-in nametag, Yay me. I already look like a 12-year-old and now I appeared to have crafted my own nametag in chicken-scratch. It wasn't like getting punched in the back of the head with brass knuckles, but still.
I took my seat at the urging of the dramatic woman at the podium. Montel Williams was on the periphery looking very serious with his blinging earlobes. The presentation began with three kickass dancing girls, wiggling and popping to a remix of Soulja Boy Tell 'Em. How they kept up that high energy while we sat stiffly silent, I'll never know. I'm so hiring them for my next birthday party. Yes, you can come.
The dancers were followed by Lewis Gibbs, president/general manager, WADL TV 38-Detroit, who launched into a presentation of the solid, "advertiser friendly" programming you can find on their station. The spot they used to attract motivated sales staff was chuckle-worthy -- enticing young people with very little barrier to entry, rolled up wads of 100 dollar bills, and a clip of a bright yellow Ferrari. "This could all be yours" baited the voiceover.
Gibbs oozes palpable Detroit pride, but I think the flavor of the stations' 18-49 urban viewing audience could have been served more strongly to the potential paying advertisers. Use a little community building through this crazy social network thing I've heard of --- connect even more personally within the fan base, hold contests and get those people to the party! I'm saying, it was good, it made me homesick for my Detroit days, but I think the NYC spot reps probably need a stronger dose to feel the effects in the form of the actual humans they would be targeting.
In case the perfect balls of tuna tartare, cool calamari salad (with little purple tentacled guys), and asparagus spears weren't enough, meeting the entire fun crew from MAGNA Global Trading, John Mattiello and Jesus Galindo, and trying to get Dan Reichman to bequeath his TV to Alana Rosenberg were in the top 10 happy pieces of the night.
The No. 1 slot goes to Jaeflow, a duo hailing from the Bronx, wearing Pistons Jerseys who came out, arms pumping, leaping and bounding on stage barking "New York, put your hands up! New York, put your hands up!" I cringe every time a musical act tells a New York audience what to do with their hands. New York does not put its hands up. So don't worry, Jaeflow, it wasn't you, it was us.
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