In its latest initiative, TV station owner Allbritton probably isn't thinking only about its employees' transportation needs. No doubt future advertising relationships weighed heavily in the company's
decision to provide employees with a $2,000 credit if they buy a new vehicle from struggling local car dealerships.
This has already meant around $1.4 million in total business
to car dealers in seven
Allbritton markets. No surprise here: Those dealers also happen to be TV advertisers of Allbritton.
Some may wonder if this will translate into some goodwill -- or even bigger media
budgets. Probably not anytime soon.
We all know how important auto advertising is to local TV. But Allbritton can't right everything by itself. Allbritton executives wish other stations
would offer other "stimulus" incentives for a whole range of advertisers.
One can guess this means offering discounts for applying for local bank mortgages, for dinners at local
restaurants, or for food bills at local supermarkets.
One question: How many TV stations groups have the wherewithal to take up these causes?
Some TV stations are even working
on other kinds of "stimulus" ideas -- such as getting viewers to watch more local TV while taking public transportation.
This summer, in one of the first widely deployed local mobile TV efforts
, viewers can get local,
syndicated and network TV programming signals from WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C., (and a bit of nausea as well) while watching TV on their mobile devices, bouncing along on Raleigh city buses.
The message is clear: Everyone is looking for a stimulus, to rouse and encourage something. With no end in sight for the recession, the TV industry's varied efforts for motivating business and
consumers are just beginning