Stations Experiment With 'Stimulus' Packages

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



1 comment about "Stations Experiment With 'Stimulus' Packages".
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  1. Dave Robinson from O'Leary and Partners, April 15, 2009 at 1:34 p.m.

    From the no new ideas dept.: Back in the 80's when Taurus was in a dogfight to be the best selling car line, JWT offered employees $500 towards a purchase.

    It just makes sense to support the companies that support your business....

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