Nexstar Targets Local TV Advertisers Using Its Own Airwaves

Nexstar TV advertising adNexstar Broadcasting has taken the rare step of using its own airwaves to market itself to advertisers in a major business-to-business marketing campaign.

  The mid-level broadcaster of 33 stations is running some 39 different 10- to-20-second spots under the "101 Reasons TV Advertising Works" effort, which began on Monday.

Perry Sook, chairman, CEO and president of Nexstar Broadcasting, said in a release: "With the challenging economic climate affecting local businesses, it is important for broadcasters to aggressively advocate for the benefits of local television as the advertising platform and medium that consistently delivers the best results."

Many TV broadcasting stations have seen sharp declines in advertising sales since the recession started, with many dropping 30% in total annual advertising revenue.



Nexstar's messages are simple and brief -- almost like public service announcements, many featuring a male spokesman in front of simple black-and-white backgrounds. One cited television's broad, mass appeal over other media: "It's difficult to talk to everyone at the same time," says the spokesman. "TV has mastered the concept. TV advertising works."

Another video segment shows a rolled-up newspaper with a fly next to it: "Put your newspaper to better use. We do." Another message featured some statistical graphs: "There 17 different ways to watch video. 99% is watched television. Even as adults 18-24 choose TV as their number one video screen." Another segment says: "Magazine needs nasty paper cuts: No band-aids needed."

"Studies show that television is the most effective method for businesses to connect with local customers. So we are going to use our medium to promote the benefits of our medium," says Nexstar's Sook.

3 comments about "Nexstar Targets Local TV Advertisers Using Its Own Airwaves ".
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  1. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, October 13, 2009 at 11:12 a.m.

    Way back in 1982, I was an account executive at KGMB TV in Honolulu. That year, the Television Bureau of Advertising, TvB, sponsored a "competition among TvB members for an on-air spot demonstrating the use of television as an advertising medium" (this is the wording on the Grand Prize plaque I received as the contest winner).

    My effort (I also won the contest the following year) bested a field of 121 entries and was eventually distributed to and used by more than 400 TvB member stations. It is posted on my brother Jeff's youtube channel at: .

    Where my approach differs from Nexstar's is that it doesn't negative sell the competition. Rather, it uses television's USP to sell television.

    Any campaign that hinges on the notion that "my product is good because the other guy's product is bad" is ill-advised, misguided, and weak, and does the product (in this case the entire commercial television industry) a tremendous disservice.

    I call this the Mr. Drysdale (of Beverly Hillbillies fame)School of Advertising, the subject of a trade piece I wrote last year, an excerpt of which follows here:

    A common, very ill-advised thread permeates TV advertising for financial institutions, namely an obsession to see who can cast bankers and insurance agents in the worst possible light. Not an hour goes by without a bank ad that portrays its competitors as distrusting, greedy fat cats who only care about themselves-offset by the subject advertiser's last-gasp assurance: "but we're different." About as believable as a politician saying: "The reason you should vote for me is because, unlike my no-account, money-grubbing, lying schmuck of an opponent, I'm an honest, hard-working guy who puts your interests first."

    There is a bank in Hawaii that for years positioned itself as the bank that says "YES!" -- the inference being that every other bank says "NO!" (or, as in my case: "Not on your life!"). Or how about those WaMu ads that show the uncaring "other guy" banker literally walking all over a small businessman? Is it any wonder that the metaphor for what's stuck to the sole of the banker's wingtip is what sticks in your mind? And don't get me started on how and why insurance companies have become fair game for personal-injury law firms.

    The problem is that if you spend 90% of your media budget indicting your own industry, it's very difficult to resurrect things in the final few seconds. Simple logic dictates that the message that resonates is the one you spend the bulk of your energy developing, not the one you offer as a token afterthought. All of which leads me to conclude that it's not for lack of effort that our bedrock institutions have achieved cliché status.

  2. Barry Allentuck from Bashaallen, Inc, October 13, 2009 at 4 p.m.

    The Nexstar idea is not a new one. TVB has pro TV spots available for station use for years. Every station I worked for ran these spots. I do applaud Nexstar for making a commitment to sell the medium of TV in its markets. Is there a better medium than TV to reach people. Everyone knows that TV reaches more people than any other medium. Good job Nexstar for rejuvenating a good idea.

  3. Iain Urquhart from Adplus Communications, October 13, 2009 at 4:24 p.m.

    TVNZ in New Zealand has also started running ads telling viewers how effective TV advertising is. It's entirely due to high levels of unsold inventory, giving the network space to use and an incentive to bring advertisers back.

    Interestingly we have also seen the first above-the-line campaign for an Advertising Agency in several years hit our screens, newspapers and magazines over the last month or two.

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