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Buyers seeking that warm, fuzzy feeling

May 20, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Warmer, more honest ads are what’s working on the creative side in the Fort Myers-Naples, Fla., market, said Julene Wolf, president and owner of The Ad Agency in Fort Myers, which produces ads and buys time.
“People are getting into doing a little more family-type advertising and a little more down to earth,” Ms. Wolf said. “Buying such sponsorships puts them in a better light; they’re bringing a service to the community. It’s not just trying to sell them something.”
Ms. Wolf’s agency mainly does spot buys for clients, but news and weather sponsorships are taking off. One popular sponsorship she buys time on is the family segment on WBBH-TV, which airs daily in the 5:30 p.m. newscast.
On the CBS affiliate WINK-TV she buys weather sponsorships for the most part.
“CBS does very well in this market because we are an older-demographic market,” Ms. Wolf said. “CBS prime is also hot. WINK is a traditional, solid buy.”
But she added that WBBH is the most creative as far as offering clients and agencies different ideas and creative packages. Bob Beville, director of sales at WBBH, said one unusual buy in the market comes from real estate developers, who buy 60-second and 90-second spots, not the average 30-second commercials.
“We have more golf courses per capita than anywhere in the country,” Mr. Beville said. “Developers own golf course communities. We have a lot of people come down from the North and spend six months here.”
He said the real estate ads are placed adjacent to high-profile programming such as “Nightline” and network newscasts. Developers also buy video billboards in local news adjacent to segments such as stock market reports. They also like to buy spots in the station’s real estate segments that showcase new properties.
Since real estate is a hot ad category, associated categories such as furniture and carpeting are also up. He said the market jumped five positions in the market rankings in one year.
For the past year, WBBH has been doing successful live remotes from auto dealers on Saturday mornings.
Those live remotes can be adjusted to be longer 21/2-minute pieces, and Mr. Belville said the station will expand live remotes to the real estate sector by broadcasting from real estate properties on Sundays. The station’s former sports anchor Jay Severson, who left to work for a real estate developer, was hired to host the live remotes.
Fort Myers-Naples is a metered market, but The WB affiliate WTVK-TV is the only Nielsen Media Research client in the market. “It’s too expensive for the size of the market,” Mr. Beville said. “We would love to have Nielsen; it’s financially not feasible right now.”
According to BIA Financial Network Fort Myers-Naples TV revenues were about $63.8 million in 2001 and are expected to be about $67 million in 2002. Top ad categories are auto, real estate and legal.#